The Planning staff recommends approval of the referenced amendment to the Code of Ordinances Chapter 2, Article IV, Division 10, Section 2-168.1 the Community Redevelopment Agency districts Matching Sign Grant Program.
On June 14, 2010 the Matching Sign Grant Program was adopted for the US Hwy 441/27 Community Redevelopment Agency District (CRA) as Section 2-165.1. On September 13, 2010 the CRA’s (Carver Heights/Montclair Area and Greater Leesburg) were added to the program in order for the program to be available to all the CRA districts. However, the program is subject to the availability of funds annually in each CRA budget. At this time the Carver Heights/Montclair Area CRA has not designated any funds for the program. Since funds are limited for the program, the proposed amendment will prohibit the awarding of funds to property owners that have received funds from other government agencies such as FDOT for replacement of their non-conforming signs.
1. Approve the recommended amendment to the Code of Ordinances Chapter 2 Section 2-168.1 to prohibit awarding funds where the property owners have received funds from other government agencies for replacement of their non-conforming signs.
2. Other such action as the Commission may deem appropriate.
There should be no fiscal impact to the City with the proposed change.
Department: Community Development
Prepared by: Bill Wiley, AICP
Attachments: Yes__X_ No ______
Advertised: ____Not Required ______
Attorney Review : Yes_X_ No ____
Reviewed by: Dept. Head __BW_____
Finance Dept. __________________
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager ___________________
Account No. _________________
Project No. ___________________
WF No. ______________________
ORDINANCE NO. _
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, AMENDING CHAPTER 2, ARTICLE IV OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES PERTAINING TO ADVISORY BOARDS; DIVISION 10 COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY, BY AMENDING SECTION 168.1 MATCHING SIGN GRANT PROGRAM PROVISIONS; REPEALING CONFLICTING ORDINANCES; PROVIDING A SAVINGS CLAUSE; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, the City Commission desires to encourage early replacement of nonconforming ground/freestanding signage along the US 441/27 corridor to enhance the goals of the 441/27, Carver Heights/Montclair Area, and Greater Leesburg Community Redevelopment Agency districts; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission on April 12, 2010 adopted the revised City of Leesburg Sign Code providing for the development of a sign grant program in the CRA districts; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission on June 14, 2010 adopted the Sign Grant Program for the US Highway 441/27 Community Redevelopment Agency District (US Hwy 441/27 CRA); and
WHEREAS, the City Commission September 13, 2010 made the Program available to the other two CRA’s (Carver Heights/Montclair Area and Greater Leesburg) which have boundaries along the US Hwy 441/27 corridor; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission desires to offer grants to reduce the cost for the installation of ground/freestanding signs as an encouragement for businesses within the CRA districts to conform to the City’s sign ordinance; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission realizes that CRA funds are limited for the Sign Grant Program and desires to prohibit awarding grants to property owners that are receiving funds from other government agencies such as FDOT for replacement of their non-conforming signs; and
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
Chapter 2, Article IV, Division 10, Section 168.1 is hereby amended to read as follows:
ARTICLE IV COMMISSIONS, BOARDS, AGENCIES, AUTHORITIES AND COMMITTEES
DIVISION 10 COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Section 2-168.1 Matching Sign Grant Program.
Section 1: Purpose
The purpose of the US Highway 441/27 Community Redevelopment Agency District (US Hwy 441/27 CRA), Carver Heights/Montclair Area and Greater Leesburg Community Redevelopment Agency districts Matching Sign Grant Program is to encourage early replacement of non-conforming ground/freestanding signs (wall and other signage not included) to enhance the architectural character of the streetscape along US 441/27 within the Community Redevelopment Agency Districts (CRA). The program provides public CRA matching funds for replacement of ground/freestanding signs to match private funds to pay for improvements with the CRA. Funds are appropriated annually in the CRA budgets, and funding is available on a first come first serve basis. However, the program may be subject to the availability of funds.
Signage shall be designed, constructed and maintained to compliment and accent the architectural features of the building. It should be in harmony with the overall character of the building.
Applicants are reminded that grant awards made are discretionary in nature and should not be considered an entitlement by the applicant. All grant criteria contained herein are guidelines for awards and successful applicants may receive any amount up to the maximum award. Should an application meet all grant criteria, a grant may or may not be awarded at the CRA Board’s discretion due to funding limitations, competing applications, and/or competing priorities.
Section 2: Eligibility requirements
The grant program is available to businesses and/or building owners that are located within the US 441/27 within the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) district, Carver Heights/Montclair Area and Greater Leesburg Community Redevelopment Agency districts of the City of Leesburg. Businesses must be properly licensed through the City’s Business Tax Registration Division and applicants must be a permitted/conforming use within the CRA district.
