California Governor Jerry Brown is plotting one of the most radical changes to California redevelopment law in decades—the complete elimination of local redevelopment agencies by way of his budget proposal due January 10.
California has almost 400 redevelopment agencies. These agencies have the power to use eminent domain to seize private property for “redevelopment” But without these agencies, cities across California would no longer have the funds dedicated to bulldozing existing homes and businesses and replacing them with ritzy new hotels and mall the city prefers.
Local officials are already expressing shock and concern about the governor’s proposal. ‘“That would be a very bad deal for us,’’ complained Valerie Brown, Chairwoman of the Sonoma Country Board of Supervisors. “‘We would probably fight that tooth and nail.’”
Another local official, Brynda Stranix, the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation’s chief executive officer lamented, “Losing the program would be a huge detriment to our existing businesses as well as potential businesses considering the region for location.”
Wealthy developers and big-box stores cities have favored in the past are probably the only “businesses” in California that oppose the governor’s proposal. Other California property owners are overjoyed that they might one day be safe in the homes and businesses they rightfully own.