Friday, January 28, 2011
A San Diego city councilman who opposes Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to eliminate local redevelopment agencies today called for immediate action on four major projects.
Councilman Kevin Faulconer sent a memo to Frank Alessi, the executive vice president of the Centre City Development Corp., requesting that the projects be brought before the city's Redevelopment Agency immediately for review and action.
The CCDC is the city's downtown redevelopment arm. The Redevelopment Agency oversees the CCDC and all other redevelopment in San Diego, and its board is made up of the City Council members.
The projects are the first phase of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, a park at Horton Plaza, a fire station at San Diego Bay and a permanent homeless shelter.
The North Embarcadero Visionary Plan is for long-term redevelopment of the downtown waterfront, and the park at the downtown shopping mall is envisioned as a gathering place for civic events.
"Each of these projects enjoys significant support, would have a tremendous impact on San Diego and all have been discussed by the Redevelopment Agency and the public on numerous occasions," Faulconer wrote.
He said other projects might also require swift action, but the listed ones should be taken up first.
The governor wants to take money from redevelopment agencies and put them in the general funds of local governments to ease budget strains, and cited a legislative analyst's conclusion that such agencies do not contribute much to the state's overall economic health.
Faulconer countered that the revitalization of San Diego's downtown would not have happened without the redevelopment process, and the result has been increased tax revenues for the city and jobs for residents.
A number of cities have rushed through redevelopment projects since Brown made his proposal.
"I feel if there are projects ready to go, we should move them forward," Alessi said. "Projects slated for 2015 to 2020, that's a different story."
The waterfront plan, which still needs approval by the California Coastal Commission, Horton Plaza park and homeless shelter are furthest along in the planning process, according to Alessi.
The design of the bayside fire station wasn't due until at least July, but that could also be moved up, if necessary, he said.