The website CaliforniaCityNews.org is reporting that Larry Kosmont, whose firm does consulting with redevelopment agencies, has come up with the hair brain idea to create “Green Redevelopment Agencies” that would pursue the Holy Grail of an economically viable model of environmental sustainability. Such "green redevelopment agencies" would pursue the goals of AB 32 - the Global Warming Solutions Act" - and the anti-sprawl legislation AB 375.
Probably the most troubling part of creating any green redevelopment agencies, however, would be the idea of using eminent domain power to accomplish “green redevelopment.” Where would this lead? Would they eventually condemn housing in the suburbs to force you to live in "transit-oriented housing" in the cities? Could a green redevelopment agency condemn your lawn and force you to plant drought tolerant plants? Or under AB 375 would they be able to condemn a whole neighborhood as “environmentally nonsustainable?” While this sounds like an overreaction at the moment, the whole concept of using redevelopment powers (e.g., eminent domain, tax increment financing, etc.) for green projects is Constitutionally troublesome.
Right now thousands and thousands of new condos and apartments remain unsold and unrented in green “transit oriented housing villages” mainly in California coastal cities. This inventory of vacant new housing is a drain on municipal budgets and municipal water departments. Would “green redevelopment” powers be used by local government to condemn this housing for, say, “affordable transit oriented housing?”
This all sounds far fetched and paranoid at the moment, but the notion of “green redevelopment” would expand the powers of government takings and the definition of what is considered in “the public interest” to new near Orwellian levels.
agencies are all but defunct in the current depressed and overbuilt real estate
market. It is likely that the concept of "green" redevelopment
agencies is an attempt to revive redevelopment agencies and jobs using the new green legislation of AB 32 and AB 375. The notion of Green Redevelopment Agencies is likely an attempt at bureaucracies to "sustain" themselves where their historical mission has collapsed. Consulting firms that advise redevelopment agencies are the ones initially floating this idea of "Green Redevelopment," also possibly in an attempt at "sustainability" of their jobs. But who knows where such a notion might end up in California where legislators want to tax private parking spaces in shopping centers to plug the gargantuan state deficit?
For more read here http://www.californiacitynews.org/
In a related issue, the Los Angeles DWP has just announced that it has dropped the 85-mile long Green Path Transmission Line project across desert wilderness preserves due to fierce environmental opposition. Developing environmentally sustainable green power resulted in a spoiling the natural environment.