SB Friedman assists clients with feasibility analyses, visioning, public outreach, financial analysis, boundary definition and other technical aspects of establishing and amending various special taxing/incentive districts. Our firm has assisted with the development of these districts in a variety of environments, including big city commercial corridors, urban industrial areas, and downtowns in suburban and smaller communities.
We provide the following key special district-related services:
Preliminary Feasibility Analyses and Tool Evaluation. The firm has worked with municipalities, non-profits, chambers of commerce, and other entities to identify key feasibility considerations prior to attempting to establish a special district. These issues have included legal considerations, political issues, fair share allocation and others. In these early stage assignments, we assist our clients in evaluating the district types available within the context of the goals they wish to achieve. These up-front efforts ensure that future phases of work are directed towards tools that have a strong likelihood of success.
Visioning and Public Outreach Support. Once an incentive/special district that appears to serve the needs of the community has been identified, we provide education and solicit public input on the proposed district and its goals/services. We use a variety of tailored public engagement approaches to educate citizens and stakeholders on the often complex districts/tools under consideration and to solicit their input on how, when and where to use these tools. We provide materials and data that are relevant to each community and the types of stakeholders affected by the proposed district.
Financial Analyses. Once a district has been identified and preliminarily vetted with the community, it is often necessary to conduct financial analyses to understand the capacity of a particular district and its tools to close a financing gap or fund necessary improvements. We have a broad range of experience with tax and other revenue projections that can further assist in the special district boundary definition and budgeting processes.
Boundary Definition/Refinement. Our firm is made up of trained urban planners who have worked in a broad range of environments, from big cities to small towns. We have seen many incentive tools used in a variety of development contexts and advised communities on key issues to consider when defining the potential boundary for a special district. The issues can be legal or eligibility-focused, policy-driven, district coherence-based, or incorporate other considerations as well.
Application Writing/District Documentation. Generally, special taxing and incentive districts must be established through the actions of a representative body. We help develop the application packet or other documentation required to inform policy makers. This documentation can include: GIS maps, financial spreadsheets, ordinance review, documentation of public meetings and outreach activities, and other materials, as necessary.