50th District Assemblyman Richard Bloom (Dem-Santa
Monica) has announced that after many months of meetings and negotiations, the California Department of Finance has agreed to release
six downtown Santa Monica parking structures
to the city that were previously in limbo because of redevelopment
dissolution laws imposed by the state in 2011.
Bloom said he was pleased the Department of Finance had reversed course on this matter.
“With the Department of
Finance finally understanding and accepting that the city is the
rightful owner of these properties allows us to move
away from some of the frustration and chaos created by the dissolution
of redevelopment agencies,” Bloom said.
In 2011, facing a severe budget shortfall, the
Governor and Legislature dissolved redevelopment agencies and redirected
$1.7 billion away from various community economic development projects.
In response, communities were required to establish
a successor agency, governed by a local oversight board, that would
take over the projects from the now defunct redevelopment agencies.
However, for projects to qualify and be eligible
for bond funding, they had to meet certain requirements pursuant to the
new redevelopment dissolution laws and receive the permission from the
Department of Finance.
the Department of Finance denied the City of Santa Monica’s declaration
regarding a number of properties, including the six parking structures
adjacent to and serving the Third Street Promenade. The parking structures
had been built without using redevelopment agency funds.
Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould said the City of Santa Monica was pleased that the
Department of Finance (DOF) had recognized the six parking structures in
the downtown as under the rightful ownership of the City.
staff was very receptive to the documents we
provided clearly showing the purpose for which they were built and how
they were financed, with no involvement of the now defunct Redevelopment
Agency,” Gould said. "The State's
decision removes a cloud over the structures
and is a welcome development at the close of the year. While there are
still hurdles to crest in the New Year and perhaps beyond, likely
involving the State Controller's Office, this resolution of ownership of
such key assets is a major step toward conclusion
of the dissolution of redevelopment in Santa Monica.”
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