Redevelopment Will Come Back in California -- But Will It Be Reformed?

The State Supreme Court struck down redevelopment. Now it's up to the political players in California to strike a deal to bring it back. Can they do it? And what will the state's price be?
December 30, 2011, 10am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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The California Supreme Court killed redevelopment this morning, but that doesn't mean it's dead.

At first glance it would seem as though redevelopment agencies have no bargaining power at all. After all, it's hard to imagine a weaker position than a state Supreme Court ruling saying you don't exist.

But don't forget the most important point about the redevelopment battle: It's not about redevelopment. It's about money.

So this morning's court ruling is likely only an interim step. Both sides will likely be back in the Legislature within a matter of days to try to work out a deal that keeps redevelopment in some form, but transfers a couple of billion dollars of property tax revenue to the state. The big question is whether the state will seek to extract substantive reform from the redevelopment agencies as part of the deal.

In the meantime, however, California's $6 billion redevelopment system has been thrown into uncertainly. Technically, at least, no redevelopment agencies exist and no redevelopment activities can move forward. Counties and school districts will presumably move forward in creating the oversight committees required under the law to take over and dispose of redevelopment agency assets.

Thanks to Bill Fulton

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Published on Thursday, December 29, 2011 in California Planning & Development Report
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