Applications will not be accepted from property owners (and tenants of property owners) who are delinquent on their property taxes or are receiving funds for replacement of their non-conforming signs from other government agencies such as FDOT. Applicants must not have any outstanding code liens or code violations that cannot be remedied with the grant assistance or any uncollected delinquent utilities payments.
Section 4: Available funding and matching requirement
Funds shall be allocated on a first come basis until each annual allocation for the program is expended. Any applicants not funded in the previous year will be carried over to the next year and given priority. Only one Grant shall be awarded per property and is subject to the availability of funds. The existence of the program does not guarantee all interested parties will receive funding. Tenants may qualify upon receipt of written consent of the owner of the building. All Grant funds awarded require a matching dollar for dollar expenditure by the owner/tenant. Funds up to $ 8,000 may be awarded based on the following reimbursement schedule.
The maximum reimbursement offered per sign is as follows:
Section 5: Application process
Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. The following chronology outlines the application process:
(1) The applicant obtains a Signage Matching Sign Grant Program Application. Application forms are available at Municipal Services Center from the Community Development Department and through the City’s website (www.leesburgflorida.gov). A pre-application meeting with City staff is required for submission of an application.
(2) The applicant completes the application and submits it to the staff for review and consistency with the CRA Redevelopment area, the Land Development Code, and any other applicable codes. The application package includes the following:
a. completed application and checklist
b. executed Property Owner and Agent Affidavit
c. copy of Warranty Deed or current year Tax Receipt showing the current fee simple titleholders of the property
d. proof of paid property taxes (current and previous two years)
e. copy of Business Tax Registration (current)
f. copy of an estimate from an outside source to verify that costs are within reasonable parameters. The City will have the final determination of “reasonable”.
g. photos of primary building areas to be improved.
h. site plan, drawn to an appropriate scale, on a maximum size 11" x 17" reproducible sheet (See checklist)
i. drawing of proposed sign with dimensions including descriptions or samples of proposed colors and/or materials
j. $500 deposit which will be refunded with grant awarded upon completion of sign. Deposits will not be refunded to those who withdraw from the program prior to sign replacement.
(3) The City shall have sole authority to award grants. If a grant application is denied, the applicant may reapply in the next funding cycle.
(4) Please note that applications must be reviewed and approved BEFORE sign or landscaping construction work begins. Grants will not be awarded to sign improvement projects that are under construction or completed prior to grant application.
(5) For approved grant projects, prior to construction of improvements, the applicant must submit and receive applicable building and other regulatory permits.
(6) Upon completion of the improvements, final inspection and approval by the City, and issuance of a certificate of occupancy (if applicable), the applicant submits a “reimbursement package” to the City which includes the following:
a. completed reimbursement form (provided by the City);
b. copies of applicable invoices or receipts;
c. proof of payment for improvements (which must be at least as much as the amount indicated in the application); and
d. photos of improvements (before and after).
Applicants will receive grant funding after the project is completed and all associated costs have been paid. Upon completion of approved work, in order to receive grant payment, the applicant must submit documentation of work completed and proof of payment. It is the responsibility of the award recipient to maintain proper documentation of funds expended in the course of completing the improvement project. Release of funds is subject to submission of this documentation. All improvements must be completed essentially as presented to the City in order to receive payment.
Acceptable documentation is defined as paid invoices/statements and/or schedule of values from vendors clearly detailing the work done, accompanied by copies of the cancelled check(s) showing payment accompanied by a vendor invoice.
(7) If the project is not completed, is not approved in its final inspection, or does not receive its certificate of occupancy (if applicable) within one year of award, the grant award shall expire. The applicant may request a 6 month extension. Extensions shall be granted by the CDD
If any portion of this ordinance is declared invalid or unenforceable, then to the extent it is possible to do so without destroying the overall intent and effect of this ordinance, the portion deemed invalid or unenforceable shall be severed herefrom and the remainder of this ordinance shall continue in full force and effect as if it were enacted without including the portion found to be invalid or unenforceable.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are in conflict with this ordinance are hereby repealed, to the extent necessary to alleviate the conflict, but shall continue in effect insofar as they are not in conflict herewith, unless repeal of the conflicting portion destroys the overall intent and effect of any of the conflicting ordinances, in which case those ordinances so affected shall be hereby repealed in their entirety.
This ordinance shall become effective immediately upon its passage and adoption.
PASSED AND ADOPTED at the regular meeting of the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, held on the day of , 2011.
THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA