Dixon accelerates creation of residential development plan

The Dixon arch is set to undergo a facelift as seen Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023.

DIXON – The need for more housing has led to creation of a concept that could pave the way for residential development near Dixon’s Gateway project.

City Manager Danny Langloss told the Dixon City Council that because the council has identified residential development as a top priority, city officials have met with a couple Realtors and a family that owns property and have looked at a few properties. Council member Mary Oros also had informed city officials about a grant that could help as the city works to increase housing, but it was fairly short notice when the city discovered it.

“We weren’t in a position to execute the way we wanted to,” Langloss said Monday night. “But we do now have a concept that has been created of a property that is in the opportunity zone and in the [tax-increment financing district]. So we’ve got a place to start working from on that. And we’re going to really start accelerating the movement on some of that planning and those discussions.”

Additional follow-up is needed from the meeting with a family that owns one of the properties, he said. The city also is going to be taking another look at the Fargo Creek detention area and review some recommendations from the past.

Creating incentives to spur landlords to maintain their rental properties and increasing housing stock were among measures Dixon city officials discussed at an October council retreat as they work to improve housing opportunities in the city.

Maintaining rental properties and adding to the city’s housing stock is imperative, Oros said at time. She said that during meetings with two manufacturers she was told there’s not enough housing to bring people in to work.

“If you don’t have somewhere to live [in Dixon], you’re going to be hard-pressed to find somewhere to live,” Oros said at the retreat.

The discussions have led the council and city leaders to think about how to create more residential development and put a plan in place to guide them.

“What we’ll probably be bringing to the council is to create more of a master plan, for thinking Gateway, (state route) 26, west that would include the Muntean property, the Hvarre development, the Fulfs property there,” Langloss said Monday. “It would include pathways, what the detention would be. In a perfect world, what would that look like?”

He said having a plan for such future development would put the city in a position to win more grants and would include the planned Bloody Gulch improvement work.

“Really dialing that in seems to make sense. That will be a council decision,” he said. “It seems like the appropriate time to do it.”

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema is the editor of Sauk Valley Media.