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Redevelopment

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NEWS
February 1, 2012
In Camille Levee's Jan. 27 letter, “Support for SB 659,” she writes of her thoughts of the value of redevelopment agencies. I believe this is not the proper way to fund such projects. Local government should raise taxes and fees to finance such things. The current funding goes back, I think, to post Proposition 13 thinking. I support the governor on this. Let's do things in a different way. Stuart Ray Glendale
NEWS
February 10, 2011
In response to the Jan. 22 article “Council fights to save redevelopment money” I say this: First off, it is my opinion that Glendale has spent enough on redevelopment. The sums that were spent to realize the Americana at Brand are staggering. Not to mention the Glendale Galleria projects, buildings along Brand Boulevard and the Marketplace. Look at the vacancy rates today. Glendale has reached the point of diminishing returns when it comes to the subject of redevelopment.
THE818NOW
January 27, 2012
Despite stepped-up pressure from redevelopment agencies, state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said Thursday he does not foresee the Legislature extending the deadline for those agencies to begin shutting down. "It's not going to happen," Steinberg said of the chances of SB 659, the extension bill, being approved by Feb. 1, when agencies throughout the state must start shutting down. The bill by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) would extend the deadline for agencies to begin dissolution to April 15. On Thursday, the League of California Cities and other groups sent a letter to legislators noting that one ratings agency has downgraded redevelopment bonds, and two other agencies have put them on watch for a possible downgrade.
NEWS
July 12, 2012
One of the most complicated, important and obscure functions in California's state budget will begin on Thursday, as Gov. Jerry Brown's administration starts tallying up leftover funds from defunct redevelopment agencies. The agencies are being dissolved this year, and the Brown administration is counting on $3.1 billion in cash and property tax revenue to help close the deficit. The redevelopment money is being routed to local schools and community colleges, which lightens the load on the state budget.
NEWS
September 7, 2011
The City Council unanimously voted to reduce their redevelopment pay Tuesday night in order to comply with a state formula based on population size. When the city had a population of more than 200,000, the state allowed members to collect more than a state imposed $120 per month limit for redevelopment agency meetings. Council members have been paid $1,400 a month for their redevelopment work since 2002. But according to the latest Census figures, Glendale's population is approximately 192,000, triggering the state limit.
NEWS
May 24, 2012
Nine cities, including Glendale and Pasadena, filed a lawsuit this week to force the state to make good on millions of dollars for local officials to pay down debt and other obligations left over by the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Sacramento County Superior Court, comes as so-called “successor agencies” - made up of various stakeholders in the wind down of redevelopment operations - wade through the arduous process of untangling assets and paying down existing debts.
NEWS
January 13, 2012
Reporting from Sacramento -- As the clock ticks toward the Feb. 1 deadline to begin dissolution of California's redevelopment agencies, state lawmakers are scrambling to answer the contentious question of how the state can help cities subsidize private development to promote economic growth. On Thursday, one state senator proposed extending the life of the agencies; another wants to replace them with different organizations that could fund environmentally friendly growth. The agencies are on borrowed time because the California Supreme Court last month upheld Gov. Jerry Brown's elimination of their funding but struck down a compromise that would have let them survive in a lesser form.
NEWS
April 27, 2012
If anyone thought the loss of local redevelopment agencies would simply translate into fewer affordable housing projects or shiny new malls, think again. The full brunt of the state mandate eliminating this important tool will come into clearer focus in the coming weeks as Glendale officials wade through a series of budget discussions that will include probable lay-offs in departments that will surely impact public services and the everyday quality of life. Fewer people to respond to code enforcement issues, to staff libraries, to handle planning documents and permits, or to respond to complaints, will mean longer waits and a slower slog to get business done.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | June 12, 2012
The daily phone calls at City Hall from people seeking affordable housing options are a constant reminder of how demand continues to outstrip supply. And with the demise of local redevelopment, officials warn there's little chance of the trend reversing any time soon. “We hear these people and their situations on a daily basis,” said Peter Zovak, Glendale's deputy housing director. “We know it continues to be difficult.” For every new project, there are thousands of interested applicants.
NEWS
By Jason Wells, jason.wells@latimes.com | February 1, 2012
It's official, redevelopment is on its way out in Glendale, at least in its current form. Wednesday marked the day hundreds of redevelopment agencies across the state, including those in Burbank and Glendale, must start winding down their operations. The process is expected to take months as officials close out plans and tie up existing obligations. To oversee that process, cities have set up so-called “successor agencies” that will answer to local oversight committees and, ultimately, the California Department of Finance.
