TOWN OF LAKE PLACID

OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF TOWN OF LAKE PLACID GOVERNMENT

     

                  
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - WHAT IS A CRA


Before entering into a discussion of what a CRA is it is important to know that forming a CRA requires a two studies to be completed that must be presented to State Government for approval.   A
draft FINDING OF NEED STUDY was completed by the Central Florida Regional Planning Council in May 2015 using a grant.

The second study, the FINDING OF NECESSITY, addresses how to improve areas discovered in the FINDING OF NEEDS STUDY from May 2015.    This is the task currently underway.   The study is being conducted by the Central Florida Regional Planning Council on behalf of the Town of Lake Placid and is funded by a grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on behalf of the town. 

The Lake Placid Town Council then decides whether to implement a Community Redevelopment Agency by ordinance after thoughtful review of the cost versus the benefits.

Currently some residents within the proposed CRA boundaries have received letters announcing a workshop on January 30, 2017 at 6:00 PM at Town Hall.   This meeting will be an educational meeting for the public designed to encourage questions and educate the public regarding the CRA process.   

In addition to furnishing information regarding the process there are likely to be Town Government Official's present whose votes on whether to officially develop and adopt a CRA at some later date, may be encouraged by public opinion at the meeting.
 


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The Town of Lake Placid is considering establishing a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). The Town has received a grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to explore setting up a CRA. General information about CRAs is provided below. The Town is holding a community workshop open to the public on Monday, January 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm at Town Hall, 311 West Interlake Boulevard, Lake Placid, Florida.

The purpose of the workshop is to solicit input from the Lake Placid Community to review the proposed CRA boundary and identify a vision and opportunities likely to encourage successful redevelopment within the proposed area.


Information about Community Redevelopment Agencies

Source: Florida Redevelopment Association

http://redevelopment.net

Community Redevelopment Area: A dependent special district in which any future increases in property values are set aside to support economic development projects within that district.

FRA CRA Brochure

What is a Community Redevelopment Area or District?

Under Florida law (Chapter 163, Part III), local governments are able to designate areas as Community Redevelopment Areas when certain conditions exist. Since all the monies used in financing CRA activities are locally generated, CRAs are not overseen by the state, but redevelopment plans must be consistent with local government comprehensive plans. Examples of conditions that can support the creation of a Community Redevelopment Area include, but are not limited to: the presence of substandard or inadequate structures, a shortage of affordable housing, inadequate infrastructure, insufficient roadways, and inadequate parking. To document that the required conditions exist, the local government must survey the proposed redevelopment area and prepare a Finding of Necessity. If the Finding of Necessity determines that the required conditions exist, the local government may create a Community Redevelopment Area to provide the tools needed to foster and support redevelopment of the targeted area.

What is a Community Redevelopment Agency?

The activities and programs offered within a Community Redevelopment Area are administered by the Community Redevelopment Agency. A five- to seven-member CRA “Board” created by the local government (city or county) directs the agency. The Board can be comprised of local government officials and or other individuals appointed by the local government.

What is a Community Redevelopment Plan?

The Community Redevelopment Agency is responsible for developing and implementing the Community Redevelopment Plan that addresses the unique needs of the targeted area. The plan includes the overall goals for redevelopment in the area, as well as identifying the types of projects planned for the area.

Examples of traditional projects include:

· Streetscapes and roadway improvements

· Building renovations

· New building construction

· Flood control initiatives

· Water and sewer improvements

· Parking lots and garages

· Neighborhood parks

· Sidewalks a

· Street tree plantings.

The plan may also include redevelopment incentives such as grants and loans for such things as façade improvements, sprinkler system upgrades, signs, and structural improvements. The redevelopment plan is a living document that can be updated to meet the changing needs within the Community Redevelopment Area; however, the boundaries of the area cannot be changed without starting the process from the beginning.

What is Tax Increment Financing?

Tax increment financing is a unique tool available to cities and counties for redevelopment activities. It is used to leverage public funds to promote private sector activity in the targeted area. The dollar value of all real property in the Community Redevelopment Area is determined as of a fixed date, also known as the “frozen value.” Taxing authorities, which contribute to the tax increment, continue to receive property tax revenues based on the frozen value. These frozen value revenues are available for general government purposes. However, any tax revenues from increases in real property value, referred to as “increment,” are deposited into the Community Redevelopment Agency Trust Fund and dedicated to the redevelopment area.

It is important to note that property tax revenue collected by the School Board and any special district are not affected under the tax increment financing process.

The tax increment revenues can be used immediately, saved for a particular project, or can be bonded to maximize the funds available. Any funds received from a tax increment financing area must be used for specific redevelopment purposes within the targeted area, and not for general government purposes.

A Community Redevelopment Agency does not have any taxing authority and cannot increase taxes.

How does the CRA Process Work?

A public meeting begins the designation process. Several steps will have to be accomplished before the Community Redevelopment Area becomes are reality. These steps are briefly outlined below.

I. Adopt the Finding of Necessity. This will formally identify the blight conditions within the targeted area and establish the area boundary.

II. Develop and adopt the Community Redevelopment Plan. The plan addresses the unique needs of the targeted area and includes the overall goals for redevelopment in the area, as well as identifying specific projects. (A Community Redevelopment Agency must be established to adopt the CRA Plan.)

III. Create a Redevelopment Trust Fund. Establishment of the Trust Fund enables the Community Redevelopment Agency to direct the increase in real property tax revenues back into the targeted area.


Summary

CRAs are a specifically focused financing tool for redevelopment. CRA Boards do not establish policy for the city or county – they develop and administer a plan to implement that policy. The CRA acts officially as a body distinct and separate from the governing body, even when it is the same group of people. The CRA has certain powers that the city or county by itself may not do, such as establish tax increment financing, and leverage local public funds with private dollars to make redevelopment happen. The CRA term is limited to 30 years, 40 years if extended. After that time, all revenues (presumably much increased from the start of the CRA) are retained by each taxing entity that contributed to the CRA trust fund.


PROPOSED CRA BOUNDAY FOR FINDING OF NECESSITY STUDY