DAYTONA BEACH — Back in 1982, the Volusia County Council agreed to let Daytona Beach designate 499 acres of its downtown as a community redevelopment area until 2012. It was understood the designation would need to remain in place for a good stretch of time to have a shot at eradicating blight in the redevelopment zone that runs from Main Street down to South Street, and from the Halifax River to a few blocks west of Ridgewood Avenue.
The county later agreed to let the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area remain in place until 2036, which gave the city a total of 54 years to collect millions of property tax dollars that would have gone to the county. Now city officials are talking about extending that CRA sunset date even farther into the future, possibly to 2069, to fund maintenance of Riverfront Park after it undergoes a $15 million facelift.
That would give the redevelopment area in the city’s historic core a total of 87 years.
The proposal is likely to draw both cheerleaders and critics. But before a County Council vote is even considered, county and city leaders have to figure out if there’s a legal way to grant that extension or something similar to it. Even if the county’s answer is yes, it won’t be as simple as choosing a number of years for an extension.