Downtown Development Board (DDB)

Downtown Development Board

The Downtown Development Board (DDB) is composed of seven elected officials who act as an aid to the city, the Clearwater Redevelopment Agency and citizens to see that city services are properly planned and events are funded in the downtown area.

The Board assists in preparing and maintaining an analysis of the economic condition and changes; assists in formulating short and long-range plans for improving and developing Clearwater Downtown and advises on policies and procedures which succeed in bringing business and residents into the downtown district, improving its tax base and overall economic condition.

Downtown Development Board Area Map

Downtown Development Board Goals

A flourishing and prospering downtown, with rising property values, a successful, attractive and interesting mix of cultural, restaurant, retail, residential and office tenants that attracts and serves visitors from the local and surrounding area as well as travelers from around the world. Approved 4/2/14.

Purposes

Primary:

To promote, facilitate and support activities that sustain, promote and advance downtown revitalization and to attract businesses and residents to relocate and stay in the downtown area (per the DDB/CRA Interlocal Agreement).

Secondary:

  1. To advise the city and the CRA on policies and procedures which will succeed in bringing more businesses and residents into the downtown district and thus improve its tax base and overall economic conditions (per City Code Sec 2.149 point (4)).
  2. To survey downtown freeholders and businesses to determine needs and attitudes, to monitor progress, to evaluate success or failure of initiatives (per City Code Sec 2.149 point (7).
  3. To sponsor community events and encourage public attendance at such events in support of downtown merchants (per City Code Sec 2.149 point (7).
  4. To prepare and distribute public relations pieces such as, but not limited to, brochures and videos, district maps, etc. (per City Code Sec 2.149 point (7).
  5. To cooperate with the Chambers of Commerce, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and all others interested in promoting the district as a destination (per City Code Sec 2.149 point (7). Approved 4/2/14.

Ideal Scene:

Downtown streets bustling with foot traffic from locals and visitors patronizing shops, restaurants and cultural activities. Clean, attractive storefronts filled with customers. Desirable and accessible housing in the immediate downtown area resulting in a viable and reliable customer base for local businesses. Local workforce employed within the downtown area in high‐tech enterprises resulting in upwardly‐mobile, successful and affluent consumers of downtown products and services.

Rising property values, resulting in increasing revenues to the DDB allowing for even more successful developmental actions. Safe, upscale district offering desirable services and amenities to locals and visitors. High employment and rental rates, low vacancy rates for real estate of all types and an attractive, desirable destination for those wishing to relocate.

Approved 4/2/14.

Valuable Final Product:
A downtown that is being visibly transformed into an attractive and vibrant destination for residents, tourists, visitors, shopkeepers and office workers, in which to live, work and play, thus demonstrating a steady rise in property values and quality of life.

Approved 4/2/14. 

Downtown Development Board Background

In July 1970, the Clearwater Downtown Development Board Act(PDF, 2MB) was established by the State of Florida, allowing the city of Clearwater to revitalize and preserve downtown property values, prevent deterioration in its central business district; providing downtown property owners the power to solve problems on the local level. The Act outlined the geographic location of the downtown area, the powers created, the composition of the board and the bylaws that govern.

In January 1971 the city adopted Ordinance No. 1304(PDF, 832KB) providing for a special referendum election for the purpose of permitting downtown property owners to tax themselves, establishing a Special Taxing District.

In December 1993, the city adopted Ordinance No. 5510-93 amending the code, establishing that the Community Redevelopment Agency of the city shall have primary responsibility for planning downtown and redefining the powers and function of the board, created by this division, as an aid to the CRA.

Ordinance No. 5510-93(PDF, 808KB) deleted the board’s responsibility to recommend to the city actions deemed suitable for any downtown redevelopment plans; the board shall not participate in the implementation or execution of such plans; the board shall have no power or control over any city property unless assigned by City Council. The ordinance removed the authorization from the receipt of revenues from property and facilities and the issuance of revenue certificates.

The 1993 ordinance encouraged the formation of public-private partnerships between the CRA, the DDB, the Chamber of Commerce and others, to promote business relocation and assistance, provide loans, hire the unemployed, recruit business, seek energy credits and discounts and develop incentives.

