WINTER PARK, Fla. — Residents in West Winter Park say they feel a new Community Redevelopment Agency map will keep the black communities in the city in the shadows.
Wednesday, City Commissioners held a meeting to discuss the extension of the current CRA.
The CRA is a re-invest of tax dollars into the community, adding affordable housing and other improvements in predominantly black neighborhoods.
Residents are concerned the expansion will divert funds from existing needs, like stormwater mitigation systems, traffic and infrastructure issues, and the overdevelopment of massive townhomes and apartment units.
“You got to do better before you can even talk about the CRA expansion. You have to clean up what you’re doing here right now or it’s going to be worse,” said Sheila Reid, a West Winter Park Resident.
The current CRA covers the West side, where developers have planned to add a 53-unit apartment and townhome complex on nearly 5 acres of land.
“I think it’s too much, and I think it needs to stop,” said Aubrey Reed, a long-time resident of West Winter Park.
Residents told Eyewitness News they are concerned the new developments in the area would price them out of the city.
The CRA expansion would stretch towards Lee Road and Fairbanks.
City officials said the CRA Agency allocated $5 million over the next few years to address flooding within the existing CRA boundary.
Also, the expansion along Fairbanks will allow the CRA to address additional flooding needs over the next few years.
“We’re going to be left out of the expansion,” said Reid.
The CRA is currently working with the county to receive an extension of time and an expansion.
The original boundary of the CRA would have an additional ten more years to continue to receive investment in the safety and security of local infrastructure at an expanded level.
City Officials also said the expansion of the CRA zones will not add any additional tax burden but allow property tax revenue that would otherwise go to general country use instead and go demanding needs by the CRA.
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