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Redevelopment is dead.
The state Supreme Court today gave the state the power to end its longtime neighborhood revitalization program, while also striking down a smaller compromise version of it. With the state mired in financial distress, Gov. Jerry Brown had targeted redevelopment for elimination in order to free money for basic services.
The decision comes with incredibly wide-ranging impacts on hot-button issues across San Diego. It could be a boost for school funding at a time when San Diego Unified talks about insolvency. The Chargers had long eyed downtown redevelopment money for a new downtown football stadium. Redevelopment is used extensively to fund affordable housing throughout the region. And the death of redevelopment could also free up more money for the county of San Diego and eventually city services.
The program, established to fix up downtrodden neighborhoods, is widely credited with downtown’s famous rebirth. At the same time, it’s been host to local scandals and in some cases strayed from the original intent, becoming an easy pot of money for politicians to tap for big projects without having to ask for voter approval.
We’re working on sorting out the details on this monumental decision.
For now, here’s a quick reading list to get you caught up:
• Our June story on the redevelopment compromise that the court ruled on today, upholding half of it and destroying the other half.
• Two takes from Scott Lewis: a) Gov. Jerry Brown’s shrewd move to pit redevelopment against education and b) the reason why killing redevelopment isn’t robbery.
• A graphic showing what the local 800-pound redevelopment gorilla, the Centre City Development Corp., spends its money on.
• And another graphic breaking down what the city of San Diego planned to spend $4 billion in future redevelopment on.
• Ricky Young, the watchdog editor at the Union-Tribune, also put together coverage of redevelopment.
Check back for more later.
I’m the editor of VOSD. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.325.0526.
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