Community Redevelopment Plan

A battle heats up over plans to create a special development zone in downtown Tallahassee. City leaders want to dub downtown a community redevelopment area, but the county says that will cost their taxpayers millions of dollars and they plan to fight the plan in court.

According to some documentation, a CRA is supposed to be an area that's run-down and needs to be redeveloped. The city and county agree that Frenchtown qualifies, and are working together in that area. The fight deals with where to draw the line.

The fight between Tallahassee city and Leon County commissioners involves downtown and Frenchtown. The city wants to include the downtown area in the redevelopment.

County commissioner Bill Proctor opposes this idea.

"The proposed downtown CRA is neither fair, reasonable nor just. I am here to request that 'The Firm' the City of Tallahassee, which I refer to them as 'The Firm', to let the good people of District One go," says Proctor.

County leaders say there is no way, the tax payers they represent are going to help pay for a downtown CRA because there's no benefit in that.

"What benefits everyone in Leon County is an increased tax base and that's what we're trying to provide. We want to enhance our opportunity and attract businesses and grow as a community," says Mark Mustian, City of Tallahassee Commissioner.

"I'm here to challenge the City's commitment to all the citizens of Tallahassee on an equal basis that is fair and demonstrative of justice for all," says Bill Proctor.

"Despite all the political turf protecting, I think we will have a vibrant downtown. We are going to proceed ahead and see where it ends up," Mustian adds.

The county has already said they are willing to take this to court and the city says they aren't backing down. Commissioner Proctor pointed out Thursday that including downtown in a CRA is wrong because it's not a slummed or blighted area.

In this particular case, he's referring to the city commission, who is made of up three lawyers. When Mustian was asked what he thought about the nickname, he said he's a proud member.