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Commissioner Moore: More progress needed for Apopka's CRA to be renewed


The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is “tax increment funding started by the Florida Legislature and is a means of helping cities to capture additional revenues generated by the redevelopment and revitalization of specific areas.

Christine Moore, Orange County Commissioner for District 2, gave a presentation about the CRA to the Apopka City Council at its May 17th meeting and discussed its January 2024 renewal.

The original CRA plan was signed into law in 1994 and can be found on the City of Apopka’s website. The City of Apopka will ask the Orange County government for a 10-year extension of the 2017 updated plan in January.

The revenue that would have gone to the county now remains as extra shares of revenue that can be used to improve the City of Apopka. The CRA is currently bringing in an annual contribution of $482,090.

“The goal of the CRA is to aggressively apply county resources to a series of public programs which seek to induce or grow the flow of private capital into the city’s redevelopment area,” Moore said.

Moore said that to ensure the money is well spent, Florida statutes require that CRAs focus on the revitalization of communal blight. Blight is defined as “an agent or action that harms or ruins the value or success of something.”  She said that “bad traffic management, insufficient roadway networks, infrastructure deficiencies such as street lighting, sanitary sewer, stormwater drainage, vacated properties, and potentially high crime” are all examples of blight under the Florida statute.

Some positive developments resulting from the CRA in Apopka are the renewal of the parking lot on Sixth Street and the businesses and restaurants that subsequently moved in and are operating in the area. Moore said that the City of Apopka should begin constructing the Promenade and connections to the West Orange Trail sidewalk before January because the progress would help the City Council’s extension request. 

The 2017 plan suggests creating an awards program for the beautification and economic development of the community. Moore said that the county could register a group of people or a museum to register homes that have historical value. She also said that the City Council should find people to “champion” specific streets and that she would be happy to train them and get them involved.

Moore said that “underutilized strategies which need a champion” are infrastructure, administration, economic development, business support, project strategy, and historical property recognition. Examples of historical property recognitions were listed as Dr. Howard A. Kelly Park, the oldest Masonic Lodge in continuous use in Florida, the Community of Piedmont, Lovell’s Landing at Lake Apopka, Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, and the Apopka Schoolhouse.

“I’d like to see more progress, and of course, I’d never want to cast a vote to say ‘no’ because I want you to have the money. I’m just encouraging you to see a little more progress.”

--Orange County Commissioner Christine Moore

Moore used the City of Saint Cloud as an example of beautification with murals of historical significance painted in popular areas. She said that it might be a good idea for the City of Apopka to do something like this with the funds from the CRA. 

The 2017 updated CRA plan shows that vacant properties have increased by 173.13%, from 67 properties in 1993 to 183 properties in 2016. Moore said the statistics gave her “pause” as she reviewed the plan. City Commissioner Nick Nesta said that the data was concerning and that he doesn’t want to see the number continue to grow.

Mayor Bryan Nelson asked Moore to let the Council know where she thinks they should or should not spend the funds. He also pointed out that Apopka’s CRA does not have an overhead cost like some other CRAs in the county.

Nesta asked Moore if she thought the City of Apopka would receive approval for the request of an extension if they continued operating as they have for the past three years.

Moore said she came to the meeting to let the City Council know that she was concerned. She suggested that more progress be made before the City of Apopka is in front of the Orange County government in January to request the 10-year extension.

“I’d like to see more progress, and of course, I’d never want to cast a vote to say ‘no’ because I want you to have the money,” Moore said. “I’m just encouraging you to see a little more progress.”

Community Redevelopment Act, Apopka, Apopka City Council, CRA, Blight, Orange County Commissioner Christine Moore


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  • MamaMia

    I am a fan of painting murals around the city, whether at Christine's suggestion, or the barber shop guy's suggestions. What the McLeod law firm wants, the patriotic scene, sounds very nice! I hope the painters stay away from the graffiti style of murals, that would not be a plus, IMO. I can see that sort of art on the sides of the railroad cars parked up in Plymouth. I have seen the beautiful murals of Lake Placid, FL and it really enriches the city there, especially when they have their art and craft festivals. They are known for their murals, and the growing of the fancy colorful leaf plants, the caladiums. I have been out there to the fields and fields of beautiful caladiums. The lady who painted the mural on the store at Votaw and Thompson, did a beautiful job! I don't want to envision graffiti style art murals in this city, with our city's colonial style buildings downtown....yikes. Don't go there, please, that is all I ask, as a citizen.

    Friday, May 19, 2023 Report this

  • Jackdo

    I agree with Mama Mia.

    There is a lot of local talent around to make this happen. I'm glad to see our businesses get ion board

    Friday, May 19, 2023 Report this