The City of Westminster moved into its post-redevelopment era by taking over most of the functions of the now dissolved Westminster Redevelopment Agency.
The city’s Housing Authority will take control of the agency’s housing assets and functions. The City Council approved the changes on Jan. 11.
As previously reported in the Journal, on Dec. 29 the California Supreme Court held up a June law that dissolves redevelopment agencies in California and transfers existing money to the state.
After the court’s decision, Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement, “Today’s ruling by the California Supreme Court validates a key component of the state budget and guarantees more than a billion dollars of ongoing funding for schools and public safety.”
Most local officials throughout the state, including those in Westminster, don’t agree.
“It is a negative impact for everyone in this city,” said Tri Ta, mayor pro tem. “Please voice your concerns to the governor, the Assembly and the State Senate.”
As the successor agency, the city takes control of any redevelopment agency property and is responsible for seeing any current contracts and projects to their conclusion. However, the city cannot start any new “redevelopment” projects.
“One of the many things we will not be able to do is roadwork,” said Frank Fry, councilmember. “Those streets will probably wait another 20 years unless someone passes something we can use.”
Councilmember Andy Quach tried to take a more optimistic view.
“The city started an aggressive road improvement program,” he said. “We’re going to have to look for alternative means, and we will.”
Redevelopment agencies don’t always have the best reputations, especially in larger cities. But Mayor Margie Rice insisted that the Westminster RDA always operated above board.
“We never used the power of the city to obtain land,” she said.
Updating another earlier Journal story, the council approved the event permit for the Vietnam War Memorial in Westminter, Inc. The group will hold a Black April commemoration event on Sunday, April 29 in Sid Goldstein Freedom Park.
The council will meet next on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. Meetings are held in the Council Chambers at the Civic Center, at 8200 Westminster Blvd.