This weekend was the redevelopment equivalent of chugging Hurricanes on Bourbon Street.
More than $1 billion in redevelopment projects have been approved across the state since Friday, including $930 million in Los Angeles, the Sacramento Bee reports. All were an apparent attempt to beat new Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies.
The city of San Diego hasn’t ruled out following suit.
“We have no specific plans right now, but the situation is very fluid, so we’re not foreclosing any strategy at this point,” said Rachel Laing, spokeswoman for Mayor Jerry Sanders.
In San Diego, the City Council also serves as the Redevelopment Agency. Neither has meetings scheduled this week.
From the Bee:
At least three cities — Los Angeles, Fremont, and Citrus Heights — approved projects in special meetings Friday and Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
Los Angeles approved $930 million in projects, while Fremont signed off on up to $140 million in work, and Citrus Heights authorized about $60 million for redevelopment.
Riverside County expects to discuss $155 million in redevelopment projects today.
Redevelopment advocates said the votes are a reasonable defense against what they call Brown’s unreasonable proposal. Public employee unions that expect to benefit from the governor’s plan called the decisions deceptive and shortsighted.
Also, the Bee quoted the head of the California Redevelopment Association saying there was a rumor the state Legislature planned to eliminate redevelopment agencies today.
The moves over the weekend likely won’t be the last. Long Beach is considering $1.2 billion in redevelopment spending this evening.
We quoted a state redevelopment expert last week saying the “Mardi Gras effect” — agencies binging themselves on redevelopment before it would go away — could happen because of Brown’s plan. The state legislative analyst warned of the same thing.