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City manager meets with state finance department

On Wednesday, January 23, City Manager Tony Ramos traveled with Finance Director Adam Pirrie, Community Development Director Brian Desatnik and Successor Agency Counsel Tom Clark to Sacramento to meet with the California Department of Finance (DOF).

The purpose of the meeting was to challenge the DOF determination that property located at Base Line Road and Towne Avenue, currently the subject of a purchase agreement with City Ventures, LLC, is not considered a housing asset.

According to the DOF, the property should be subject to disposition and proceeds should be turned over to Los Angeles County for distribution to taxing entities pursuant to Assembly Bills 26 and 1484. These bills prescribe the procedures for the wind-down of redevelopment agencies in California and redistribution of former redevelopment agency tax increment revenues.

According to the legislation, former redevelopment agency housing assets are to be retained by the city if it elected to serve as the successor in performing the low- and moderate-income housing functions of the former redevelopment agency. The city adopted a resolution to do so in January 2012.

Staff and Successor Agency counsel believe the city’s arguments against the DOF determination have a sound legal basis and are confident that the information presented to DOF staff will result in a reversal of the determination. Should the determination not be reversed, it is likely that a lawsuit would follow.

In July 2012, the Planning Commission conducted a preliminary review of a proposed development on the 6.2-acre site, which includes “The Strawberry Patch.”

City Ventures LLC proposed a mixed-use residential community, which would consist of a total of 98 townhomes and 3 live-work townhomes. The developer was directed by the commission to refine the proposal to address environmental impacts, planning standards and design concerns.

The COURIER will look further into the issue in an upcoming edition.

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