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 for 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.
In July 1970 the Clearwater Downtown Development Board Act 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 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 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 Chamber of Commerce to promote tourism, provide for art in the downtown district, market and provide assistance to downtown businesses and support the CRA and Main Street Programs.
As a Special Taxing District of the City of Clearwater, the Downtown Development Board (DDB), organized and operating pursuant to the ordinances and laws of the city of Clearwater in a spirit of cooperation, is committed to its downtown constituents and offers opportunity to efficiently utilize collected public revenues. The DDB has a special obligation to ensure prudent, wise and sound administration of the programs and other initiatives they may support as following:
- Achieva Box Car Rally
- Santa & Suds Run-Walk & Street Party
- Blast Friday
- SeaBlues Festival
- Super Boat National Championship
- Cleveland Street District Façade Improvement Grant
- Cleveland Street Landscaping and Maintenance
- Holiday Lighting on Cleveland Street
- Seasonal Banner Program
- Downtown Marketing Plan Implementation
- Sidewalk Café Amenities/Furniture
- Clearwater Harbor Marina Maintenance
The DDB will continue to serve the taxpayers and assist the city and the CRA in formulating short and long range plans for improving and developing downtown Clearwater into a world renowned destination place and advise on policies and procedures, which succeed in bringing business and residents into the downtown, improving is tax base and overall economic condition.
Moving forward, the DDB will build a coalition with property owners, business and government to advocate development that benefits all citizens and to create a unified identity and environment in the downtown to preserve property values and prevent deterioration.
The DDB will focus on marketing downtown and its businesses, events in the Cleveland Street District and other downtown initiatives. The DDB meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 5:30pm at City Hall.
CRA/DDB 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 and provide financial support for Clearwater’s Main Street program, 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 and provides additional support to the Main Street Program.
The CRA Trustees executed the first Interlocal Agreement to provide personnel, administrative and management responsibilities to the DDB in F/Y 1999-00.