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Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | Tuesday the San Diego City Council fell for the old bait and switch.

Last June the City Council voted to initiate the Grantville Master Plan, a rewrite of the community plans for Navajo and Tierrasanta to allow the Grantville redevelopment project to move forward. The City Council was told it would cost $600,000. The city would use Community Development Block Grant money for this purpose. Last fall a stakeholders committee was formed. It met three times and then stopped. The reason: the funding was stopped for the planning consultant.

In January, the City Council voted to amend its rules for using CDBG funds to be more in line with the federal regulations. CDBG money could not be used for Grantville planning. Item 102, pulled from the Tuesday consent agenda by the Grantville Action Group, was to authorize the use of a General Fund reserve account to seal the deal with the Grantville consultant. But now, instead of spending $600,000 on Grantville consulting, the city is spending $792,000—a 32 percent increase. Of course, the City Council bought this anyway.

When the CDBG funds were withdrawn in January the purported reason was that the city could no longer use CDBG for planning. Now here is the real reason from Tuesday’s meeting as stated by city staff: Grantville is too well off. Incomes are too high in Grantville to qualify for federal aid. Do people still really think that “Grantville is so blighted it’s not even funny” and should be redeveloped?

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