Dissolution of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency
In the wake of the recent California Supreme Court decision upholding state legislation (ABx1 26) dissolving redevelopment agencies, the City of Fullerton is in the process of closing down its agency to meet the court-designated deadline of Feb. 1, 2012.
Since the formation of the first project area in 1973, the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency has been a financial tool which has enabled the City to make many improvements benefitting the community.
Projects in which Agency has played a role in funding include the revitalization of Fullerton’s historic downtown district; development of affordable housing projects; renovation of Lions’ Field; expansion of Costco (the City’s largest sales tax producer); the Downtown Plaza at the Fullerton Museum Center; the Fullerton Arboretum; the recent expansion of the Fullerton Main Library; the seismic stabilization of the landmark Fox Theatre, which enabled the Fullerton Historic Theatre Foundation to begin renovations; and the new Community Center, which will house the City’s senior citizen programming and the Fullerton Boys and Girls Club.
The loss of redevelopment will directly affect the City’s operations. Most significantly, anticipated redevelopment funds will no longer be available for several important projects, including planned Transportation Center improvements and renovations to landmark Hillcrest Park. In addition, the City’s Five-Year Capital Improvement Program, which schedules such infrastructure projects as street and roadway improvements, slope stabilization projects, streetlight improvements, and water and sewer system upgrades, has approximately $4.5 million in redevelopment funds budgeted for the various projects. Loss of the redevelopment funds will require reprioritizing projects.
The City is waiting on a decision from the State Legislature as to whether Agency-funded affordable housing projects will be able to continue. A bill before the State Senate would, if approved, amend Senate Bill 654 to support agencies retaining existing fund balances on deposit in the Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Fund of dissolved agencies. These funds would be used by the successor agency, which is now the City of Fullerton.
Projects funded by the Redevelopment Agency which are well under way, such as the Community Center, Fox Theatre and the new Transportation Center parking structure, will continue to be funded to completion.
City staff will revise the City’s project list and prepare a new schedule for City Council consideration. In addition, staff is actively investigating other funding options in anticipation of the dissolution of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency.