Governor Ok’s Bill Sponsored by City of Long Beach

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Governor Brown - Photo from Wikipedia

Governor Brown – Photo from Wikipedia

Governor Brown has signed into law a bill sponsored by the City of Long Beach and Gateway Council of Governments to reactivate economic opportunity powers that were previously accessible to cities through Redevelopment (RDA). Authored by Senator Roderick Wright and Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, SB 470 provides cities and counties with flexibility for property disposal through the “fair reuse sale” process. This will enable local governments to promote economic opportunity strategies to increase jobs, promote affordable housing, encourage transit oriented development, and increase tax revenue for all levels of government.

“SB 470 is a huge win for the City of Long Beach and State of California,” says Mayor Bob Foster. “This is one of the few bills that passed through the State Legislature that will restore some of the economic development powers from Redevelopment. SB 470 is going to give Long Beach the flexibility we need to encourage quality developments on former RDA properties in alignment with community needs.”

Earlier versions of this measure planned to restore the Polanco Act for local government brownfield remediation, but the City opted to drop this provision, as the issue was addressed in AB 440 (Gatto), which was also recently signed by Governor Brown. By working closely with stakeholder groups, Long Beach was able to restore both economic opportunity powers in the original bill language for SB 470.

“I voted against the dissolution of redevelopment in 2011. Local governments need the authority to revitalize neighborhoods,” says Senator Roderick Wright. “SB 470 is a step in the right direction to promoting local economic opportunities. I am proud to bring back an economic development tool that will help revitalize neighborhoods in a way that does not use State funding.”

With the enactment of SB 470, the City will be in a stronger position to move forward on implementing the Long Range Property Management plan, once it receives approval from the State. On October 7, the Oversight Board of the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Long Beach, which has fiduciary responsibility to the holders of enforceable obligations and the taxing entities that benefit from the distributions of property taxes, approved the City’s Long Range Management Plan. Long Beach will be requesting the State to allow the disposal or use of 259 former RDA properties to the City for future governmental use, development, sale and fulfillment of an enforceable obligation in accordance with State law.

“Revitalizing neighborhoods has always been a passion of mine,” says Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal. “I hope this leads to greater investment in neighborhoods across our City.”

SB 470 was supported by the Gateway Council of Governments, League of California Cities, County of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, City and County of San Francisco, City of San Jose, City of Anaheim, City of Torrance, City of Whittier, City of Grass Valley, California Contract Cities, Port of Long Beach, and the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

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