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NEWS
By Agnessa Kasumyan | November 29, 2013
After Billie Burke, best known for her portrayal of Glinda the Good Witch in the 1939 version of “The Wizard of Oz," left the Emerald City, she found herself past the yellow brick road of Hollywood and behind the gates of the Rockhaven Sanitarium in Glendale. Located on Honolulu Avenue, the sanitarium stands as a treasured site of historic Glendale, an intimate and aging symbol of a time when the valley was dispersed with resting and recovery homes due to its clean air quality. Patricia Traviss, the granddaughter of Rockhaven's founder, Agnes Mary Richards, sold the site in 2001 to the Ararat Home of Los Angeles, Inc., which provides nursing homes and care for elderly Armenians in Southern California.
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NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com and By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | May 21, 2013
After more than a year of hand-wringing and headaches on the part of the city, the California Department of Finance has given Glendale the go-ahead to use about $17 million in bond money and take back nearly $66 million in loans from its former redevelopment agency. Since becoming entangled the state's wind-down of local redevelopment agencies, Glendale has been unable able to use the bond money it issued to revamp the Central Library, improve Central Avenue and develop other projects.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine | April 25, 2013
While Glendale officials want to create a new economic development department to replace the defunct redevelopment agency, there's no money to operate it. But that appears to be a temporary hurdle. The City Council took the first step this week to refinance several redevelopment bonds issued in 2002, 2003 and 2010 to save about $875,000 a year in debt service through 2021. The city would get to keep about half of that money once it becomes available, according to new rules set by state officials after they dissolved nearly 400 redevelopment agencies throughout California - including Glendale's - last year.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | April 11, 2013
Glendale's top redevelopment official said this week that the city plans to negotiate with the state Department of Finance to lower an unexpected $20.2 million bill. “I am shocked,” Phil Lanzafame, Glendale's officer for economic development and asset management, said of the tab, which was about eight times higher than the city expected. As part of the dissolution of redevelopment last year, the roughly 400 redevelopment agencies throughout the state had to hire accountants to review how much redevelopment money they have on hand to be transferred to other taxing entities, such as school districts and community colleges.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | February 15, 2013
State lawmakers said this week that despite complaints from local officials, they are willing to help cities stymied by the end of redevelopment through the dissolution process - if they ask. During a City Hall meeting last week, city and Los Angeles County officials charged with overseeing the end of local redevelopment criticized Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge) and Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) for not doing enough to help Glendale through a confusing and frustrating dissolution process.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | February 1, 2013
As Glendale officials prepare to send in their fourth round of funding requests as part of the wind-down of local redevelopment, this time they're asking for $700,000 to reimburse the city for some of roughly $66 million in loans the city has made since Glendale first started its redevelopment activities decades ago. City officials requested money to refund the loans when they last asked for their allowance from the California Department of Finance,...
NEWS
By Brittany Levine and Kelly Corrigan | January 18, 2013
State lawmakers billed the end of redevelopment as a boon for schools, but it took nearly a year for Glendale Unified to start reaping the benefits. At a time when public education institutions are contemplating teacher layoffs and other cost-cutting measures, the potential for an influx of cash had put many local officials in a state of cautious expectation. “Don't count on anything until you truly receive it,” said Eva Lueck, chief business and financial officer for the Glendale Unified School District, who likened the redevelopment situation to “smoke and mirrors.” The smoke lifted in January, when Glendale Unified, Glendale Community College and the Los Angeles County Office of Education received about $1.5 million collectively as a result of Glendale's former redevelopment agency winding down, according to county records.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | January 2, 2013
They may have lost the war, but Glendale officials have won a battle over millions of redevelopment funds. Last week, state finance officials agreed to give Glendale nearly $3 million it had denied in mid-December. Although Sacramento lawmakers ended redevelopment in February, the Department of Finance is still giving roughly 400 defunct redevelopment agencies throughout California money to pay for previous obligations. City officials lauded the news Monday. Without the money, the city could have been slapped with a lawsuit, adding another headache to the already complicated dissolution process.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | December 22, 2012
Glendale and state officials have locked horns for months over spending money for redevelopment obligations, but this week, a decision handed down from Sacramento escalated the fight. In a letter this week, the California Department of Finance denied tens of millions of dollars that Glendale had requested to pay for the obligations of its former redevelopment agency, which like others across the state was dissolved by the state earlier this year. The decision to withhold some of the money Glendale requested will leave the city open to a lawsuit if it can't pay its obligations - a sticky situation forewarned by redevelopment attorneys months ago. “We don't have any administrative recourse,” said Philip Lanzafame, Glendale's officer for economic development and asset management, at a City Hall meeting Wednesday.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | October 4, 2012
The wind-down of local redevelopment threatens to undo an agreement to bring the Museum of Neon Art from downtown Los Angeles to Glendale, which could leave the venerable curator of all things neon without a home. MONA had shut down its Los Angeles space last year after the Glendale City Council, acting in its dual role as the now-defunct Redevelopment Agency, approved spending $5.2 million to move the museum into a renovated property across from the Americana at Brand. But that could all be undone as officials decide which past agreements to drop, and which ones to keep, a process that has unnerved museum officials.
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