In Defense Of CA's Redevelopment Agencies

Redevelopment agencies are vital to job creation and necessary for central cities to stem suburban job sprawl, claims Gerald Metcalf, executive director of a SF urban think tank (SPUR), countering CA Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed elimination of them.

Metcalf of San Francisco Planning + Urban Research (SPUR) writes that Governor Brown's proposal to eliminate 425 redevelopment agencies to reduce California's $25 billion shortfall "is going to backfire terribly: It will give a short-term boost to the ailing budget, but reduce the long-term economic growth that would otherwise come to California."

"(W)e are talking about eliminating the tool central cities use to attract growth that would otherwise go to the suburban periphery. The elimination of redevelopment funding - coupled with the governor's proposal to eliminate the Williamson Act farmland preservation funding - amounts to a shift in favor of suburban sprawl."

Also writing in Insight, Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders ("Jerry Brown takes on redevelopment") gives reasons why Gov. Brown is doing the right thing in this bold proposal: "While boosters say that redevelopment fosters economic growth, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office recently reported, "We find no reliable evidence that this program improves overall economic development in California."

Full Story: Redevelopment agencies crucial to state's economy

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Comments

Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

Williamson Act elimination

Gabriel Metcalf/SPUR notes that the combined elimination of both the Williamson Act and redevelopment agencies will hasten sprawl just when the state is under mandate to reduce it due to state laws SB 375 and AB 32. California Watch published "Fund to protect farmland, open spaces facing end" today that helps explain the significance of both the Williamson Act and the effect of eliminating it. ... Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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