The City of Fernandina Beach created a Community Redevelopment Area Overlay in 2004 as a way to promote urban infill and redevelopment. To further refine the Community Redevelopment Agency, the city adopted Community Redevelopment Area Design Guidelines in 2007 to provide a broader mix of uses and compatible design within the downtown area in order to promote revitalization of the working waterfront and adjacent areas. The emphasis of the overlay is on mixed use development aimed at creating a lively urban street life and to avoid privatization of waterfront properties into residential "dockominiums".

Comprehensive Plan: Density Bonus Incentive Program

In 2011, to encourage redevelopment in the Community Redevelopment Area, the City adopted a policy into the Future Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan to include a Density Bonus Incentive Program for properties in the Community Redevelopment Area that are outside the Coastal High Hazard Areas. The program uses a scoring system that allows eligible properties to use categories such as Housing Type Mix, Mixed Use, Community Amenities, Green Building Certification and Sustainable Site Development Practices to earn points toward a density increase. Density bonuses may be earned on a site specific basis and range from 1.5 to 3 times the allowable base density.

Each of the categories in the Density Bonus Incentive Program are intended to address a community identified need or goal and to further the goals of the Community Redevelopment Area. The Housing Type Mix category encourages a mixture of smaller dwelling units within the overall development scheme which provides an opportunity to achieve more affordable units and workforce housing within the Community Redevelopment Agency. The Mixed Use category seeks to obtain a development pattern compatible with the existing Central Business District whereby there is a mix of retail, restaurants, professional offices, and residential units. The Community Amenities category addresses several of the goals of the Community Redevelopment Area such as retention of historic structures, maintenance of views, pedestrian corridors, and providing for infrastructure improvements. The Green Building Certification category awards points to projects that have taken the necessary steps to obtain a nationally recognized green building certification. Points for Sustainable Site Development Practices are provided for achieving certain measurable sustainable building techniques.

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