What makes a neighborhood eligible for redevelopment?
According to state law, a redevelopment area must have serious problems known as "blight." Blighting conditions may be social, economic, physical, or a combination of factors.
|A redevelopment area will have some, but usually not all of the deficiencies listed below. A combination of deficiencies can be described as blight and can qualify a neighborhood for redevelopment.|
Examples of Physical Deficiencies:
- Confusing or inefficient street patterns
- Inadequate infrastructure* such as unpaved streets, lack of sidewalks and street lights, and lack of aging or improperly sized storm drains, water lines and sewer lines.
- Aging, deteriorating and poorly maintained houses, sometimes intermingled with well maintained or historic houses
- Lack of safe and convenient sidewalks
- Lack of attractive, usable open spaces
- A clutter of utility lines and poles and a lack of architectural unity and quality
- Code violations and unsafe houses
*Infrastructure is defined as services and facilities that support development and are provided by city and/or county government, including roads, highways, water, sewer, storm drainage, flood control, emergency services, parks and recreation and so on. Also known as public improvements.
Examples of Economic Deficiencies:
- Very low property values as compared to other neighborhoods
- Loss of jobs and businesses
- Inadequate, irregular-sized or landlocked lots
- Incompatible land uses
- Increasing need for public services
- A high percentage of low income residents
Examples of Social Deterioration:
- Lack of neighborhood identity
- Poverty and unemployment
- Crime, drugs, overcrowding, abandoned buildings, juvenile delinquency
- Lack of adequate housing
- Lack of a positive community image
Community Redevelopment - FAQs:
- What is redevelopment?
Redevelopment is a process created by city and county governments to eliminate blight from a designated area, and to achieve desired development, reconstruction and rehabilitation in the neighborhood.
- What is a redevelopment plan?
A redevelopment plan describes how the redevelopment will occur and shows what the area will look like in the future.
- Do Citizens have a voice in the redevelopment?
Residents' and property owners' ideas, support and continuing involvement are crucial to a successful redevelopment program. Without citizen input, any redevelopment plan will falter.
- Why is redevelopment important?
Redevelopment is one of the most effective ways to breathe new life into blighted areas that are plagued by a variety of social, physical, environmental and economic conditions. These conditions act as a barrier to new investments and result in a lower standard of living for residents.
Redevelopment is a process that has the authority, scope and financial means to provide the necessary stimulus to reverse deteriorating trends, remedy blight, and create a new image for a neighborhood. Community redevelopment operates under the control of a city or county government with advisory input from residents.
Neighborhoods with limited financial resources can use redevelopment to improve property, build better homes, create jobs, stimulate private development and create investment.
- Comprehensive Planning
- Citizen Participation
- Public and Private partnerships
- Improved Infrastructure
- Improved Buildings
- What does it mean to be in a redevelopment area?
If you live or own property in a redevelopment area you have an opportunity to improve the quality of life for your neighborhood. A redevelopment program is a partnership between residents and the local government.
- Residents may benefit from redevelopment in the following ways:
- New construction and remodeling
- Availability of bank loans to buy, build and improve property
- Elimination of poor health and safety conditions
- Improved streets, drainage and other infrastructure
- Increased property values
- Attractive landscaping and public features
- Improved fire protection (hydrants)
- Commitment of public resources
- A sense of pride and accomplishment
- If I live in a redevelopment area, will people think I live in a slum?
NO! For example, in Pinellas County redevelopment areas are located in downtown St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Dunedin, Gulfport, and Oldsmar. These are not "bad" areas; they are areas where a concentration of public investment can correct problems. If you live in a redevelopment area, it does not mean that your home is blighted or that you live in a slum. It does mean that you live in a neighborhood which needs public improvement such as better streets, sidewalks, street lighting, curbs and gutters, fire hydrants and storm drainage. You may live in a neighborhood that could benefit from home repairs and beautification. And it means that there is a commitment from the local government to help you make your neighborhood a better place to live.
- I like my home and my neighbors, will I lose my home and have to leave the area?
Redevelopment is for the benefit of the residents. Living in a redevelopment area does not mean that you will be forced to leave. There may be some need for relocation or rebuilding of existing buildings, but these activities are part of a carefully thought-out redevelopment plan designed to fulfill the needs of the majority of residents. The few people whose homes need to be rebuilt or relocated will receive generous financial payments so they will not have to leave the neighborhood. By law, no one can be forced to move until they have a suitable decent, safe and sanitary home to move into.
- How long does redevelopment take?
Redevelopment does not happen overnight. It takes hard work and careful planning. People are often anxious to see the signs of new construction, but it is essential to make the right choices so that the objectives of the plan can be achieved.
- I do not live in a blighted area, should I care about redevelopment?
As a neighborhood is improved and the causes of blight are eliminated, the entire community through the creation of new or renovated homes, attractive public areas and the renewal of civic pride.
Because you do not live in a blighted area, or because you avoid such areas, does not mean that you are safe from the effects of problems in the community. These problems affect you and cannot be ignored for the following reasons:
- Blighted areas become centers of poverty, overcrowding and crime over time.
When neighborhood conditions are not up to the standards of the rest of the community, property values go down. Thus the people who live there cannot afford to sell their property and move elsewhere, so they are trapped. If conditions continue to deteriorate, young people who might have been community leaders leave the neighborhood. Empty homes become "crack houses" or havens for rats and snakes. Elderly residents who are left behind often become easy targets for crime.
- Deterioration results in an economic drain on the community.
As businesses move farther away, jobs that would be available for people in the neighborhood are lost. People have to travel farther to shop. Dollars that flowed into the neighborhood from nearby businesses are lost. At the same time, the neighborhood begins to need more public services and welfare than the tax revenue produced in the neighborhood can fund. in other words, the neighborhood becomes a financial drain on the rest of the community.
- There are no natural barriers to blight.
Deterioration, if not stopped, tends to expand and affect surrounding areas. On the other hand, neighborhood improvements often have a dramatic positive effect. New homes and attractive spaces provide an incentive for others to improve their property and to take renewed pride in their neighborhood.
- How does this happen?
Once blight begins, many people in the community tend to ignore or avoid the area. The property owners are afraid to invest more money in improvements unless they are assured the entire area will be improved. Banks may refuse to lend money. There is no market for new homes. This combination of negative trends is very powerful. Foresight and courage are needed to meet the challenge of reversing downward economic, social and physical trends.
- Blighted areas become centers of poverty, overcrowding and crime over time.
A well planned and adequately funded strategy is required to stop deterioration in its tracks and begin the process of economic, social and physical revitalization.
Many major revitalization projects fail for a number of reasons. While good intentions and considerable efforts are made, the complexity of the task, the large amount of money needed, and the difficulty in coordinating diverse interests sometimes stymies public and private efforts at revitalization.
Multiplicity of ownership, inadequate public facilities, financial limitations, and widespread environmental decay place the possibility of revitalization beyond the reach of private builders and developers. Acting alone, the private sector does not have the legal authority to consolidate numerous properties for new development in an older area, and it can seldom afford the high cost of rebuilding a neighborhood. The high risk and lack of economic incentive prevents the private sector from reversing the downward trend in a blighted area without government assistance.
Community redevelopment is accomplished by forming a partnership of public and private interests. Public funds are used to provide the conditions that are necessary for private persons to be interested and capable of investing their dollars and manpower into the area. Public funds used for the improvement of streets, utilities, landscaping and also for the assembly of parcels of sufficient size for modern development. Thus existing or new property owners will have buildable property that can be developed over time in a desirable, attractive manner.
- Infrastructure Improvements
- New Construction
- Assembly of Land