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Re: “Another Bad Deal

It's perfectly appropriate and consistent with the purpose of a redevelopment agency to buy property that otherwise would be developed in a manner inconsistent with the neighborhood’s economic revitalization plan in order to instead build a market-rate housing project that the community wants.

HOWEVER, the city is obligated by law to pay no higher than the market value for the land. Every penny above the market value is a misuse of tax increment finance (TIF) funds, which, Mr. Gammon correctly points out, are taxpayer funds (property taxes paid by property owners in the redevelopment area). Mr. Bair is dead wrong (or, to use his writing style, DEAD WRONG!) when he says the city is "not allowed" to negotiate a purchase price for land. As long as the redevelopment agency and the property owner can agree on a price, the transaction is legal, even if it took back-and-forth negations to arrive at the purchase price.

I think Mr. Bair is getting this legal negotiation process confused with eminent domain. Under eminent domain law, it is illegal for the government to take land from a private property owner against his will by forcing him to sell at lower than the fair market value. But if the property owner AGREES to sell at a certain price after a negation process, of course that’s legal.

Zahara Gaitan-Smith

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Zahara Gaitan-Smith on 08/20/2008 at 11:56 PM

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