By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
In an effort to keep more than $40 million worth of property in city hands if a proposed state budget dissolves redevelopment agencies, the Westminster City Council is taking up a proposal to switch the land to city ownership.
At Wednesday night’s council meeting, the city leaders examined a proposal to transfer all the property owned by the Westminster Redevelopment Agency to the city. The results of the meeting were not available at our deadline; go to www.ggjournal.com for the latest news on this issue, or see the article in the March 17 issue of the Journal.
Gov. Jerry Brown, as a means of closing a $25 billion gap in the state budget, is proposing that redevelopment agencies, which cities create to try to improve blighted areas, be dissolved and some of the money be sent back to Sacramento, although some would go to local agencies such as the county and school districts.
Westminster’s agency-owned lands include 16 parcels, ranging from a $19 million senior housing project and an $18 million car dealership site all the way to vacant lots worth only around $31,212.
The city council members have a dual role. They preside over the municipal corporation that is the City of Westminster as well as serve as directors of the redevelopment agency.
If the governor’s budget – with the end to redevelopment – is approved, the law requires that all agency-owned property be disposed of, and proceeds from the sale of assets go to the county auditor-controller for distribution.