The existence of California's redevelopment agencies continues to make headlines across the state. Despite the pending lawsuit between the CRA and the State concerning the constitutionality of AB1X 26 and AB1X 27, local government agencies are still taking things into their own hands, sometimes in very opposite directions. Two examples:
The City of Ukiah: Over a year ago, we reported that the local business community was urging the City of Ukiah to reinstate its redevelopment agency's power of eminent domain in an effort to eliminate blight. (Yes, you read that correctly.) The issue has apparently finally made its way to the planning commission, and is set to be decided this week. The Ukiah Daily Journal is reporting that the majority of the City council members agree that the power of eminent domain is a useful tool, but do not believe it should be used for residential properties. If the Planning Commission decides it makes sense to move forward with reinstating the redevelopment agency's power of eminent domain, the issue will be presented to the City Council for approval. (UPDATE as of 8/31/11: The planning commission has recommended reinstatement of the power of eminent doman specifically to deal with the Palace Hotel.)
The City of Placerville: On the opposite side of the spectrum, a group of Placerville residents, known as "Save Hangtown from Redevelopment and Eminent Domain" -- or "SHRED" -- (gotta love acronyms), qualified a referendum asking the City Council to repeal the City's redevelopment plan or put the matter to a public vote. The Sacramento Bee is reporting that the referendum is a bit late, so the City Council has to overturn its ability to use eminent domain for redevelopment purposes, or the group will have to wait until the June 2012 ballot to allow the town to decide.
Both of these stories may seem a bit strange with the pending CRA lawsuit; the fate of redevelopment agencies remains unclear, and there is a partial stay which prevents them from undertaking most actions until the lawsuit is decided. However, the CRA is filing a motion to lift the partial stay so agencies can begin conducting business. We'll have more on that story shortly.
California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain in California. We cover all aspects of eminent domain in California, including condemnation, inverse condemnation, and regulatory takings. We also keep track of current cases, project announcements, budget issues, legislative reform efforts, and report on all major California eminent domain conferences and seminars.