Company challenges street assessment program
A lawsuit filed last week in Olmsted District Court mounts another challenge to Rochester's practice of assessing businesses for area street projects.
The suit, by DeGeus Properties LLC, specifically challenges the city's Transportation Improvement District program, under which DeGeus was to be charged more than $300,000 to help upgrade nearby streets.
Negotiations between the city and DeGeus reduced the assessment, according to court documents, but DeGeus never signed an agreement.
The city's TID program is designed to be legally voluntary. However, the city has required developers to agree to program payments as part of contractual "development agreements," which are required to get building permits.
A result of DeGeus' opposition to the TID program is that it has been unable to proceed with an expansion, first planned in 2008.
DeGeus bought its 12-acre property for $481,000 in 2002. It is represented in the case by Gary Van Cleve, a Twin Cities attorney who previously represented developer Frank Kottschade in a case regarding street assessments and who will speak at a public meeting Tuesday against proposed city charter change affecting special assessments.