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Community Redevelopment Area (CRA)
What is a CRA?
Kelly N. Gibson, Senior Planner

204 Ash Street
Fernandina Beach, FL  32034

Ph: (904) 310-3135
Fax: (904) 310-3460

8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday - Friday
Redevelopment - Its the "revitalization" of  a public area. AND, the "preservation" of a community's history. Its about building cohesiveness within "our community."

Community Redevelopment Agency (“CRA”) refers to a public entity created by a city or county to implement the community redevelopment activities outlined under the Community Redevelopment Act which was enacted in 1969 (Chapter 163, Part III, Florida Statutes). The CRA is established by the local government and functions within that local government. The City Commision sits as the Community Redevelopment Agency and makes all final decisions on actions or expenditures within the CRA (area). 

A CRA is:
  • Anything spent outside the plan or area
  • Eminent domain for redevelopment purposes
  • General government line items
  • Grants or donations to non-profits or events that have nothing to do with the redevelopment plan
  • Salaries for city staff that do not work directly on CRA activities
  • Maintenance normally done by the City
  • Comprehensive planning, zoning or land use

Amelia River Waterfront CRA
CRA Boundary_2013_thumb.jpg
Quick Facts:
-City Commission is the “CRA Agency”
- CRA Area totals 39.5 acres
59 Total Properties
*14 Publicly owned = 19.7 Acres
*45 Private ownership = 19.8 Acres
In 2005, City established the Amelia River Waterfront Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). The purpose of the CRA is to identify objectives and strategies for addressing the conditions of blight in a manner appropriate to the community. A Finding of Necessity (FON) was accepted by the City in 2004 citing the following conditions were present in the area:

Inadequate street layout, parking facilities
  • The railroad divides the waterfront district from the Centre Street area, limiting access to the waterfront. 
  • Lack of pedestrian facilities along Front Street. 
  • Parking facilities at the south end of Front Street are unpaved.

Unsanitary or unsafe conditions
  • Economically obsolete industrial buildings adjacent to Front Street.
  • Industrial debris and deteriorating pier structures.
  • Sense of safety for pedestrians arriving from cruise ships due to lack of pedestrian facilities along Front Street. 
  • Illegal dumping in vacant lots.

Deterioration of site or other improvements
  • Deterioration of structures on industrial, commercial, and public properties.

Inadequate and outdated building density patterns 
  • Lack of buffers between industrial and residential uses.
  • Lack of usability by pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Traffic flow for industrial uses.

Amelia River Waterfront CRA Plan Summary:
  • Act as a catalyst for change by creating functional and aesthetic improvements to spark redevelopment
  • Take a leadership role in efforts --> “visual evidence” that the City believes in itself
  • Generate activity and renewed interest --> expand recreational opportunities + improve pedestrian access

CRA Advisory Board

In 2012, the Commission appointed an advisory board to research, investigate, and consider options that would support accomplishment of the CRA plan and its goals. The advisory board consists of 7 member that fall into one of the following categories and 1 non-voting City Commissioner:

  • 3 – Legal Professional or Financial Professional or Marketing/Advertising/Branding Professional or Economic Development Professional or General Contractor or Developer or Project Manager or Real Estate Professional or Architect or Engineer or Landscape Professional or Former City Commissioner
  • 2 – City Residents or Property Owners or Business Owners
  • 1 – Business Owner or Property Owner (or their agent) within the Amelia River Waterfront CRA
  • 1 – Resident of the Amelia River Waterfront CRA or within one-mile radius

The board currently meets twice each month on the 1st Thursday of each month at 3:15 PM at City Hall. Members of the public are always welcome to attend and particiapte in discussions.