Residential façade improvement grants OK'd for CRA district

Downtown in rain

With residential zoning coming downtown, grants to improve Community Redevelopment District residences will be available in the 2014-15 fiscal year. The program mirrors the CRA's current commercial facade improvement grant program.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 05:55 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The Community Redevelopment Agency board has unanimously approved a residential façade-improvement grant program for the district.

The board approved implementing the program since the CRA district encompasses more than the Main Street and historic districts.

Board member Tom Gordon moved to approve spending up to $50,000 of CRA money in the 2014-15 fiscal year to provide approved applicants with $5,000 grants.

The residential grants, like their commercial counterparts, would require a 50 percent match. They would not apply to rental units, which are considered commercial properties, City Clerk Betsy Roy said.

Since there had been no provisions for improving the CRA district’s residential areas, board member Robyn Helt said, “this policy was brought about to address that deficiency,”

“One thing this will do is see if there is any interest by the residents who live in the CRA,” Roy said. “It will show us if there is any interest to improve residential properties in the CRA district.”

The city awaits state approval to add residential zoning to the downtown historic district. It would allow the establishment of residential units over businesses and permit construction of new downtown residences.

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