Category Archive: redevelopment

  1. Community-Led Planning

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    Image from Paul Narvaez: https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_photographer/14981389300/in/photolist-9BmgAk-9BpcwY-9Bmbtz-9BmbRB-9Bmcgv-9BpdaG-9Bmdse-9Bmiyi-9xAkXs-9xAiuE-9i4myd-9i227z-9i4CMo-9i1Twn-9xxjEX-9i1ob4-9i1nNe-9i1RCV-9i1RfH-9i4XBq-9i1phT-9i4Q4A-9i1oSR-9i4Tvs-9i1n6v-9xAgEb-9i1QQB-p75Uct-oPS1eM-oPRx6w-9i4DBo-9i4T8d-9i4M6W-9i1NwV-9i1Hik-9i4pR5-cg5rnJ-9xAiTN-9xxi7T-9i1J7p-9i4Uwq-9i1GU2-9i56tQ-9i1K1k-9i4UeG-9i21KT-9i1yo8-fEmcvw-bySMrU-7BwdCE

    Image from Paul Narvaez

    Increased development and investment in infrastructure have the potential to permanently alter the fabric of communities. Local planning efforts, in the form of ordinances or community plans, are just a few of the many tools used to ensure responsible planning and zoning, and provide an avenue for community engagement. However, traditional methods of community engagement can fall short in communities of color. For these populations language barriers, time constraints, and a dearth of easily accessible information conspire to keep residents in the dark. In response, residents and community groups in some locales have upended the traditional planning process and initiated their own planning efforts to guide development on their terms. (more…)

  2. Rail Transit in Panama

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    Image from ELP Advisors

    Image from ELP Advisors

    With First Rail Transit Line in Central America, Panama Aims to Remake its Urban Centers

    This month, ELP heads south to Panama to explore Central America’s very first rail transit system. With the recent opening of the Panama City’s Metro de Panama, as well as concurrent improvements to MetroBus, the regional bus system, Panama City is poised to not only increase connectivity, but also radically alter its urban landscape.

    In October, a delegation of Panamanian officials, including key legislators, finance experts, and city planning officials, visited California and met with public, private and non-profit sector leaders to discuss issues of social and urban economic development. (more…)

  3. Governor Brown’s Vision for Redevelopment 2.0

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    Image from Washington State Department of Transportation: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7821771@N05/5306805749/

    Image from Washington State Department of Transportation: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7821771@N05/5306805749/

    Since the dissolution of redevelopment agencies in 2011, cities and counties throughout the state have been left without a well-funded, practical financing mechanism for economic development.   Governor Brown’s new budget trailer bill [PDF] aims to bring back some elements of redevelopment via new and improved infrastructure financing districts.  Yet portions of the Governor’s proposal may not catch fire with local governments. (more…)

  4. Governor’s Budget Highlights

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    California Governor Jerry Brown released his proposed budget for the state earlier this month. While the state’s fiscal fortunes have improved [PDF], the governor’s spending proposals strike a measured tone, with a focus on building up the state’s reserves and making deferred payments to schools that were hard-hit during the recession. The budget underscores the governor’s support for two major infrastructure projects – implementation of the Statewide Water Action Plan (including a fix for the Bay Delta) and financing for high speed rail. It also includes funding for green projects and throws support behind an economic development tool that may fill the void left by redevelopment’s demise. (more…)

  5. Right Coast, Wrong Coast: Two States Grappling with Affordable Housing

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    Image from Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East: http://www.flickr.com/photos/habitatpdxmetro/8640476095/sizes/l/

    Image from Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East: http://www.flickr.com/photos/habitatpdxmetro/8640476095/sizes/l/

    Fully half the renters in the U.S. now spend more than 30% of income on rent, “up 12% from a decade earlier,” according to a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. The problem is more dire if you look at low-income households, where more than 8 in 10 renters with incomes below $15,000 pay more than 30% of their income on housing costs. The provision of affordable housing across the country continues to be a significant problem for local governments. But the policy mechanisms available for local officials and affordable housing advocates vary from state to state. Recent Supreme Court decisions in New Jersey and California highlight the effects that state regulatory frameworks have on cities and developers looking to build housing. (more…)

  6. The Redevelopment Wind Down Continues

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    Image from Alex Proimos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34120957@N04/7581237364/

    Image from Alex Proimos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34120957@N04/7581237364/

    It’s been more than two years since Governor Brown signed the death knell for California’s 400-odd redevelopment agencies, but that hasn’t meant that things have been any less contentious when local government interests conflict with the state’s objectives. Here’s where we are in the process, a snapshot of some of the battles that are being waged, and a look at what’s to come in the ongoing saga of the demise of redevelopment in the Golden State. (more…)

  7. Creatively Addressing Cracks in Funding…and Pavement

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    Image from Mike Zhang: http://www.thestumblr.com/

    Image from Mike Zhang: http://www.thestumblr.com/

    The Voice of San Diego (VOSD) recently reported on the efforts of local residents to creatively fill a fiscal void caused by redevelopment dissolution.

    In seeking new infrastructure dollars to address street development and maintenance, the City Heights Community Development Corporation, WalkSanDiego and the Center for Urban Economics and Design at UC San Diego conducted a study last year on whether the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) could be applied toward their infrastructure needs. The study concluded that this was indeed feasible and plausible. (more…)

  8. What’s Next for Redevelopment Dissolution

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    The dissolution of the state’s redevelopment agencies began in earnest around this time last year. Since then, the process of winding down the activities of some 400 former local agencies has been anything but smooth. In spite of lawsuits, temporary restraining orders, and demands for payment, the long march of the post-redevelopment era continues. Here’s what to look for as we enter year two of redevelopment’s dissolution. (more…)

  9. Governor Brown Puts a Hold on Redevelopment Redo

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    The Governor has put the brakes on the Legislature’s attempts to develop new economic development tools in the wake of redevelopment’s dissolution.

    On September 30, he vetoed SB 1156, saying that his office would prefer to take a “constructive look at implementing” [PDF] the program only after the redevelopment wind down is complete. Governor Brown echoed those sentiments in his veto messages for AB 2144, AB 2551, and SB 214, which would have reformed Infrastructure Finance Districts to help achieve economic development and renewable energy goals. For AB 2144, he writes [PDF] that the “measure would likely cause cities to focus their efforts on using the new tools provided by [AB 2144] instead of winding down redevelopment.”  While the goals of AB 2551 are laudable, Governor Brown felt that the measure was “premature” [PDF]. (more…)

  10. Redevelopment Redo

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    The State Legislature recently passed SB 1156, “a bill that would allow cities and counties to create Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities.” The bill now awaits the Governor’s signature at the end of the month. As we’ve noted, SB 1156 attempts to resuscitate elements of redevelopment after all of the state’s redevelopment agencies were shuttered last year. Hopes are high that Governor Brown will sign the new legislation. But is he likely to sign off on this redevelopment redo? (more…)