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San Diego Hustles To OK Building Projects


There’s a sports saying that goes “go big or go home.” That appears to be the City of San Diego’s philosophy when it comes to locking in redevelopment money.

— California cities are putting a rush on projects in case the state does away with redevelopment.

San Diego is jumping on the bandwagon with both feet. The philosophy seesm to be: If you’re going to go on a spending spree, why not make it a big one?

Redevelopment agencies may be eliminated in California, but the governor says any project already underway can continue. So San Diego has put together a preliminary list of projects it wants to launch. The total cost: $4 billion.

Councilman Carl DeMaio says not so fast, however. He said he’s opposed to the elimination of redevelopment. But that doesn’t mean he’s ready to allocate billions.

“Legally, we don’t really understand what are the rights and responsibilities of the redevelopment agency, the city of San Diego and, of course, the state of California,” he said. “I think we need to get some clarity on that before we go running out with a checkbook and start spending a lot of money.”

Roughly half of that $4 billion is slated to be spent on projects in downtown San Diego, including the expansion of the Convention Center. But there is a total of 17 redevelopment project areas in San Diego. And Councilman Todd Gloria said other parts of the city would benefit as well.

“It’s a question of do you want to create jobs, affordable housing, neighborhood reinvestment, economic development?” he asked. “Or do you want to send a couple billion dollars to Sacramento that actually won’t even solve their problem?”

Gloria said many of the proposed projects would improve the city's aging infrastructure.

It’s not clear how the state will classify whether a project is far enough along to be allowed to continue. So putting a project on the list doesn’t mean it’ll be safe.

The online news site has posted a copy of the draft list. The City Council will consider the final list of projects later this month.

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