Under Florida law (Chapter 163, Part III), local governments can designate selected portions of a City as Community Redevelopment Areas where “slum and blighted areas which constitute a serious and growing menace, injurious to the public health, safety, morals, and welfare of the residents of the state” exist. For instance, these may be areas with substandard buildings, a lack of affordable housing, or an inadequate infrastructure. When a Community Development Area is designated, a city or county will create a public entity to implement community redevelopment. This entity is the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). These groups are essential to improving the communities that they serve.
Community Redevelopment Areas
Community Redevelopment Areas can be created for various reasons, some of which include but are not limited to inadequate parking, insufficient roadways, inadequate structures, and a shortage of affordable housing. Before an area can be designated, the local government must survey the proposed site and prepare a Finding of Necessity. If the Finding of Necessity shows that the required conditions exist, the local government can create a Community Redevelopment Area. This will designate the area in need of support and redevelopment.
Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)
The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) refers to a public entity created by a city or county to implement the community redevelopment activities for the designated areas as outlined under the Florida Community Redevelopment Act of 1969. The law provides that local communities can establish a CRA.
The five-to-seven-member CRA “Board” created by the local government directs the agency. The board can be made up of local government officials and or other individuals appointed by the local government. Although one local government may establish multiple CRA districts, there generally may be only one CRA Board. Each district must keep a separate trust fund and expend those funds only in that district.
The CRA is responsible for developing and carrying out the Community Redevelopment Plans that address the affected area’s needs. The plan includes establishing the overall goals for redevelopment in the area, as well as identifying the types of projects planned for the site. Although the state does not oversee CRAs, CRA redevelopment plans must be consistent with local government comprehensive plans.
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