It has been almost two years since the California Supreme Court dissolved hundreds redevelopment agencies across the state. Here is a collection of RDA developments that have made headlines across the state.
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In 2011, a combination of bills from the state Legislature and a ruling from California’s high court effectively ended the 50-year life of the Redevelopment Agency. For a refresher on the dissolution, the Santa Clara Weekly recently published an overview entitled, “The Far-Reaching Impact of California Redevelopment and Its Unwinding.”
In addition to outlining the process by which RDAs were dissolved, the article mentions that Santa Clara is “demanding $340 million in Santa Clara real estate as part of the RDA dissolution.” This news accompanies the uproar that surrounds the court-ordered halt of further construction on the long-awaited Northside Library project. Small scores of residents have taken to the Santa Clara city streets to demand completion of the project.
The issues facing Santa Clara mirror other jurisdictions around the state, where judicial rulings have not been kind to local government.
In San Bernardino, a judge ruled yesterday that the city must pay the $15.2 million in disputed redevelopment funds to the state even in light of its bankruptcy. Mayor Pat Morris is concerned because the city’s successor agency—tasked with paying off the redevelopment debt—does not have the necessary funds for repayment.
Sonoma County’s day in court has finally arrived and today the county will make its case to retain future tax receipts and accrued cash for redevelopment projects that have previously been approved. The county claims that the contracts were set up prior to the dissolution and should thus shield the funds from being redistributed throughout the state. Without the funds in question, the projects may not be completed.
A state review led by Controller Jon Chiang has alleged that Oakland improperly transferred almost $170 million in RDA funds. While the city believes that such transfers were legal at the time they were made, they also acknowledge that they have anticipated this move for some time and the surrendering of these funds will not hurt their bottom line.
Not all news surrounding redevelopment is grim this week: the state has begun the process of reimbursing RDA funds. However, the amounts pale in comparison to the cash flows that were present when RDAs were in full force. Visalia had $6.8 million in outstanding loans and will only receive $769,000 from the state. Tulare is in a similar boat: the city loaned over $3.4 million for RDA projects and will receive just over $420,000 from the state.
How has your city fared in the post-RDA era? Email the Editor here.