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About the Community Redevelopment Agency

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  • Community Redevelopment Agency

About the Community Redevelopment Agency

Building Community ... Together! Throughout Martin County’s six Community Redevelopment Areas, residents and businesses are joining with the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to improve their communities. This process revitalizes our unique and significant neighborhoods while fostering a strong sense of community and place. Redevelopment in Martin County is truly remarkable.

We have six CRA areas located throughout the county: Golden Gate, Hobe Sound, Jensen Beach, Old Palm City, Port Salerno and Rio. Each with a flavor all its own, these are our centers of commerce, services, entertainment, and social activity … the special places where we celebrate what makes Martin County exceptional.

Our MISSION

The Martin County Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is revitalizing and restoring the neighborhoods and town centers of the Martin County CRA areas. We are dedicated to maintaining the unique character of our communities by encouraging sustainable economic investments, promoting walkability and livability, and working collaboratively with the Neighborhood Advisory Committees and Martin County Board of County Commissioners to advance the future health and success of our communities.   

Our VISION

We envision economically and environmentally sound CRA areas with safe, healthy neighborhoods and vibrant town centers; a network of well-planned, interconnected parks, public open spaces, and complete streets; a full spectrum of high-quality housing that accommodates all walks of life; well-designed community infrastructure; and successful redevelopment that celebrates the distinctive identity and community character of each district and contributes to the overall sustainability of Martin County.

What's New?

Learn about two new policies affecting open space requirements and shoreline protection zones within the Martin County community redevelopment areas.

Open spaces & shoreline protections

Open spaces in the CRAs:

Open space is defined as land that is open from the ground to the sky. In this video, Susan Kores, Manager of the Office of Community Development, discusses a new policy which establishes a 20% minimum open space requirement in the CRA center and a 30% minimum open space requirement in CRA neighborhoods.

Shoreline protections in the CRAs:

Martin County has more than 135 miles of shoreline, 8 of those are in a CRA area. In the video below, Susan Kores, Manager of the Office of Community Development, discusses a new policy which establishes a 25 foot shoreline protection zone in the CRA center, the historic and more urbanized commercial cores of these areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CRA?

A Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is a public entity that finances redevelopment within focused, geographic areas.  These areas tend to be those neighborhoods where there is a need to reverse deterioration, create jobs, revitalize the business climate, increase property values and encourage active participation and investment by citizens.

Under Florida law, local governments can designate areas as Community Redevelopment Areas when certain conditions exist. In order to be established, a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) follows the guidelines outlined in the Community Redevelopment Act found in the Florida Statutes, Chapter 163, Part III.

What does a CRA do?

First: Develop and adopt a Community Redevelopment Plan. The plan should address the unique needs of the targeted area and include overall goals as well as identify programs and projects.

Second: Establish a Redevelopment Trust Fund enabling the CRA to direct a percentage of property tax revenues to the target areas in order to implement the redevelopment plan.

Third: Carry out revitalization and redevelopment within designated communities, using the plan and employing the most appropriate use of resources consistent with the public interest. 

What is the history of Martin County CRA?

The Martin County Community Redevelopment Agency was established following significant public outreach and planning dating back to the early 1990s.  The County and its residents sought to create livable communities to include:

  • Vibrant city, town and village centers that serve strong, surrounding neighborhoods
  • Extensive system of local streets, sidewalks and bikeways
  • Strategically located, high quality schools, libraries, and other public buildings
  • Functional and attractive infrastructure
  • Extensive system of parks, greenways and open spaces

The first Community Redevelopment Areas to be established were the Jensen Beach CRA and Port Salerno CRA in 1999, followed by the Rio and Hobe Sound Community Redevelopment Areas in 2000; and the Golden Gate and Old Palm City in 2002. Martin County's Community Redevelopment Agency was created by Ordinance 517 on June 24, 1997.  The general provisions and definitions are included in Martin County's Code of Ordinances under Chapter 39.

How does it work?

Redevelopment projects in each of the six areas are coordinated by the Martin County Community Redevelopment Agency staff and implemented by a team of partners that include County departments, private business and engaged citizens. Each Community Redevelopment Area is guided by a Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC).

Neighborhood Advisory Committees are volunteer advisory committees comprised of residents, business owners and property owners appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. The NACs work with the residents, County staff and the CRA. NAC members provide advice and recommendations to the CRA regarding the implementation of projects adopted in each Community Redevelopment Plan. They are the conduit through which the community speaks.

The Martin County Board of County Commissioners delegated certain powers to a citizen appointed Community Redevelopment Agency Board in the adoption of Ordinance 1015. The CRA Board members review the recommendations of the NACs, adopt redevelopment plans and budgets and provide direction to staff. The CRA Board is comprised of seven members, representing each CRA area with one member-at-large, all appointed by the Martin County Board of County Commissioners.

How is it funded?

CRA projects are largely funded by Tax Increment Financing (TIF) from each redevelopment area. When a redevelopment area is established, the current assessed value of the property within the project area is designated as the base year value. TIF is a mechanism which captures a percentage of any new tax revenue generated within a redevelopment area. For example, if a CRA area is established in 2001, the Agency receives a percentage of any tax revenue greater than the amount of revenue captured in that base year.  This percentage can range between 50% and 95%.

Currently, our six CRA areas receive 75% of this increase as TIF funds to be used in the community redevelopment areas, as allocated by the Board of County Commissioners. TIF funds collected from a particular CRA area are invested back into that area only. 

Generating TIF is not an additional tax levy or a supplementary assessment on property owners. It is not an additional tax. TIF is an economic development tool used to leverage funds to promote private sector investment within the primary urban service boundary, and to generate revenues to finance projects.

LOCAL TAX REVENUE INVESTED LOCALLY!

How do I contact CRA Staff?

The CRA is housed in the Office of Community Development. This team of professionals, led by Community Development Manager Susan Kores, works across county government, directly with residents through the NACs, and with private developers and other organizations to support these unique and special communities.

We work diligently, continuously identifying and pursuing appropriate funding opportunities within state, federal and local agencies to support CRA initiatives; building public/private partnerships and overseeing projects.  We are building the Visions as identified by each community!

If you have any questions about the Martin County CRA, you can submit your inquiry via our online form, or contact us below. 

Staff organization:

Susan Kores
Office of Community Development Manager
Contact

Jana Cox
Community Development Specialist
Contact

Golden Gate CRA:
Joshua Mills
Project Manager
Contact

Hobe Sound CRA:
James Clasby
Project Manager
Contact

Jensen Beach CRA:
James Clasby
Project Manager
Contact

Old Palm City CRA:
Jordan Pastorius
Sr. Project Manager
Contact

Port Salerno CRA:
Joshua Mills
Project Manager
Contact

Rio CRA:
Jordan Pastorius
Sr. Project Manager
Contact

Office of Community Development
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2401 SE Monterey Road
Stuart, Florida 34996
(772) 463-3253

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