Coral Springs will go ahead with the creation of a business improvement district for its Corporate Park only after seeking more buy in from property owners and tenants within the facility.
The City Commission, which had tentatively approved an ordinance for the creation of the special district, decided to put off a decision on the issue until its meeting on Oct. 21. City staff will organize two meetings with property owners and tenants in the Corporate Park in the intervening period.
The decision of the city officials to defer the issue follows a lukewarm response from property owners to two meetings that the city had organized earlier this month. According to Deputy City Manager Jennifer Bramley, notices were sent out to about 1,000 property owners and businesses within the facility, but only about 25 of them turned up to listen to staff describe the purpose of the proposed district.
Vice Mayor Larry Vignola, whose parents own property in the area, said the low turnout could be because of a miscommunication on the city’s part.
The letter that was sent out did not mention anything about the creation of a special district and the introduction of a special assessment, he added.
Vignola encouraged property owners and tenants in the Corporate Park to seek more details about the proposed district from city officials and staff. “I think all of us would love to talk to you and hear what you have to say,” he said. “I know there are a lot of businesses out there who have taken care of their own property, but there could be some improvements that could be made out there that will benefit everybody.”
Some of the property owners were under the impression that the economic development advisory committee, appointed recently by the city commission, would be the decision-making authority for the Corporate Park, said Mayor Skip Campbell.
“There has been a lot of misinformation about what is being attempted to make this a better area with the owners controlling everything. I want to make sure the property owners get the right information.”
The proposed business improvement district will use the money that comes in from the special assessments to improve the infrastructure and aesthetics of the Corporate Park. The Corporate Park, which was set up in 1963, is spread over 442 acres and currently has 233 property owners and 244 businesses.
The creation of the district will take about 18 months. The city will hire a consultant before the end of the calendar year to do a needs assessment. It will also finalize a methodology to tax the businesses within the facility.
The improvement district will be governed by a board that will include businesses owners and property owners from within the Park. The board will maintain the facilities at the Park and use the money generated from the special assessment to fund improvements at the facility. It will also be in charge of marketing the Park.
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