Saturday, December 17, 2005

CRA's and You-Part I

The State Road 7 Master Plan

One of the many techniques that Lauderhill is creating to help redevelop and spur on growth is the establishment of Community Redevelopment Agencies ("CRA"). The purpose of the Agencies is to create a redevelopment plan, and to secure financing to implement the plan.

Funds can be generated by several sources, but the most talked about source is through Tax Incremental Financing ("TIF"). This is a process where county and city property tax revenues on the growth in value is captured for future use. With these funds, some of the powers of a CRA's is to purchase property, condemn property, and build improvements. CRA's can also borrow and assume debt. When carried out properly, they are a vital tool to an area's redevelopment.

In the case of Lauderhill, we have created two CRA's. One for Central Lauderhill from Sunrise Blvd. to Oakland Park Blvd. (both commercial and residential areas), and the other along the State Road 7 corridor (primarily commercial). The Commission decided to sit as the Board for the CRA's, with the Mayor and Vice Mayor sitting as the Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, (as per our City Charter). Though the CRA's are not sitting as the City Commission, its responsibilities are very similar, and the need to keep consistency between the two organizations is essential. Don Giancoli is the Executive Director (similar to a City Manager) for the CRA's.

Why did the city create two districts? For two reasons. First, the two properties are not contiguous, and second, because they are distinctly different areas. For efficiency sake, when the CRA Board meets, it is meeting for the two districts at the same time. Meetings are being developed at regular intervals, but for now are called when the Director requests them. The Chair or the Board can also set meetings as they desire. As with all meetings, they are open to the public, but under the present Board's rules, public discussion can be more limited than at a normal commission meeting. Alternatively, comments on the CRA's can be made at the Public Hearing held before our Regular Commission Meeting. Unless the Commission has an item on the Agenda that evening for the CRA. Then you may speak at that time.

Each district is well on its way to creating its plans and has already begun the process of instituting these plans. The process will take many years to complete, but in our case, unlike in most CRA's, I believe you will see a substantial return in the next 3 to 5 years. In future Parts of this series, I will examine each of the Districts and provide a link to view the plans.


Kelly said...

Along with 8 lane contruction of Florida Turnpike----A DIVIDED CITY
could be joined at 19th Street WALKWAY with a new ROADWAY bridge over the turnpike.


Construction of 8 lane Florida Turnpike will soon begin; an interchange would be a BIG BIG BOOM FOR LAUDERHILL for business and a joy for daily commuters.

An ideal-perfect Oakland Interchange might be impossible but ANYTHING WOULD BE WELCOMED IMPROVEMENT and be better than gridlock or double-decking of overloaded 56th Avenue to jammed Sunrise interchange.

eLauderhill said...

Not a bad idea for a future posting. Watch for a discussion on this later in January.