The board shall recommend policies and procedures, which would lead to tax revenue growth including zoning issues, variances, beautification and building standards and assistance in obtaining state and federal funding.

The board shall identify needs for parking, signage, traffic flow, public safety, office space and other aspects of business enterprise.

The board shall promote activities, sponsor community events, distribute public information, cooperate with the Regional Chamber of Commerce to promote tourism, provide for art in the downtown district, market and provide assistance to downtown businesses and support the CRA.

Downtown Development Board Bylaws(PDF, 139KB)

Downtown Development Board Interlocal Agreement

The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the Downtown Development Board (DDB) have entered into an Interlocal Agreement, in which the DDB agrees to perform certain responsibilities and functions consistent with and in furtherance of the redevelopment of downtown in return for an amount equal to the difference between the increment payment and a management fee. The management of the DDB by CRA staff enables the CRA and the DDB to utilize the public dollars more efficiently.

The CRA Trustees executed the first Interlocal Agreement to provide personnel, administrative and management responsibilities to the DDB in F/Y 1999-00.

CRA/DDB Interlocal Agreement(PDF, 193KB)

Downtown Development Board Elections

2022 Downtown Development Board election results:

(The three candidates receiving the most votes won the three open seats)

Chiara Zaniboni -  155 votes

Keanan Kintzel – 152 votes

Shahab Emrani - 151 votes

Seven members serve on the Downtown Development Board for three-year terms. There are three seats open in the 2022 Downtown Development Board election:

Seat 1: January 2023 – December 2025 term

Seat 2: January 2023 – December 2025 term

To serve on the Downtown Development Board, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. You must own property in the DDB district.
  2. You must own a business in the DDB district.
  3. Your primary place of employment is within the DDB district.

If you’re interested in serving on the Downtown Development Board, please fill out the form below and email it to anne.lopez@myclearwater.com.

Election Application(PDF, 99KB)

To vote in the Downtown Development Board election:

  1. You must own property within the DDB district.
  2. You must complete a voter designation form. (To update your voter designation form, please contact Anne Lopez at anne.lopez@myclearwater.com or 727-562-4039.)

     

    Key Dates:

    • Aug. 5, 2022: Voter designation forms mailed to property owners.
    • Sept. 2, 2022: Deadline to be included on the ballot for the 2022 Downtown Development Board election.
    • Sept. 2, 2022: Deadline to return voter designation forms.
    • Sept. 9, 2022: Ballots mailed to eligible voters.
    • Oct. 11, 2022: by 2 p.m.: Deadline to return ballots.
    • Oct. 12, 2022: Election results posted.
    • Jan. 1, 2023: New term for Downtown Development Board begins

    If you have any questions, please contact Anne Lopez at 727-562-4039 or via email at anne.lopez@myclearwater.com

Downtown Development Board Grant Opportunities

The Downtown Development Board’s (DDB) primary purpose is to support activities that attract businesses, residents, and visitors to Live, Work, and Play in Downtown Clearwater. The DDB funds special events, business assistance, and marketing efforts throughout its district.

Projects, businesses, and properties located within the DDB district are eligible for funding. Funding requests will be considered on a monthly basis. The DDB will prioritize funding requests that align with their adopted work plan in the areas of Marketing and Businesses Assistance.

To learn more about grant opportunities and to receive an application please contact:

For Business Assistance – Howard Smith at howard.smith@myclearwater.com

For Special Event Assistance – Vickie Shire at vickie.shire@myclearwater.com

DDB Funding Request Form(PDF, 217KB)

Downtown Development Board Meeting Schedule

January 4th, 2023 

February 1st, 2023 

March 3rd, 2023 

April 5th, 2023 

May 3rd, 2023 

June 7th, 2023 

July 12th, 2023 

August 2nd, 2023 

September 6th, 2023 (First Public Millage and Budget Hearing) 

September 13th, 2023* (Final Public Millage and Budget Hearing) 

October 4th, 2023 

November 1st, 2023 

December 6th, 2023 

All DDB meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month in Clearwater City Council Chambers, 100 N. Osceola Avenue, Clearwater, FL 33756