Public Input for Draft Revitalization Plan Sought
VICTORVILLE, Calif. — With the release of its draft revitalization plan for Old Town last week, the City of Victorville is one step closer to forming the first Community Revitalization Investment Authority (CRIA) in California. The CRIA is an economic and affordable housing tool established by AB 2 in 2015 for government agencies to finance revitalization of disadvantaged communities like Old Town Victorville. The Victorville City Council authorized the formation of a CRIA for Old Town in August 2021.
“Our plans to revitalize Old Town were derailed in 2012, when the state axed its funding program for local redevelopment,” said Victorville Mayor Debra Jones. “Without the necessary funds, the struggle to find the most prudent way to invest in this once-thriving, historical section of our City was ever present. Fortunately, the state authorized the CRIA as a new investment mechanism that can help us restore vitality to Old Town.”
Once fully implemented, the CRIA will have access to property tax increment revenue generated within the Old Town Specific Plan Area to fund revitalization activities such as infrastructure improvements; low- and moderate-income housing development; real property acquisition; loans or grants to owners and tenants to improve, rehabilitate, and retrofit buildings; and business assistance.
CRIA revenue is not raised through a new tax. Instead, it comes from rising property values within the revitalization zone. For example, as developers and businesses improve and build on properties in Old Town, those properties benefit from higher appraised values, which in turn triggers increased property tax assessments collected by the County. With an active CRIA, the extra revenue generated would be allocated directly to the CRIA for use solely within the Old Town Revitalization Zone.
To further incentivize investment, the Victorville City Council took action in June 2022 to waive development impact fees for all development in the Old Town CRIA Area.
The Old Town Area satisfies state requirements to form a CRIA – the annual household income is below 80 percent of the statewide median, unemployment is at least three percent higher than the statewide median, crime rates are at least five percent higher than the statewide median, and the area has deteriorated commercial and residential structures.
In its current draft status, the Old Town Victorville CRIA only includes the City of Victorville’s portion of future property tax increment collected by the County of San Bernardino; however, to increase the CRIA’s economic impact in Old Town, City officials are pursuing the County’s participation to also invest a portion of County tax increment. The addition of County tax increment would mean greater revitalization investment in Old Town Victorville improving the area and thereby reducing the burden on County provided services.
In August 2021, Victorville established its CRIA Board comprised of three City Council Members and two community members. The next state requirement is adoption of the CRIA Plan. The draft plan is now available for public input. Community members can view the draft CRIA Plan online at VictorvilleCA.gov/CRIA or in-person at Victorville City Hall.
The CRIA Board will be hosting four public meetings to discuss the CRIA Plan, answer questions, and take comments from the public. The first public meeting is planned for Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. within Conference Room D of Victorville City Hall, located at 14343 Civic Dr. Additional meetings are planned for Feb. 6, March 20, and May 15. Once the plan is approved, the CRIA will be established making it the first CRIA in California.
Questions can be directed to the City of Victorville Planning Division at (760) 955-5135 or email@example.com.
Located in Southern California at the high-point between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Victorville is the leading city for both industry and retail in the High Desert region. Victorville is a growing, vibrant community that is home to approximately 130,000 residents and some of the area’s largest employers. Clean air, abundant mountain vistas, family-friendly recreational activities, spectacular sunsets and breathtaking night skies entice locals and visitors alike to fall in love with this city that is within a few hours of SoCal beaches, National Parks, mountain retreats, and other major attractions. Ontario International Airport is less than an hour away. Learn more about the City of Victorville at VictorvilleCA.gov.