Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Suisun Council Approves Study of Undeveloped Commercial Land

Suisun Council Approves Study of Undeveloped Commercial Land
By Ian Thompson

SUISUN CITY - The Suisun City Council OK'd going ahead with a study of the city's undeveloped commercial land Tuesday that the city hopes will give it an idea of what the best commercial uses will be.

Mayor Jim Spering said he wanted the study to encourage commercial development and not constrain it. It will do so by laying out a range of possible uses and putting a reasonable idea on what the city can gain from that development.

The land in question covers about 244 acres in a town that is approaching build-out, is rich in housing but weak in businesses and light industries that generate badly needed sales tax revenues.

The yet-to-be annexed Gentry Property west of Old Town and south of Highway 12 was described as the key property among the city's potential commercial developments and other properties along Highway 12 as being crucial for putting in more retail.

The City Council wants to examine the city's undeveloped lands to see if development can be sped up and to ensure it generates as much revenue as possible.

Spering was concerned that putting financial expectations too high would discourage landowners from developing. He also wanted more information about why these parcels had not been developed in the past.

The study, once it is finished this spring, will allow city planners to better determine what the city should require from developers who may want to use the land for something else.

Suisun City, which is looking for ways to increase its revenue, can't afford to have commercial land lie idle, councilmembers said. Laying out clearly what they expect from property owners and developers will help promote development.

Suisun City's budget has suffered from lackluster sales tax revenue, which the council has vowed to raise to bring in more money for city services.

While houses give the city a lot in developers fees up front, they don't generate a continuing stream of sales or transient occupancy taxes that commercial businesses do.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at

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