Saturday, November 01, 2014
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Redevelopment Agency Eliminated by State

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In June 2011, the State Legislature passed legislation that will cause the elimination of all redevelopment agencies in California and the transfer of our local property tax revenue to the State. The League of California Cities and the California Redevelopment Association filed a lawsuit with the California Supreme Court challenging that the Governor’s and Legislature’s actions were unconstitutional based on the passage of Proposition 22 passed in November 2010. On December 29, 2011, the California Supreme Court upheld the State’s desire to eliminate redevelopment agencies.

We were surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision. This is another serious blow to Atascadero. Most all of the new commercial development, Lake Park improvements, and downtown beautification have been funded by the Redevelopment Agency. The solutions will not be easy. The immediate loss will be difficult, but over time we will work together and get through this.

What does the elimination of our Redevelopment Agency mean to Atascadero? The Atascadero Redevelopment Agency generated approximately $3 million annually. The following list is just a sampling of what this revenue has been used to accomplish:

  • Restore the Historic City Hall
  • Construct the Lewis Avenue Bridge
  • Provide financial assistance to assist the Galaxy Theater to be completed
  • Improve the Downtown:
    • Maintenance of the Downtown, including landscaping, trash removal, fountain upkeep, median and public areas maintained
    • Renovate the Sunken Gardens including improving accessibility to the park
    • Provide business stimulus funds for permit assistance, façade improvements, restaurant assistance, and improved signage
    • Create and fund the Main Street program and related events, such as Winter Wonderland and Sweetheart Stroll
    • Purchase the Historic Bakery Building, resulting in the removal of an adult oriented business from the Downtown; selling the property later on for a profit
    • Fund the restoration of the Wrestling Bacchantes statue in Sunken Gardens
    • Construct the Streetscape program in the Downtown, including the medians, urns, lighting, and landscaping
  • Purchase the former bowling alley, now renting the building to the City for a temporary City Hall
  • Fund the creek restoration adjacent to the Historical Society House and City Hall
  • Fund affordable housing projects
  • Fund Atascadero’s Tourism program, including marketing, events, Visit Atascadero website, and our involvement in Savor the Central Coast

Redevelopment funds have employed hundreds of people in Atascadero and greatly improved our infrastructure within the Redevelopment Agency, and for that we are grateful. The elimination of the Redevelopment Agency will require that we adjust the way we conduct business.

 

 

 

 

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