History of the CRA
The Crystal River City Council created the CRA in 1988 (Ordinance 88-O-19), to develop a funding mechanism to create strategies and programs to help combat the decline and address blighting influences identified at the time in the designated downtown area for over a period of 30 years. Subsequent planning efforts were completed in 2008, a Visioning Plan for the Downtown, and in 2013 the CRA Waterfront District Master Plan concept and strategies, and in 2014 the Crystal River Waterfront District Development Incentive Program.
Part III of Chapter 163, Florida Statutes allows for the Community Redevelopment Plan to be modified and on August 24, 2015 the City Council adopted Ordinance 15-O-05 modifying the CRA plan for an additional 25 years and updated the CRA plan accordingly.
In the mid-1980's the downtown portion of Crystal River was facing a crisis. Area wide growth during the '60's and '70's had caused the business centers of the town to expand along the Highway 19 conidor away from the town center. The Crystal River Mall drew shoppers to the north away from the town center and several strip malls were built southerly toward Homosassa. During the construction of the Florida Power plants the town had grown from an influx of well paid workers and executives. However, by the mid-1980's construction had slowed down and this had an overall dampening effect on the local economic slowdown in the area. The downtown area was caught between the threat of newer, flashy shopping areas to the north and south and the doldrums of an overall economic slowdown in the area.
As this progressed business failures and vacancies in both the commercial and residential areas of the town center increased along with this came the blight of neglected prope1iies, damaged streets and sidewalks, and over deterioration. Seeing this problem the City government along with the local businesses and citizens sought a way to revitalize the downtown. Research committees appointed by the City Council and local civic and mercantile organizations began the long process of establishing the CRA as a mechanism to save the town center.
The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) was established on December 1, 1988 through City Ordinance #88-0-19 as executed by Mayor Herb Williams. The agency was created in accordance with the provisions of Florida Statute 163 based upon data compiled by a research team from the University of Florida/College of Architecture. Details regarding the data utilized may be located in the City of Crystal River - Community Redevelopment Plan - 1988 (CR-CRP). The CRA is unique because it is a designated Special District in accordance with F.S. Chapters 163 and 189. In September, 2010 City Council approved Resolution #10-R-43 declaring City Council the governing body of the CRA.
The redevelopment area encompasses approximately 606 acres (page 6 of the CR-CRP) which includes much of the downtown area and roughly 7500 lineal feet of waterfront. Funding for the CRA is provided through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). TIF revenues have shown a dramatic increase in recent years due to increased private sector investment and re-investment in the district. Such private sector investment is in accordance with F.S. Ch. 163 "Encouragement of Private Enterprise" is evidence of the success of the Agency's initiative.
The CRA is also charged with the review of construction in its geographic area for compliance with thematic and style standards as established in the Land Development Code (LDC). The Agency is currently working on drafts updating and revising both the Redevelopment Plan and those portions of the LDC relating to the district.
Crystal River Redevelopment Agency
123 NW HWY 19, Crystal River, FL 34428
Ph: (352) 795-4216
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