California Redevelopment Law No Longer a Blight to Property Owners

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
26 Jan 2012

In December 2011, the California Supreme Court upheld legislation dissolving the State’s redevelopment agencies which must now turn over their property tax revenues to the State.  Dissolving the redevelopment agencies was part of cost-cutting measures taken by Governor Jerry Brown to address a massive budget shortfall.  Approving the Court’s decision, critics of the redevelopment agencies believed they lacked sufficient oversight on spending, abused eminent domain, and that the funds could be best used elsewhere.  The development community believes future development is going to be difficult without the ability to coordinate the assemblage of parcels, environmental remediation, and necessary infrastructure.

California’s “experiment” will be closely watched by other states as the need for eminent domain reform hit a fevered pitch nationwide following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London.  In New Jersey, municipalities have adopted local ordinances to ban the use of eminent domain for redevelopment purposes, while at least one town has abandoned redevelopment in favor of rehabilitation.

A copy of the California Supreme Court’s opinion in Cal. Redevelopment Assoc. v. Matosantos, Docket No. S194861 (Ca. Dec. 29, 2011) can be found here.

For more on the California story, please see the following blog posts and articles:

Taking from the Takers? California Budget Would Eliminate Redevelopment Agencies (New Jersey Condemnation Law Blog)

Abandoning Redevelopment: California’s Big Experiment (UrbanLand)

California high court puts redevelopment agencies out of business (L.A. Times)

California Redevelopment Agencies: Counties Split On Supreme Court Ruling (Huffington Post)

For more on actions taken by New Jersey’s municipalities, please see the following blog posts:

Long Branch Considers Rehabilitation in Lieu of Redevelopment

Spring Lake Council Enacts Anti-Eminent Domain Ordinance by Overturning Mayor’s Vetoes

Old Bridge Adopts Ordinance Restricting Eminent Domain