Monday, March 7, 2011

San Leandro Set To Transfer Assets From Redevlopment To City

By Steven Tavares

San Leandro is making an end-run against a costly purchase of its redevelopment properties if Sacramento repurposes tax increment proceeds towards a state-wide realignment of revenues.

The redevelopment agency will ask the San Leandro City Council for approval to transfer its real estate assets to the city at no costs before the impending July 1 deadline outlined by Gov. Jerry Brown for  abolishing the long-time and sometimes controversial local funding source for reducing blight and stimulating jobs and growth.

According to a letter from the community development director to the city, if the council stalls in transferring the agency’s assets before the possible deadline, it risks paying a far more costly market rate price for up to 21 properties, centering around its downtown transit-oriented development. “Although the city would have the option of purchasing these properties, it would be obligated to pay fair market value, with the sale proceeds being remitted to the auditor controller,” wrote Luke Sims, director for community development.

Five of the properties encompass the triangle redevelopment at Davis and Hays Street slated in the future to become Town Hall Square. Another seven properties revolve around additional downtown parking primarily on Washington Avenue.

According to the staff reports, the Davis Street property destined to become Eden Road in the city’s west side is included in the report. In another item Monday night, Funding for the $5.8 million project to build a two-lane road with undergrounding meant to entice additional businesses will be discussed. The redevelopment agency will make another bid to strengthen its right to secure funding for the project along with speeding the process for access.

Whether or not the dissolution of redevelopment agency’s across the state comes to fruition, the lack of information and details has put local cities in a position to guess at what the future holds for a slew of shovel-ready and potential projects in their respective pipelines. Rumors in Sacramento run the gamut from a likely compromise on redevelopment to proposed legislation that will keep Brown’s proposal mostly intact. There is also fear, evident specifically in San Leandro, that any proposal to kill redevelopment will also contain shifting legalese intended to undo any action done by the city council in the past two months to secure redevelopment dollars.

The city council will discuss the redevelopment situation at Monday night’s meeting and likely approve the package of items to further secure funding.

Q: Are places like San Leandro putting themselves in legal jeopardy by approving actions that appear intended to circumvent possible legislation in Sacramento?

Q: How do you feel about Brown and supporters of axing redevelopment appearing to run afoul of the voter’s will? Didn’t Proposition 22 easily pass last November forbidding exactly this type of state grab for local revenue?


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