Why was a Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) proposed for North Greenwood and nearby neighborhoods?

    • In 2019, the Clearwater Urban Leadership Coalition prepared a proposal calling for the establishment of a Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) to address needs in the North Greenwood Neighborhood.
    • In 2020, the City of Clearwater prepared a Finding of Necessity study determining that conditions in the North Greenwood Neighborhood and nearby neighborhoods warranted the creation of a CRA and Tax Increment Financing District.
    • In 2021, the Finding of Necessity study was approved by the City of Clearwater City Council and the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners.

    What is a CRA?

    • Under Florida law (Chapter 163, Part III, Florida Statutes), when an area experiences “slum and blight” conditions, a local government may establish a CRA as a way to pay for community improvements that would alleviate such conditions. Funding for CRA projects and programs is generated through Tax Increment Financing (see more about TIF on page 2).  
    • A successful CRA builds upon existing community strengths. The North Greenwood CRA is recognized for its many strengths including active civic leadership, engaged community organizations, existing institutional services, natural environment, and location.

    What is “slum and blight”?

    • Blight has been defined as “something that impairs growth, withers hopes and ambitions, or impedes progress and prosperity."
    • Within planning and redevelopment practice, slum and blight may refer to these impairments on the physical fabric (e.g., buildings, properties, and public improvements), on community structure and social fabric (e.g., neighborhood vitality, security, public health and welfare, and poverty) or on the economy (e.g., property values, tax base, facility obsolescence, and employment base).

    What is a CRA plan?

    • A CRA plan, also called a Community Redevelopment Plan, is a tool for creating a ‘sense of place’ based on a community's unique natural and cultural assets. A CRA plan outlines a comprehensive strategy for promoting physical revitalization and financial reinvestment to improve economic and social vitality in a defined area. A CRA plan documents existing conditions and trends, community goals, and priorities for expenditures of Tax Increment Financing funds (see more about TIF on page 2).
    • Florida Statutes specify what must be included in a CRA plan but community conditions, needs, and goals will influence the content and character of the North Greenwood CRA Plan.

    What is Tax Increment Financing (TIF)?

    • Tax increment financing (TIF) is a financial tool used by local governments to pay for community improvements in a CRA. TIF funds come from taxes paid by CRA properties that have increased in value since the date the TIF was established. This value is called the “increment”. The increment is deposited annually into a CRA Trust Fund for spending on eligible community improvements in the CRA only.
    • The City of Clearwater and Pinellas County (local taxing authorities) continue to receive property tax revenues from the base value or “frozen” value of property that existed at the time the TIF was established. The frozen value tax revenues continue to be used for general governmental purposes that are unrelated to the CRA.

    How can TIF funds be spent?

    • TIF funds must be spent within the CRA they were generated from.
    • TIF funds may only be spent on projects or strategies listed in a locally adopted CRA plan. Projects and strategies included in the CRA plan can be people and place based provided they meet TIF and CRA requirements. For example, TIF funds could pay for community service initiatives, building renovations, land acquisition, park development, street improvements, flood control measures, tree and landscape plantings, sidewalk connections, and utility improvements.
    • A CRA plan is updated over time to include new projects and strategies that would respond to emerging community needs and aspirations for the future.

    How large is the North Greenwood CRA?

    The CRA includes 840.88 acres or 1.31 square miles (as large as some cities in Florida!).

    How can I participate in planning for the North Greenwood CRA Plan?

    1. Explore this project website. Sign up for CRA Plan updates, including public meeting invitations.
    2. Attend Community Workshops. Four workshops will be scheduled between February and August 2022 the first on Thursday, February 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the North Greenwood Recreation and Aquatic Complex. Visit the Schedule Page for the details.
    3. Complete the surveys. Two surveys for the North Greenwood CRA Plan will be launched, one in April 2022 and one in May 2022. 
    4. Participate in special engagement events. ‘Pop-up’ participation opportunities in the community will be posted on www.ngreenwoodcra.com and emailed directly to people who sign up for project updates.

    How long will it take to complete the North Greenwood CRA Plan?

    At this time, it is anticipated that a draft of the North Greenwood CRA Plan will be considered by City Council for approval at two public hearings in late fall 2022.

    How long will it take to see results from the North Greenwood CRA Plan?

    The results of community redevelopment are incremental. Small, seemingly insignificant projects can add up quickly to produce tangible improvements in the short term. Larger projects that require more community deliberation, planning, and funding can take several years to come to fruition. A 30-year period is proposed for CRA and TIF to provide sufficient time for carrying out planned projects and programs that help the CRA achieve its goals and vision.  

    Where can I send my comments or questions about the proposed CRA?

    There are several ways to comment on the Share Your Thoughts Page. Please send additional comments or questions to ngreenwoodcra@myclearwater.com or call 727-564-4539.