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City Attorney Mike Aguirre added his voice today to state Sen. Chris Kehoe’s push for an investigation into the Grantville redevelopment settlement between the city and the county of San Diego.

Kehoe asked Attorney General Jerry Brown earlier this month to investigate the settlement. She questioned the legitimacy of the complicated settlement, under which funds generated in the Grantville redevelopment area would be sent to downtown for trolley upgrades, and downtown money would be spent to enhance county land at the Embarcadero.

Kehoe was justified in that request, Aguirre argued today. He issued a memo to City Council members, reviving his suggestion that the City Council open the doors for a legal challenge to the Grantville settlement. The council voted that down on Sept. 2. Aguirre attached Kehoe’s letter.

In his memo, Aguirre pointed to the section of the state government code that regulates redevelopment:

Senator Kehoe’s concerns are justified. While Health & Safety Code section 33445 does allow for the transfer of funds outside a project area where the use of the funds is “of benefit” to the project area, section 33445 does not allow for the type of fund shifting that occurred in this instance. The Grantville Settlement is an abuse of section 33445 because it stretches the law well beyond what the California Legislature intended. Specifically, the intent of the section is to ensure expenditures benefit a project area, not merely facilitate settlement regardless of benefit to the project area.

You can read my story on the $31.6 million settlement here, and a previous story about the fight for redevelopment in Grantville here.

KELLY BENNETT

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