The broad purpose of the Visual Improvements Program (VIP) is to promote a positive city image reflecting order, harmony, and pride, thereby strengthening the economic stability in Live Oak business areas. The foremost purpose is to encourage the visual improvement and enhancement of facades, business signage, landscaping, and parking lots for commercial, professional, and retail in Live Oak.
The program affects only building exteriors and does not account for interior spaces except for window display areas which are on public view. The design standards are meant to be flexible enough to allow business or property owners to be creative and design storefronts that market their establishments effectively. At the same time, aspects of the program will help to avoid poor quality design decisions that detract from the aesthetics of the business districts. The program also provides an objective basis by which to evaluate projects that come up for review. Ultimately, the design, renovation, and repair projects will enhance the economic success of Live Oak by making it a more inviting place for shoppers and businesses.
Funding available is based on a reimbursement up to a maximum of $5,000.00 per business. The cumulative amount awarded by the Live Oak Economic Development Corporation (LOEDC) shall not exceed $100,000.00 for the fiscal year of this program.
Either the property owner (corporation, joint venture, partnership, etal) or the business owner (tenant) is eligible for funding. Property owners with multiple buildings or tenants with multiple operating locations may be limited to on building or location per funding cycle.
- TENANT: Tenants must submit to LOEDC written authorization by property owner(s) to make the indicated improvements
- PROPERTY OWNERS: Property owner must show proof of ownership.
Projects are reviewed on a competitive basis. Page 8 of the application outlines the rating criteria by which each submitted project is assessed. Those projects with the highest weighted average will be granted funding. Applicants must be ready to begin actual construction within 90 days of approval/award notice and complete all improvements within one year of award date.
Should the project and contractor receive approval from the Board, the Economic Development Corporation will pass a Resolution for payment of up to $5,000.00 to the contractor. Should the project exceed $5,000.00, the applicant is responsible for paying all additional costs incurred on behalf of the project. The LOEDC will issue a deposit check not to exceed $2,500.00 to the contractor prior to project commencement.
No partially completed project will receive funding; projects must be completed in its entirety as reflected on the application submitted for consideration to the LOEDC (EXHIBIT "A"). All projects must start construction within 90 days of being awarded funding; all projects must be complete within one year of being awarded.
Upon final inspection by the Development Services Department, the LOEDC will remit final payment to the contractor not to exceed a maximum total payment (deposit and balance) of $5,000.00. Upon completion and receipt of the project’s Final Inspection Report issued by the Building Official, applicant shall submit a copy of all receipts to the LOEDC showing that all contractors and vendors have been paid in full.
Work that qualifies for reimbursement includes improvements to the exterior of buildings such as painting, cleaning, tuck pointing, facade and window repair/replacement, doorways, lighting, new signage, window tinting, replacement awnings, permanent landscaping, parking lots and rear access renovations. In no way is this program intended to exempt a business from compliance with any section of the City's current ordinances.
- Masonry Facades, (excluding hardy plank)
- Entrance upgrades/Doors
- Painting, limited colors, no day glow
- Landscaping limited to xeriscape type (to include shrubbery, as well as, trees towards Tree City USA program)
- Signage (to replace damaged, deteriorated)
- Correction of Code Violations (limited to exterior, no interior)
- Green Enhancements
No member of the City Council of the City of Live Oak, or any member of any Live Oak boards, commissions, city employees, or any member of their immediated family may participate in this program.
If you are interested in participating in this incentive, please download this form for the application and additional information sheets Visual Improvements Program Application