|Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly upheld a state budget bill last Friday that requires redevelopment agencies statewide to transfer $2.05 billion in local redevelopment (RDA) funds for state purposes over the next two years. The City of Chula Vista’s portion of this state takeaway will equal $5 million dollars over a two-year period.
“This raid of redevelopment money has serious repercussions for Chula Vista,” said City Manager Jim Sandoval. “Taking this funding will make even more challenging an ability to redevelop the bayfront and create jobs that would stimulate our local economy, ultimately improving our community.”
The City of Chula Vista’s Redevelopment Agency’s plan to finance a new fire station on the bayfront is at stake. Sandoval explained the loss could also inhibit the ability to bond for $15 million in much needed infrastructure improvements for western Chula Vista, and the capability to build new affordable housing throughout the city. Hundreds of construction jobs and new state and local tax revenues could be lost.
The ruling came in response to the California Redevelopment Association’s (CRA) lawsuit, filed in Sacramento Superior Court, seeking to invalidate provisions of Assembly Bill X4-26, passed in July 2009 as part of the 2009-2010 state budget.
California Redevelopment Association Executive Director John Shirley responded by saying, “We strongly disagree with Judge Connelly’s ruling which effectively says the legislature has unlimited discretion to redirect local redevelopment funds to any purpose it wishes. The legislature needs to deal with its budget problems by making hard decisions using its own limited resources – not by taking away local government funds.”