Sunday, December 11 , 2016, 12:04 am | A Few Clouds 59º


Local News

Redevelopment-Related Legislation Could Force Sale of City Parking Structures

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider urges Assembly members to oppose a proposed bill she says would harm downtown areas

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider sent out strongly worded letters to state Assembly members this week, urging them to oppose a bill that would force the city to sell the parking lots and structures owned by the now-defunct city Redevelopment Agency.

In downtown Santa Barbara, RDA funds were used to renovate the two commuter lots and four multilevel structures that have become a central part of the business and tourism community.

Schneider’s letters were sent to state Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, who is the chair of the Assembly budget subcommittee that recently discussed the bill.

“I cannot express to you in strong enough terms how much we object to this newly inserted provision,” she wrote.

When the redevelopment agencies were dissolved, oversight boards were given the power to decide what expenses are allowed using leftover funds and how to dispose of RDA assets and properties.

Government assets, such as buildings constructed and used for governmental purposes, would be transferred to the appropriate public agency, but parking structures or lots are not included in that category, according to the revised language.

Millions of dollars were invested in parking infrastructure, designed to make downtown a vital business community that is pedestrian-friendly. Forcing the structures to be sold to a private entity “could be detrimental to the long-term economic vitality of downtown and upend over 50 years of sound community planning.” 

The city and League of California Cities are pushing for different “cleanup bills” that attempt to clarify the RDA dissolution process, ones that keep some affordable housing funds and protect loan agreements between cities and former RDAs.

“We should not let the end of redevelopment be an opportunity to go back and unravel the gains we have established over the years in revitalizing our downtowns,” Schneider wrote.

The state Legislature has a summer deadline to pass a budget, and hasn’t made any final decisions on redevelopment-related cleanup bills.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Mayor’s letter protesting proposal to force sale of parking structures

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >