California’s Supreme Court will be ruling on a court challenge from redevelopment agencies (RDA’s). That lawsuit seeks to block two bills passed to scale back redevelopment agencies. One bill puts in place a new revenue-sharing agreement, and the second bill just kills the RDA’s outright.
The RDA’s were seeking to overturn both laws, but it appears that strategy will backfire:
Justice Joyce L. Kennard suggested that the agencies’ challenge of both laws could backfire. She said the court could find the abolition constitutional but the revenue-sharing law invalid, a prospect that an attorney for redevelopment agencies called the worst possible outcome. Justice Marvin R. Baxter observed that it would be ironic if Proposition 22, which redevelopment agencies had promoted, ended up requiring the court to overturn the compromise and cut the lifeline that the revenue-sharing law provided. Baxter also appeared dubious that the proposition gave the agencies “perpetual existence.”
Killing the rotten RDA’s would be the best possible outcome. In case there was any doubt:
In a move that California Gov. Jerry Brown might see as L.A.’s “let them eat cake” moment, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency has set aside $5.5 million in public help for Watts — yet earmarked $52 million for a garage for Eli Broad’s museum.
Los Angeles city officials released a list of their 275 supposedly must-have “redevelopment” projects, which can be downloaded here. The list shows:
- All of South Los Angeles, population 550,000, where unemployment among young minorities is said to exceed 30 percent, would get just $32 million from the CRA — $20 million less than Broad would get for his garage.
- More than $1 in every $10 of the nearly $1 billion in “redevelopment” money controlled by Los Angeles is to be spent in pursuit of Eli Broad’s dream of glitzing up the Civic Center’s Grand Avenue area (which is neither poor or blighted) with luxury condos, a luxury hotel, and his architecturally stunning museum.
- Watts, devastated by the recession, would get only $5.5 million from the CRA, compared to $102 million for the Grand Avenue luxury project and Broad’s museum.