The Jefferson City Housing Authority is giving a property owner involved in the East Capitol Avenue Urban Renewal Plan until its next meeting to sign a rehabilitation agreement.
In mid-May, Holly Stitt requested on behalf of Tom Scheppers at 100 Lafayette St. that the Housing Authority board extend the time to sign a rehabilitation agreement so they could submit a Planned Unit Development (PUD) plan that would cover Scheppers' Lafayette Street commercial property and three vacant lots he owns on State Street. They planned to open a restaurant in the lower level and offices or loft apartments on the upper floors of the Lafayette property, while the State Street properties would be used for parking. The board granted the extension to Tuesday.
City Senior Planner Eric Barron said a PUD plan had not been filed as of Tuesday.
The board did not grant another time extension and said Scheppers has to sign a rehabilitation agreement by the board's next meeting, Sept. 19. If he signs the agreement, he will have six months to make improvements to the Lafayette property. If he does not sign it, the Housing Authority will decide what action to take — which could include trying to acquire the property.
Stitt said three people are interested in the possible restaurant and upstairs space at the Lafayette property.
Housing Authority Executive Director Cynthia Quetsch said property owners who signed — as well as those who didn't sign — rehabilitation agreements are currently fixing their properties in the area.
Summons were issued last week against Barbara Buescher and Stephen and Cheryl Bratten after the Housing Authority filed a civil lawsuit Aug. 4. Buescher owns properties at 101 and 105 Jackson St. and the Brattens own 103 Jackson St., all of which the Housing Authority wants to acquire by condemnation, according to the suit.
Quetsch said Buescher had not been served the summons yet, but the Brattens have.
The Jefferson City Council approved the urban renewal zone in December. The area is bordered by East State Street, Lafayette Street, East High Street — which includes some parcels on the south side of East High Street — and Adams Street.
Last year the area was declared blighted because the properties' conditions were deteriorating, and some of the properties were declared abandoned by city ordinances. Those buildings were boarded up.
A list of priority properties for the renewal plan was created, but those priorities might change as the urban renewal plan progresses. The board received appraisal results for seven properties in the renewal area, which were named though a public forum, city staff recommendations and Housing Authority board review.
Properties at 103 and 105 Jackson St. were among the five receiving the most votes from the public regarding their historic value. City staff suggested two properties, including 101 Jackson St.
Quetsch said it has been more than 30 years since the Housing Authority filed condemnation suits and had the Cole County Circuit Court issue summons.