Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007 | If Jim Madaffer were to communicate with voiceofsandiego.org the way Scott Peters does, I am sure he would tell you that one of his budget priorities is to pursue redevelopment wherever possible, no matter the cost. He is one of those, as Joe Silverman writes, “living off the commonweal,” subsidizing developers by targeting non-blighted areas for redevelopment. The most recent, obvious example is the Grantville redevelopment project.

Even as you read these words, Grantville redevelopment is grinding forward, despite the county’s pending court date to stop it. The redevelopment agency is already collecting tax increment in the name of Grantville to promote further redevelopment. In the meantime, the city is being shortchanged its due share of Grantville property tax, as it becomes even less likely to be able to give police officers and firefighters pay increases.

As Scott Peters suggests, the City Council has its priorities, and sometimes a priority may be to redevelop an area that is truly a blight on the city. In such a situation, the money spent is well worth it. Of the city’s thirteen redevelopment areas, including CCDC and SEDC, I could not tell you which of these fits these criteria. I can tell you, however, that Grantville is not one of them, and every dollar spent to promote its redevelopment is lost down the drain. If Councilman Peters is truly “prepared to make cuts elsewhere to fund [his] priorities,” cutting Grantville redevelopment would be a good place to start.

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