Community Redevelopment Agency
The mission of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is to improve the commercial and residential viability and livability of the commercial district an neighborhoods within the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) area. This is accomplished by implementing projects and activities which empower business owners and residents to enhance and improve the CRA by encouraging and implementing activities that promote sustainable economic growth.
The Winter Garden Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is a public agency that was created by the City Commission in June of 1992 in accordance with the provisions of the Florida Statutes. The CRA is charged with undertaking redevelopment functions in the specified community redevelopment district. The CRA boundary encompasses the Downtown Historic District, East Winter Garden and the East Plant Street corridor terminating at the SR 429. Please click on the map link to see detailed boundary.
The Agency is made up of a board, an advisory board, and city staff. The Board, which consists of the Mayor, City Commission and an Orange County Commission appointed member, is the decision making body. A seventh member may be appointed by the City Commission. The Advisory Board is a nine member and one Orange County representative made up of city and CRA residents and business owners appointed by the City Commission. City staff works with the CRA Board and Advisory Board to carry out the CRA Plan and manages the tax increment fund (TIF).
The CRA Board is authorized to exercise all the powers conferred by Part III, Chapter 163, Florida Statutes and as described in the delegation of authority ordinance listed below. The CRA Board convenes as needed during regularly scheduled City Commission meetings. The City Commission has appointed Larry Cappleman as the 7th member to the board.
Agendas and Minutes Page
Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board
The Community Redevelopment Advisory Board shall have all duties and responsibilities as may be formally delegated by the Community Redevelopment Agency, but shall, at a minimum, be responsible for the preparation and implementation of the community redevelopment plan through its recommendations to the community redevelopment agency.
Current CRA Advisory Board Members
The CRA Advisory Board meets as needed, quarterly, on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, 5:00 p.m., City Hall 3rd Floor Conference Room.
The Winter Garden CRA is funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). Tax increment funds are derived from ad valorem property taxes. The CRA is not a taxing authority nor does it set millage rates or assess property. Tax increment funds come through existing taxing entities including the City of Winter Garden and Orange County. The method of determining the amount of funding the CRA receives each fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) is described below.
When the CRA was created in 1992 the assessed value of the area was set as the base year tax base. Thereafter, the taxes from additional increases in property values are dedicated to the redevelopment agency. In each subsequent year, the Orange County Property Appraiser determines the taxable value of the area. The difference between the taxable value of the base year and the current year is calculated. This is referred to as the "increment". The increment is multiplied by the millage rate of each contributing taxing entity. Specifically, the City of Winter Garden and Orange County. The taxing entity remits 95 percent of increment to the CRA Trust Fund.
Tax rates are established each September. The current millage rate is $4.50.
The City of Winter Garden offers the following Community Redevelopment Agency programs:
Business Facade Matching Grant Program (CRA)
The primary objective is to encourage revitalization and preservation of commercial buildings by offering financial and technical assistance for facade rehabilitation and improvements. This, in turn, improves the aesthetics of the entire CRA and encourages private investment that leads to increased property values. This program supports the CRA Plan as envisioned under 7.4 Economic Programs.
Microloan Program (CRA)
The Micro-Loan Program is designed to provide small businesses located within the City of Winter Garden an additional borrowing option. The Program would fall under the SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE BANKING PROGRAM umbrella, established through a $1million investment by the City, and administered by Seacoast Bank. $250K of the original investment was earmarked for the development of a micro-loan program for the exclusive use of qualifying companies located within the City of Winter Garden. Loans range from $5,000 to $25,000.
The Florida Brownfields Program (FBP) is used as a mechanism to voluntarily clean and redevelop brownfields sites and areas which by definition are abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial properties where expansion, reuse, or redevelopment may be complicated by real or perceived environmental issues. (376.79(3), FS)
The City of Winter Garden adopted the Brownfields Program in 2008. The CRA Advisory Board also serves as the Brownfields Advisory Board.
Winter Garden Historic District
There is a historic district within the CRA area. There are architectural design standards that are applicable to all properties within the district.