OBTDB's Programs

Created in 1990, the CRA's mission is to revitalize the area along the OBT corridor. The CRA collects ad valorem taxes on new or expanded properties in the area and reinvests those funds back into the designated area. Funds are used for such neighborhood enhancements as street lights, parks, physical improvements, housing, landscaping, and other amenities.

The OBT CRA boundaries are Colonial Drive to I-4 (north to south) and Westmoreland to Rio Grande (east to west). CRA projects to-date have included:

  • Landscaping at OBT and both I-4 & 408 interchanges

  • Creation of Kaley Square Park

  • Finances for Habit for Humanity housing

  • Jackson Recreation Center

  • Creating the Safe Neighborhood Program

  • Intersection improvements

  • Hiring Code Enforcement officer designed to OBT, as well as a Commercial officer

  • Installation of 245+ street lights in residential areas

  • Studies to support future use of Lake June, I-4 north streetscape plan, CRA infrastructure supporting the need for sanitary sewers, drainage, sidewalks, streets, curbs and drainage

  • Helping Hands program providing free repairs for 200+ owner-occupied homes

  • Offering incentives to bring new commercial development to the area

  • First Brownfields designation / cleanup grant

  • Provided $600,000 towards the development of the Holden Heights Community Center

Community Redevelopment Agency

1

2

MSTU Roadway Improvements

In 1987, an MSTU funding source (additional voluntary taxation on commercial & industrial properties along S OBT) was created as a result of OBTDB's lobbying efforts. The purpose of the MSTU was for planning, designing, constructing and maintaining enhancement elements that augmented the FDOT roadway-widening project from I-4 to the Beeline Expressway on S OBT. The total cost for the OBT Roadway Enhancement Project was $78 million. Partners in this successful project were Orange County BCC, FDOT, OBTDB, MSTUs, LYNX, design consultants, engineers, and various utilities companies. Elements of the MSTU project include:

  • Widening of the S OBT roadway

  • Burial of overhead utility lines

  • 8-ft wide terracotta colored sidwalks

  • Improved / addition of covered bus stops and shelters, with 4 pull-off lanes for buses

  • 585 new light poles for added safety and a uniform appearance

  • Overhead trusses at 4 major intersections

  • Landscaping - trees, flower beds, shrubs, mulch, sod, irrigation, and lighting along S OBT

  • Ongoing maintenance of landscaping and streetscape

  • Medians and pedestrian walkways

The MSTU roadway project was awarded the State of Florida's URBAN PROJECT OF THE YEAR award in 1995 for quality construction.

 

3

Safe Neighborhood Program

The Safe Neighborhood Program (SNP) was spearheaded by OBTDB in 1990. Its boundaries run from Colonial Drive to Oak Ridge Road (north to south) and Westmoreland to Rio Grande (east to west). A Council appointed by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, comprised of residents and business owners, met for over a year to identify leading problems that plagued the OBT corridor. They collectively proposed solutions to those safety concerns, based on community input. The team developed the first Safe Neighborhood Plan, with subsequent plan updates to follow. 

In 1992, OBTDB drafted legislation that became state law in 1996 requiring offenders pay $20 for misdemeanor convictions and $50 for felony convictions. These funds finance the efforts of the Safe Neighborhood Program to reduce crime and blight.

Significant contributions of the SNP have been:

  • Providing a proven model for the development of 7 other SNPs in Orange County

  • Significantly reducing the number of abandoned & dilapidated structures, in partnership with law and code enforcement

  • Demolition of crack houses that plagued our neighborhood

  • Clearing overgrown lots that were a haven for criminal activity

  • Clearing transient camps and offering resources to those plagued with chronic homelessness

  • Utilizing a $300,000 Toolkit for Economic Development grant in 2001 to demolish an additional 30 structure and clear off 331.5 tons of garbage

  • Providing $81,000 to install 300+ street lights in residntial areas

  • Implementing neighborhood clean-up days

  • Working with code & law enforcement to remedy persistent violations; getting a commercial code enforcement officer for OBT

  • Monitoring ordinance-adherence by adult business owners, resulting in the decrease in number of such establishments on OBT