In response to County Counsel’s objections to the original blight findings, the staff report asserts that “these parcels if developed will need to be assembled with adjacent properties to create a sufficient development parcel. Because these parcels are in multiple ownerships it becomes more difficult to assemble into a desired development site.”
My brother and I assembled 27 irregular shaped parcels along Truslow & Walnut Ave. without any RDA assistance. No subsidy, no eminent domain. The result is the Soco Walk transit-oriented condo complex.
Many subsidized in-fill projects made possible by eminent domain are failures, because they respond to government hand-outs rather than market realities. Up and down California there exist many Ghost Malls (Triangle Square / Costa Mesa, Carousel Mall / San Bernardino) built on the backs of dispossessed property owners and fleeced taxpayers.
Let’s not suffer the fate of Santa Ana’s “Renaissance Plan” with numerous agency-owned vacant lots (where home and businesses once stood) have festered for years of bureaucratic inertia. There are many other such examples.
Redevelopment staffs abhor small business districts with multiple ownerships, because they cannot control them.
They tarnish them with the blight label and threaten them with eminent domain to benefit some politically-connected developer who makes a killing before selling out and moving on.
Who thinks that government officials can do a better job of redeveloping areas than private individuals using their own money and taking their own risks? Bottom line: Do you trust the free market or city staff to make crucial development decisions for Fullertons future?