HUD Showers Bay Area with Grant Money

Dear Curtis,

Despite the Supreme Court’s decision last month that paved the way for the dissolution of redevelopment, two separate lawsuits are pending in Sacramento Superior Court that could – say plaintiffs – effectively overturn Assembly Bill X1 26. A group of cities led by the City of Carlsbad is arguing that enactment of AB X1 26 depends on the enactment of AB X1 27, which was struck down by the Supreme Court; this is a different argument from the “severability” argument that came up in front of the Supreme Court. The other, unrelated case, is led by the City of Cerritos, which argues, among other things, that AB X1 26 implicitly changes the state’s property tax scheme so dramatically that it requires a 2/3 majority vote of the Legislature; AB X1 26 was passed by a simple majority. Both cases are scheduled to be heard in Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. Friday, January 27.

Also in this issue:
- HUD Showers Bay Area with Grant Money
-How to Dismantle Your RDA
-California Redevelopment Bonds Get Downgraded
-Most-Read Blog Entries and News Stories

-Bay Area HUD Grant
Though urban planners may have a handle on the places where people go and on the ways that they get there, it’s a truism that an urban area probably doesn’t amount to much if its residents don’t have anything to do. To bridge the gap between land use planning and economic development, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission nearly $5 million for a regional planning effort. Bay Area planners say that the funds will help low-income residents live in places that are accessible to the jobs that they so dearly need.

-RDA Dismantling
Many cities across California have, begrudgingly, accepted the fact that in a week they have to dismantle their redevelopment agencies. Now they just have to figure out what that means. With many questions lingering about the process of handing over RDAs’ books and assets to successor agencies, the California Department of Finance recently released a website with an overview of the process and responses to frequently asked questions. More questions will no doubt arise, but it’s a start.

-RDA Bond Downgrade
Got some redevelopment bonds and expect to be paid back on time? You’re probably safe, but the country’s two most prominent bond ratings agencies – Moody’s and Fitch – say that you’re not quite as safe as you once were. Moody has downgraded all California redevelopment bonds, and Fitch put them on a watch list because of concerns over the dissolution process dictated by AB X1 26. Supporters of redevelopment point to the downgrades as further proof that the Legislature and governor should extend the dissolution deadline to April 15 so that cities have longer to prepare for the monumental task of transferring assets and setting up payment schedules.
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