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City Dissolves Redevelopment Agency

Redondo Beach dissolves its redevelopment agency hours before the governor's Feb. 1 deadline.

By unanimous vote, the Redondo Beach City Council took the final steps to dissolve its redevelopment agency Tuesday night, hours before the governor's Feb. 1 deadline.

Until the final week in December, the city and RDA were operating under the assumption that the RDA would remain in existence; however, it would have to pay what officials deemed a "ransom" in order to stay.

The state supreme court's ruling at the end of December stated that the state did have the power to dissolve redevelopment agencies because the state created them. Additionally, the court ruled that the proposal that the cities pay the state to keep their agencies violated Proposition 22, which prohibited the state from taking money paid to local governments.

Gov. Jerry Brown dissolved the state's redevelopment agencies to help solve the fiscal crisis and plug a more than $24.5 billion hole in the budget.

Redondo Beach will lose more than $10 million in assets, in addition to its deferred payment loan program, which provided low-interest home improvement loans to qualifying low-income homeowners, and the commercial rehabilitation program, which was a shared funding program for storefronts.

Service levels in the Section 8 Housing Assistance Program will be affected; however, no households receiving assistance will be displaced, according to a notice posted on the city's website.

The city's Housing Authority will assume responsibility of Section 8 housing, as the Council declined to become the successor agency in order to protect the city's general fund.

The fate of $6 million to $7 million set aside for affordable housing remains to be seen, according to Assistant City Manager Peter Grant. Senate Bill 654, which passed with only one dissenting vote in the state senate, would allow the city to keep the housing funds; however, city officials were unsure if it would pass—and if it does pass, whether the governor would veto it to keep funding in the state's pockets.

The loss of funding also resulted in a restructuring of the Recreation and Community Services Department, which stands to lose more than $880,000 annually in redevelopment money. Six jobs were eliminated, according to a report in the Beach Reporter.

Throughout the meeting, the Council (which also serves as the board of the RDA) and City Manager Bill Workman bemoaned the state's move.

"The redevelopment agencies, for about five decades, have been California's only tool for economic development," Workman said. "[The state is] taking away our ability to create new jobs, attract and expand businesses, and to generally keep our local tax revenues here local."

Redondo's RDA has assisted with projects at the and the .

Conrad vonBlankenburg February 01, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Good move!

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