Item No. 5.D
Meeting Date: May 13, 2013
From: Bill Wiley, AICP, Community Development Director
Subject: Ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances creating the US Hwy 441/27 Community Redevelopment Agency (US Hwy 441/27 CRA) district Corridor Street Scape/Façade Incentive Grant Program to encourage businesses to improve the appearance of commercial properties along US Hwy 441/27 corridor.
The Planning staff recommends approval of the referenced amendment to the Code of Ordinances Chapter 2, Article IV, Division 10, Section 2-168.
On April 12, 2010, the City Commission adopted a sign grant program for the US Hwy 441/27 Community Redevelopment Agency District to encourage replacement of nonconforming ground/freestanding signage along the US Hwy 441/ 27 corridor.
The purpose of the US Hwy 441/27 CRA district Matching Sign Grant Program was to enhance the architectural character of the streetscape along US Hwy 441/27 within the CRA. Funding is available on a first come-first serve basis. However, the program is subject to the availability of funds annually.
The next step toward continued enhancement of the appearance of the US Hwy 441/27 corridor is to improve landscaping and building facades along the corridor. With that in mind, the Commission has directed staff to develop a corridor Street Scape/Façade Incentive Grant Program. The following program represents the staff’s recommendation for such a program.
In brief, the program will allow for grants (maximum two) to be submitted by property owners or businesses for streetscape landscaping or building façade improvements that are located within one hundred (100) feet of the right-of-way of the US441/27 and Dixie Ave. corridors in selected areas. Grants will be awarded on a 50-50 matching basis for a maximum of $4,000 per streetscape (landscaping) and $6,000 per building facade application. Where two grants are awarded, a maximum of $8,000 shall apply. The attached map Exhibit A delineates the areas along the corridors eligible for funding.
1. Approve the recommended amendments to the Code of Ordinances Chapter 2 per Exhibit A.
2. Approve the recommended amendments to the Code of Ordinances Chapter 2 including all of the US Hwy 441/27 CRA corridors.
3. Other such action as the Commission may deem appropriate
Staff is reviewing funding due to the current budget constraints and will present funding options, if any, at the second reading.
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. _BLM,__WVS______
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager ___________________
Account No. _018-6191-559-8214___
Project No. __N/A_____________
WF No. ______________________
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, REVISING CHAPTER 2, ARTICLE IV OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES PERTAINING TO ADVISORY BOARDS; DIVISION 10 COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY, SECTION 2-168 IN GENERAL BY ADDING SECTION 2-168.2 CORRIDOR STREET SCAPE/FACADE INCENTIVE GRANT PROGRAM PROVISIONS; REPEALING CONFLICTING ORDINANCES; PROVIDING A SAVINGS CLAUSE; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, the City of Leesburg through the Comprehensive Plan and visioning design charettes of its citizens desires to enhance and beautify the main traffic corridors leading into Leesburg; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission, in order to accomplish this goal has established on February 13, 2006 the US Highway 441/27 Community Redevelopment Agency District (441/27 CRA) to encourage business redevelopment and enhance the character of the streetscape along US 27/441; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission desires to encourage beautification of the streetscape along the US 441/27 corridor to enhance the goals of the 27/441 CRA district; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission desires to offer grants to reduce the cost for the installation of streetscape corridor improvements as an encouragement for business development within the CRA district to support the City’s economic development goals;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
Chapter 2, Article IV, Division 10, Section 2-168 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Leesburg is hereby amended to read as follows:
ARTICLE IV COMMISSIONS, BOARDS, AGENCIES, AUTHORITIES AND COMMITTEES
DIVISION 10 COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Section 2-168.2 Corridor Street Scape/Facade Incentive Grant Program.
Section 1: Purpose
The purpose of the US Highway 441/27 Community Redevelopment Agency District (441/27 CRA) Corridor Street Scape/Façade Incentive Grant Program is to encourage business redevelopment and enhance the character of the streetscape along US 441/27 within the Community Redevelopment Agency District (CRA) as delineated on attached Exhibit A. The program provides public CRA matching funds up to fifty (50%) percent for improvement projects for landscaping along corridor streets and improvements to the appearance of building facades as per the limits of the program. Funds are appropriated annually in the CRA budget, and funding is available on a first come first serve basis. However, the program may be subject to the availability of funds.
Improvements shall be designed, constructed and maintained to compliment and accent the US441/27 commercial corridor streetscape. Improvements should be in harmony with the overall intent of the incentive program.
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 City’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 one hundred (100) feet of the right-of-way of the US441/27 and Dixie Ave. corridors in selected areas within the CRA district 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. The attached map Exhibit A delineates the areas along the corridors eligible for funding. Those areas are from Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. on the north south on Citrus Blvd. (US441/27) south to one hundred (100) feet south of Middlesex Road and east on North Blvd. (US 441) to Nichols Dr. including a portion of S. Dixie Ave.
Applications will not be accepted from property owners (and tenants of property owners) who are delinquent on their property taxes. Applicants must not have any outstanding code liens or code violations that cannot be remedied with the grant assistance.
A maximum of two grants per property will be awarded within any one fiscal year.
Section 4: Available funding and matching requirement
Grants are given on a 50-50 matching basis for a maximum of $4,000.00 per streetscape and $6,000 per building facade application. Where two grants are awarded, a maximum of $8,000 shall apply. 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. Grant awards are distributed after work on the project is completed, reviewed, and paid project bills submitted. No after-the-fact applications are eligible. Requirements shall be as follows:
1) $500 deposit which will be refunded with grant awarded upon completion of the project. Deposits will not be refunded to those who withdraw from the program prior to improvements.
2) Building improvements shall be designed, constructed and maintained to compliment and accent the architectural features of the building, if applicable. They should be in harmony with the overall street character of the corridor beautification program.
3) All color schemes shall accent the building as well as harmonize with adjacent buildings. Avoid colors that are loud, garish, harsh, or bright hues. Also avoid too many colors and select colors to highlight the architectural details.
4) All proposals must be in compliance with the City of Leesburg Land Development Code.
5) All projects must be completed within the required time frame of 120 calendar days. The staff may approve a thirty day extension due to weather or non-availability of materials. Paid receipts must be submitted to the City within 30 days of completion.
6) All improvements made pursuant to this grant program must be replaced, at no cost to the City, if damaged or if plantings die. No grants will be made to government owned properties, to tenants in government owned properties, or for property owner or occupied by any non-profit organizations.
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 Corridor Street Scape/Façade Incentive 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.
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 any landscaping or construction work begins. Grants will not be awarded to 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) 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
Section 6 Disclaimer
Neither the City of Leesburg, nor its affiliates, shall be responsible for the planning, design, or construction of improvements to property that is owned by the applicant. No warranties or guarantees are expressed or implied by the description of, application for or participation in the Corridor Street Scape/Façade Incentive. The applicant is advised to consult with licensed architects, engineers, or building contractors before proceeding with final plans or construction.
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 upon its passage and adoption according to law.
PASSED AND ADOPTED at the regular meeting of the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, held on the day of , 2013.
David Knowles, Mayor
Betty M. Richardson, City Clerk
EXHIBIT A CONT.
EXHIBIT A CONT.