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State Sen. Christine Kehoe has written a letter to California Attorney General Jerry Brown, asking Brown to investigate the settlement struck to end the county’s lawsuit over redevelopment in Grantville.

The settlement has attracted controversy for its linking an investment in downtown San Diego to redevelopment efforts in Grantville. From my story on the connection:

The settlement involves a complicated series of financial transfers in order to satisfy the county’s worry that it would lose out on tax money that would go into the city’s new zone. It sends $31.36 million in Grantville redevelopment dollars to the city for improvements along the C Street trolley line in downtown. In turn, $31.36 million from the downtown redevelopment area goes to improvements to county-owned land as part of plans to renovate the North Embarcadero.

Another $7.8 million would be set aside to fund part of the joint projects and the payments would begin to be made in 2012. The settlement means the county retains about 80 percent of the taxes it was poised to lose if redevelopment went forward unhindered in Grantville.

Kehoe questions the July 29 settlement in her letter to Brown. In a press release, she announces she’s contemplating “new legislation to tighten loopholes such as this.”

“I want to know how redevelopment funds scheduled for Grantville could instead be spent on trolley and parking improvements more than 15 miles away in downtown,” said Kehoe.

From Kehoe’s letter to Brown:

I would appreciate your looking into the actions in this matter, as it appears that the City and the County failed to base their findings on substantial evidence in the record as required in state redevelopment law, and merely restated statutory language. …

Members of the public who live and work within a redevelopment project area have the expectation that tax increment funds generated within that area will directly improve identified blighted conditions. I would appreciate your review of this matter and any insights you might offer on how to improve current statute.

KELLY BENNETT

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