Flaws in AB1250 Assemblyman Luis Alejo’s AB1250 redevelopment reform


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

.
.
.
.
.

RDAs days are numbered

While we continue to lobby Republicans to eradicate redevelopment agencies in our state, CRA/LA has supported AB1250, a new Bill sponsored by Assembly Member Luis Alejo whose co -author is Sen. Rod Wright.

My initial objection, as I start reviewing their proposed legislation, is found in the first paragraph of the Legislative Counsel’s Digest where it reads: “The community redevelopment law authorizes the establishment of redevelopment agencies in communities to address the effects of blight, as defined, in blighted areas in those communities known as project areas.” Blight. As defined by whom?

While the media references redevelopment agencies, does the average person understand their Mission?

“Under the Community Redevelopment Law, a blighted area must be predominantly urbanized with a combination of physical and economic conditions that are so prevalent and substantial that they can cause a serious physical and economic burden which can’t be reversed or alleviated by private enterprise or government action, without redevelopment.

A blighted area must have:
At least one of four conditions of physical blight AND at least one of five conditions or economic blight, OR subdivided lots with irregular shapes and inadequate sizes for proper development.
Besides meeting the physical and economic conditions of blight, a blighted area may also have inadequate public improvements, parking facilities, or utilities.

The four conditions of physical blight are:

Unsafe or unhealthy buildings.
Factors that hinder economic use of buildings and lots.
Incompatible uses that prevent economic development.
Irregular and inadequately sized lots in multiple ownerships.

The five conditions of economic blight are:

Depreciated or stagnant property values or impaired investments.
High business vacancies, low lease rates, high turnover rates, or excessive vacant lots.
Lack of neighborhood commercial facilities.
Residential overcrowding or an excess of adult businesses.
High crime rate.

Let me take us back to a prior legislative effort, and initial text that I supported, known as SB 1206 as authored by S.D. Sen. Christine Kehoe. Let’s truly define blight and take it out of the eyes of the beholder. Specifically let’s add “metrics” as follows:

“This subdivision describes economic conditions that cause blight:

(1). Depreciated or stagnant property values, as used in this paragraph, “depreciated or stagnant property values” means that the annual rate of increase in the assessed valuation of real property within the project area is less than 50 percent of the annual rate of increase in the assessed valuation of real property in either the community or the county in seven our of 10 previous fiscal years.

(2) Abnormally high business vacancies or abnormally low lease rates. As used in this paragraph, “abnormally high business vacancies” means that the vacancy rate for commercial and industrial uses in the project area is greater than 200 percent of the vacancy rate for similar uses in either the community or the county. As used in this paragraph, “abnormally low lease rates” means that the average value of the monthly leases for commercial and industrial sues in the project area are less than 50 percent of the average value of the monthly leases for similar uses in either the community or the county.

(3) An inadequate number of necessary commercial facilities. As used in this paragraph, an “inadequate number of necessary commercial facilities ” means that the number of neighborhood commercial facilities per 1,000 residents of the project area is less than 50 percent of the number of similar facilities per 1,000 residents in either the community or the county.

(4) Residential overcrowding. As used in this paragraph “residential overcrowding” means that the percentage of overcrowding dwelling units in the project area is greater than 200 percent of the percentage of overcrowded dwelling units in either the community or the county. As used in this section, “overcrowded” means exceeding the standard prescribed in Article 5 (commencing with Section 32) of Chapter 1 of Title 25 of the California Code of Regulations.

(5) An excess of bars and liquor stores that has resulted in significant public health or safety problems. As used in this paragraph, an “excess of bars and liquor stores ” means that the number of retail liquor licenses per 1,000 residents in the project area is greater than 200 percent of the number of retail liquor licenses per 1,000 residents in either the community or the county.

(6) An excess of adult-oriented businesses that has resulted in significant public health and safety problems.

(7) A high crime rate that constitutes a serious threat to the public safety and welfare. As used in this paragraph, “high crime rate” means that crime in the project area is greater than 200 percent of the crime rate in either the community or the county, as measured by either the California Crime Index prepared by the Department of Justice, pursuant to Sections 13010 and 13012 of the Penal Code, or the Uniform Crime Reporting Program operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This is just a quick list of suggestions that would need to be added if we are serious about eliminating waste, fraud and abuses by our 400 plus redevelopment agencies.

This past March every Democrat in the State Assembly was receptive to shutting down all of our RDAs. As such none of the 52 Dem’s in SAC, who cast their AYE votes on AB101 should balk at these suggestions.

As time permits I plan to read the entire Bill and add future inputs.


About Larry Gilbert