Letter from Kim Glas-Castro, AICP LEED AP, Planning, Zoning & Building Director for the Village of Palm Springs, to the House Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee of the House State Affairs Committee on HB 9 (LaMarca) / March 5, 2019:
As a professional planner who works for a municipality, in addition to serving as Vice Mayor for the Town of Lake Park, I am writing to express concerns with proposed House Bill 9.
CRAs are an economic development tool and an important means for cities to overcome slum and blight.
We acknowledge that there should be accountability and transparency in a CRAs activities, and have no issues with additional requirements for reporting and training.
The proposal that all new CRAs be created via countywide referendum is overly burdensome and not realistic. This portion of the bill needs to be revisited.
Redevelopment is a long process. In the Town of Lake Park, our CRA was created in 1996. Due to a slow rebound after the great recession, we are just now receiving renewed interest from investors. We are on the cusp of redevelopment activity, but will need additional time beyond our 2026 timeframe. The proposal that CRAs sunset in 2039 or as currently chartered does not allow continuation of CRAs that are just beginning to bring the change that is needed in our communities. This portion of the bill also needs to be revisited.
I welcome a meeting with any of you to discuss the benefits of a CRA.
Kim Glas-Castro, AICP LEED AP
Planning, Zoning & Building Director
Village of Palm Springs