On April 20, 1999, the City Council established the Lafayette Urban Renewal Authority (LURA). LURA’s purpose is to serve as the lead public entity that promotes revitalization and redevelopment in the downtown area. LURA works in partnership with the City of Lafayette, private property owners, and businesses to remove blight, rehabilitate existing structures, attract new mixed-use development, and improve streetscapes to create an inviting and vibrant downtown.
Today, the City has two urban renewal districts: the Old Town District and South Boulder Road District. LURA is a seven-person board appointed by the Mayor of Lafayette. The projects and activities of LURA are funded with tax-increment financing.
- What is urban renewal?
Urban renewal is a tool used by local governments across the country to address the deterioration and conditions of blight within urban areas. Urban renewal can be used for development and rehabilitation when blighted conditions act as a barrier. It is a method for restoring economic vitality and improving the health and safety of urban areas.
- What is Tax Increment Financing?
Tax Increment Financing is a public financing tool used to subsidize municipal economic development projects. When a TIF district is established, the amount of property and sales tax generated is set as the district’s base amount. As redevelopment takes place, any tax collected above the base amount is reinvested into the area to fund urban renewal projects and improvements.
- Why is urban renewal important?
LURA’s involvement is essential because projects have unique challenges when blighted conditions are present. Contamination can burden previously developed sites through years of neglect, requiring significant work to restore their potential. Without urban renewal, it would be harder for property owners to tackle the challenges associated with redevelopment or rehabilitation.