California Senate Bill 1129, co-authored by Castro Valley’s State Senator Ellen Corbett, would reduce the hurdles in transferring former redevelopment properties, like the Daughtrey’s Building site, for a public use, such as a town square. The Senate Governance and Finance Committee starts is holding a hearing about SB 1129 at 9:30 this morning. At some point during the day, Committee Chair Senator Lois Wolk, will likely ask if there are supporters and opponents of the bills to speak up. I plan to speak up.
We often think that it is just Alameda County that controls the fate of Castro Valley. But the State of California government plays a big role in how things work (or don’t work) in Castro Valley.
That’s why I’m headed to Sacramento today.
The dismantling of California’s redevelopment agencies directly affects the fate of the Daughtrey’s building, where I hope we can build a town square for Castro Valley. The complexity of the “redevelopment dissolution” process has bewildered lawmakers, bureaucrats, redevelopment professionals, and average citizens. As I observed in a previous post, average citizens haven’t been very engaged in the conversation about redevelopment dissolution.
I and ten other members of the Castro Valley community have already registered our support for SB 1129. We sent emails to the Senate Committee, and our support was included in the official analysis of the bill. That analysis revealed some of the ongoing confusion about redevelopment dissolution, particularly around the idea that a property, like the Daughtrey’s site, would have to be “paid for twice”:
Nothing in current law requires that a successor agency or city must provide compensation at fair market value – or provide any compensation at all – for property that is retained for governmental use.”
If I am reading this correctly, this means that Alameda County or another public agency like the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District should be able to acquire the Daughtrey’s site for a nominal cost, like a dollar. Based on my conversations with public officials and the meetings I’ve attended, I don’t think that the memo that public agencies don’t have to pay “fair market value” in order to retain a property for “governmental use” has gone out.
SB 1129 makes emphatic something that redevelopment successor agencies apparently can already can do: transfer former redevelopment properties to public agencies for a public use at a nominal cost.
If Castro Valley is going to take control of its future, we may have to sit through a few more hearings in Sacramento.