Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to disband local redevelopment agencies in an effort to funnel millions of dollars to Sacramento may just happen if he's successful in framing the political argument. Besides, redevelopment zones don't exactly scream "sexy."
The power of redevelopment zones was passed to local governments as a way to pay for the steep expense of transforming blighted areas that drain public resources into productive sectors. In Glendale, it was used to bring in the Americana at Brand. In Burbank, it transformed the San Fernando Road corridor.
And there's still plenty of potential within these zones left to be tapped. In Burbank alone, the four zones have generated more than $231 million for the city since 1988. If anyone thinks local cash-strapped governments can continue that sort of investment without the redevelopment provisions — in which cities sell bonds against the increased tax base brought on by redeveloped stagnant properties — they're seriously mistaken.