I previously reported on a political discussion taking place in a San Diego community, San Ysidro, with respect to whether the city should reinstitute its expired power of eminent domain. While San Ysidro contemplates this issue, another San Diego community -- this time Chula Vista -- is in the process of drafting its five-year redevelopment plan, which could include expansion.
Like San Ysidro, Chula Vista recognizes the public concern over the city's wielding its condemnation power, especially for redevelopment purposes. Chula Vista, therefore, has sought public input before it drafts the new redevelopment plan.
According to a San Diego Union Tribune article by Tanya Sierra titled "Public opinion sought on redevelopment plan -- Subject has been a sore one in past," the redevelopment area in Chula Vista currently encompasses Third Avenue, Broadway, Main Street, and the bayfront, but city officials do not know what the expansion area will include until they hash it out with residents.
Despite seeking public input, the city's announcement of potential expansion of the redevelopment area did not go over too well with community members that turned up at the council meeting to oppose the proposal. Part of the anger stems from how the redevelopment agency is being run, including the amount of funds devoted to administrative costs and salaries. The city has responded by stating only three professional staff remain at the agency.
A concluding comment by councilmember Rudy Ramirez likely sums up the problem for most residents:
I’m convinced we’re falling far short of what we could be doing, he said. For me, redevelopment is a political, public process because you’re moving into neighborhoods and effecting change and changing people’s lives. We haven’t yet developed that sensitivity.
Stay tuned in the coming months for how Chula Vista addresses these issues.
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