By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – The owners of a lot that fronts Hillcrest Heights as well as Clementine Road now face the potential of having to pay more than $21,000 in special assessments.
The property is being affected by the development of 68 new single-family residential lots and the installation of improvements on Clementine Road from Woodale to Evergreen.
Joseph and Sandy Favorito, who already are connected to municipal sewer and water along Hillcrest Heights, appeared Monday, Nov. 12, before the Howard village board to object to those special assessments with the backside of their property being along Clementine Road.
“I’ve been told from the very beginning of this whole thing how beneficial this is to me,” Joseph Favorito said. “I have yet to figure out how, in any way, shape or form, it is beneficial to me. I cut the grass on the front side of my property. I shovel the snow on the front side of my property. I clear the sidewalks in the wintertime as well. Now, I’m expected to clear the front of my house, and now I’m expected to clear the back of my house.”
Joseph Favorito said he has not sought and has no interest to divide the property.
“The fact is it’s not divided,” he said.” Whether or not it can be is irrelevant. The fact is it’s not divided, and I feel that this assessment is unfair to me as a taxpayer. I feel it is double jeopardy. I’m being taxed double, because we’ve already paid the assessment on the front of our house when the road came through. We have power, sewer, water. We have all of that, and now we’re expected to pay on the backside of our property the same assessment that was paid on the front side of our property.”
Joseph Favorito said he wasn’t against development or progress in the village, but rather objected to “being taken advantage of.”
Sandy Favorito added the couple would never connect to the utilities on Clementine Road while owning the property.
“We’re never going to use those utilities that are plugged into (the backside of the property),” she said. “If we sold this piece of property, we’re not going to make any profit (because of the special assessments).”
Another couple, Mark and Linn Heinzen, also appeared before the board to object to the more than $5,000 in special assessments they could face with their property along Woodale Avenue.
“We’ve already paid for the front – why do we have to pay for the side?” Linn Heinzen asked. “We have a very small, little lot.”
Though board members agreed Joseph and Sandy Favorito would have to pay those special assessments if they would divide or sell the property, the board voted 5-3 to not charge special assessments for sanitary sewer, water main and storm sewer to Mark and Linn Heinzen as well as Bruce and Janet because the lots of the other two couples couldn’t be divided.
Trustees Ron Bredael, Chris Nielsen, Catherine Hughes, Scott Beyer and Craig McAllister supported the motion with Village President Burt McIntyre and trustees John Muraski and Adam Lemorande voting against it.
Trustee Ray Suennen was absent.
Mike Kaster, the village’s director of engineering, said the special assessments against the property of Joseph and Sandy Favorito would become due if they would subdivide the land or sell it to someone other than immediate family.
Board members debated the effect the sewer and water connections to the back of back of the Favorito property would have as to whether the couple would be out more than $21,000 for the special assessments or profit by the land being more valuable with the planned development.
Village Administrator Paul Evert said the development behind the Favorito property could increase the value of the lot “by way more than $21,000.”
“All the lots next to them on the extension are going for over $50,000,” Evert said. “If anything, you might see gain or increase the value, but they don’t have to pay the $21,000 now.”