On Monday, the City Council will cut a $70 million check to Sacramento. This will be done through a two-part process. First the city of San Diego will commit by law to pay the county $70 million in this fiscal year, and $16 million in every fiscal year thereafter. Then, the redevelopment agency will remit the same payment to the city of San Diego though tax increment and reserves. The $70 million will come from projects that have been identified in these areas, including a substantial portion from affordable housing.
I have been a supporter of redevelopment. But, I do not support redevelopment at any cost. There are three problems with the city’s $70 million offering.
Firstly, this action continues a trend of last-minute deal-making that has gotten redevelopment into trouble in the past. This list of projects has not been adequately discussed, and there are serious concerns that affordable housing is being short-changed. The complete list of projects was not available until Friday. There was no City Council committee hearing on this subject, even though an ad hoc Redevelopment Committee exists precisely to hear these sorts of issues. Compare the cuts of $70 million being rushed through this week, with the cuts of $40 million in the city’s budget, which went through 3 months of public hearings and input.