Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.

Lake City News

Lake City Community Redevelopment
Ramping Up To Clean Up

Last night in city hall, Lake City's Community Redevelopment Agency met to approve the final steps to expand the downtown redevelopment area.

IBI's  master planner, Kurt Easton, along with Suzanne Thompson, IBI's landscape architect and project manager, explained the details required to expand the redevelopment area and the requirements that must be met to be in compliance with the Florida statutes.

The Expanded Area

Mr. Easton points out to the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and visitors the recommended  expansion, which are the areas bordered in yellow. The total redevelopment area is 3.3% of the city. To see a map of just the area, go here.

In order to qualify, the area must have blight (the blight list)

Mr. Easton explained that only two of the above fourteen conditions must be met to expand the CRA. The items in orange are the conditions which the study found. Mr. Easton said the area probably met a couple more of the conditions.

Unsanitary or unsafe conditions (item d on the blight list)

Everyone who has driven or walked through the downtown and adjacent areas has seen these blocks of the city fester and run down for years. All these areas will now be given a priority by the city and a plan for renovation and rehabilitation.

Property values went down (item b on the blight list)

The property values in the area have sunk. IBI wanted to use five years of data, however, the Property Appraiser's Office could only compile data for the past two years. The reason for this is not clear.

3% of the city - 22% of the crime (item j on the blight list)

Everyone knows that blighted areas are a breeding ground for crime. Mr. Easton pointed out what everyone knew, a large proportion of city crime occurs in the blighted area. Go here to view the chart above.

Everyone is always welcome to participate in Lake City

Mr. Easton listens as Barbara Jeffords asks a question regarding the determination of the boundaries of the expanded area. Sitting to Mr. Easton's left is IBI's Ms. Thompson, who also participated in the conversation.


At the conclusion of the public hearing, City Attorney Herbert Darby, explained that Lake City must now comply with the Florida Statutes by passing a resolution and sending notice to the County and all governmental agencies as required, meeting strict time limits.

After years of neglect, a new spirit is building in the downtown, as well as Lake City.

Soon there will be public meetings to discuss the redevelopment of Lake City's downtown.

If you care about the redevelopment of Lake City's downtown and the whole of the City, Lake City invites you to participate and be involved.

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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