Agencies Scramble to Secure Redevelopment Funds as New Legislation to Abolish Redevelopment Agencies Surfaces
Around California, agencies are scrambling to use or secure redevelopment funds in an effort to protect against anticipated legislation to abolish redevelopment agencies in California. We've been following the story for weeks, but things are really heating up now.
As just a few examples from the past couple of days:
- A City of Perris councilman, Mark Yarbrough, is asking the city staff to deplete existing redevelopment funds before the state can seize them.
- Tuesday night, the San Mateo City Council voted to use $34.2 million in redevelopment funds for local projects "effectively appropriating the funds before the agency can be gutted by state lawmakers."
- The City Council in Culver City voted Tuesday to move forward with $311 million in "key public improvement projects" by transferring the money from the redevelopment agency to the city.
- The Milpitas City Council voted on February 15 to consider establishing a Milpitas Housing Authority, with Milpitas Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager Diana Barnhart explaining, that it took the action "as a kind of belts-and-suspenders action so that if dramatic changes are made with redevelopment funds that we will at least be able to retain our affordable housing funds here locally for you all to make decisions."
- The Santa Clara City Council is taking steps to make clear that its redevelopment agency has long been working on a stadium project in a concerted effort to stave off Gov. Jerry Brown's desire to dismantle redevelopment agencies.
- The City of Santa Clarita "voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a measure that will allow the city to safeguard its redevelopment dollars by funneling them into a local affordable housing development."
While all this is going on, the Governor's proposal to abolish redevelopment agencies is moving forward. On Wednesday, the Department of Finance posted information on the budget trailer bill language proposed to effect the Governor's proposal. The draft, dated February 23, 2011, is entitled "Redevelopment Agency Dissolution and Succession."
We'll have more on the proposed legislation once we've had time to analyze it.