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Inward Investment Guides
Options For Promoting Revitalization Without Redevelopment Agencies
How can areas without redevelopment agencies still spur community revitalization?
 

Kathy Thomas, Director, County of San Bernardino Redevelopment Agency
From the public sector perspective, there are a number of tools that can be utilized by jurisdictions to spur community revitalization. First and foremost, local governments need to improve communication with its stakeholders to understand needs before it can determine what and how it will achieve the desired goals of the community. Leveraging existing funds and increasing revenues are the highest priorities for most localities.

Depending on the size of the jurisdiction and other qualifications, jurisdictions can utilize federal and state programs such as Community Development Block Grants, HOME (HUD), U.S. Economic Development Grants, USDA Rural Development Grants, Enterprise Zones, U.S. EPA Brownfields Program, New Market Tax Credits, and Low Income Housing Tax Credits, to name a few. For most jurisdictions, enhancing the aesthetic quality and improving infrastructure are at the forefront. Though challenging, certain jurisdictions can benefit from the creation of Business Improvement Districts, Community Facilities Districts, Assessment Districts or Infrastructure Finance Districts.

Developing specialized fiscal and non-fiscal incentives designed to meet the needs of targeted industry clusters are also crucial that may include:
•Zoning strategies to help focus revitalization in targeted areas via mixed use zoning overlays or density/intensity bonuses.
•Credits for fees, dedications or other exactions can be applied to gain relief from some other project-related obligations.
•The reduction and forgiveness of fees, dedications or exactions is one of the simplest forms of inducement.
•Sales tax sharing agreements or rebates can be used to help pay for associated infrastructure.
•Fast Track Processing reduces the carrying cost of land during the entitlement and permitting phases.
•Development Agreements can be created to lock in existing regulations and requirements for a specified future time frame in exchange for negotiated public benefits.
•Credits or vouchers for pre-paid property taxes to private property owners engaged in best practices such as energy efficiency or native landscaping.

Finally, branding and promoting a community through cohesive marketing to enhance economic development and promotion of its assets.
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