What is the LDDA and how does it work?

City Hall is where the LDDA holds its public meetings. | Photo by @justlakelandpics

There are few things Lakelanders are more passionate about than the state of our historic Downtown. The Lakeland Downtown Development Authority (LDDA) works with the City of Lakeland to advocate for our beloved Downtown Lakeland. Today, we’re breaking down what the LDDA does and how you can get involved.

About

Founded in 1977, the LDDA helps revitalize the Downtown area and makes it more attractive to residents + business owners. 

The board is made up of seven members, six of whom were elected by the district. The seventh member, Michael Musick is a City Commissioner and was appointed by the Mayor. Learn more about the board of directors and staff here.

Funding

The LDDA is a special taxing district that collects up to two millage rate in taxpayer funds — meaning roughly $350,000 — every year. That extra cash can only be spent in the district and helps the LDDA make physical improvements to the area as well as advocate for Downtown + its investors.

Though the LDDA does not receive operating funds from the City, the City does pay for public improvements and maintenance.

What the LDDA does

Next time you’re shopping local goods at the Downtown Farmers Curb Market or ordering from a food truck at First Friday you can thank the LDDA for managing the event. 

The LDDA also lobbies to make physical improvements to the Downtown area and has design review authority over redevelopment, new construction, and signage within the district. Basically, this keeps everything looking sharp under specific design guidelines.

How to get involved

Want to be in the room where it happens? All the LDDA Board of Directors’ meetings are open to the public. They are held the third Thursday of each month at 8 a.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be on Thurs., May 19.