About the URA
Urban Renewal is the redevelopment or rehabilitation of real property in a city, usually as the result of a cooperative effort by private developers and local government.
In its best intention, urban renewal restores economic vitality and improves the safety of a designated area. Redeveloping urban areas is much harder and more expensive than new development in “greenfield sites”, thus responds to larger, more costly infrastructure needs.
The state of Colorado has empowered local authorities to use Urban Renewal Authorities to encourage revitalization and the elimination of blight in these areas.
Additional tools include the use of eminent domain. All 50 states have some form of urban renewal law.
An Urban Renewal Plan area is a designated boundary with the approved ability to use tax increment financing and eminent domain within those boundaries.
There are several steps involved in establishment of an urban renewal plan area under this approach.
- Preparation of an Existing Conditions Survey, aka. blight study
- County Impact Report
- Recommendation by the Planning and Zoning Board for conformity to City Plan
- Neighborhood input and involvement
- Final decision made by City Council
Revitalization of blighted property stimulates private investment using public revenues created by redevelopment. This leads to the attraction of new jobs, new businesses and elimination of existing blight preventing growth in economic value.
Revitalization has other positive benefits:
- Creates more housing, much of it affordable
- Reduces crime in the area
- Improved roads, utilities and public infrastructure
- Revitalizes obsolete or vacated buildings
- Preserves and creates open space
- Transform brownfields (and greyfields) into productive uses
- Preserves historic buildings
- Boosts property values
- Reduces air pollution and traffic
- Provides needed retail in underserved areas.
Areas or a piece of property within of a community which constitute either physical, social or economic liabilities requiring redevelopment in the interest of the health, safety and general welfare of the people.
State law requires 11 factors be used to determine blight. Four of the 11 must be found to exist. They include things such as unsanitary or unsafe conditions; deteriorated or deteriorating structures or site; the existence of conditions that endanger life or property and environmental contamination.
Yes, the URA has the power of eminent domain, but rarely uses it. If eminent domain is authorized by the Authority, there is a formal court process that determines fair market value of affected properties.
Eminent Domain is the authority of a government agency to acquire property for public purposes (not to be confused with meaning public buildings and improvements only). The term is also known as condemnation.
TIF is used to fill the gap between the total cost of the redevelopment project and the level of private financing it can support. Under this financing tool, the level of property tax and/or sales tax collected before redevelopment is used as a base and the new tax revenues expected are estimated. The difference between the base and the increase in taxes collected as a result of the redevelopment project is the tax increment.
No. TIF can be requested through an application process and final approval is determined by the URA Board. If a project is approved, it must prove financial limitations to proceed and could not redevelop without public investment. Additionally, the project must meets a public objective, and then only to fill the gap between the total project cost and the level of private financing the project can support. TIF is not an entitlement and not every project can expect financial contribution by the URA.
No. Redevelopment typically does not directly affect your property taxes, although there may be an indirect affect if property values eventually increase in a larger area because of the redevelopment.
The Urban Renewal Authority Board is comprised of the Fort Collins City Council, one Larimer county Representative, one Poudre River Public Library representative, one Poudre School District Representative and a mayoral appointee.
North College Citizen Advisory Group (CAG) is a committee of North College URA project area residents, businesspersons and representatives of organizations that provide advice to the decision making authority.