Posted: 01/27/2011 12:01:00 AM PST
With all the attention to large redevelopment agencies like San Jose's, I'd like to offer a glimpse of what redevelopment means to cities with fewer than 50,000 residents and with small tax bases.
Homes became too expensive for locals, and while property taxes increased, our small town continued to lack amenities of larger communities: medical facilities, doctors, white-collar jobs and industrial jobs, for example. Instead, we saw a race of retail and fast-food stores to get a place on Highway 152 so they could capture the commuters on their way to work "over the hill."
Living in a small town with a short supply of stores and employment opportunities means most of our sales tax goes out of town, and those living in town have to commute elsewhere to find a decent-paying job. We lost our small-town atmosphere, gained overpriced homes, and the city was faced with the challenge of providing service for this new population.
In 1996, a redevelopment agency was formed. The RDA service area consists of our commercial and industrial sections as well as a small amount of "old Los Banos." Instead of working with special developers, we have worked with our community to provide projects that citizens and our RDA board felt were necessary.
Posted by Steve Sinai