SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The California Supreme Court Thursday upheld a new law that will abolish community redevelopment agencies, dealing a blow to San Diego city officials who tried to keep their agency open.
The state's high court also struck down a companion statute that allowed local governments to keep the agencies alive by making payments to the state.
Redevelopment proponents argued that voter-passed Proposition 22, which bars the state from seizing local tax money, invalidated both laws.
Redevelopment agencies are funded by the increase in tax revenue created by projects in their areas.
Supporters of the laws passed by the Legislature earlier this year, including Gov. Jerry Brown, say the money is better used to fund schools and other municipal functions during tight budgetary times. They cite a state analysts report that shows the cost of redevelopment growing without any tangible economic benefit to the state.
Since the court ruling aborted the plan to allow local governments to buy back into redevelopment, the agencies will be phased out when their currently contracted projects are completed.
The agencies not only fund major building projects, like proposed new football stadiums in downtown San Diego and Los Angeles, but spend 20 percent of their income on affordable housing.
San Diego Housing Federation Executive Director Susan Tinsky called for a new affordable housing funding source.
"In the current economic environment, more people are doubling up, living on someone else's couch, or worse yet, sleeping in their cars or on the street each day," Tinsky said. "We call on public officials and policymakers at all levels to join in developing and executing a plan to deal with the state's housing crisis now."
On Wednesday, Councilman Carl DeMaio said he would work with other officials across the state to pass a ballot measure to "absolutely guarantee that redevelopment dollars remain local."
The city of San Diego and many other local jurisdictions chose to pay the state to keep their agencies open. San Diego was due to pay $70 million.
San Diego officials point to downtown as an example of the success of redevelopment.
One person was killed Friday in a crash involving a motorcycle on northbound Interstate 5 in Carlsbad.
Covet Canyon, a paramilitary training camp in the East County, is in financial trouble after the owner defaulted on property payments. Owner Marc Halcon has 90 days to make good on the debt or the 160 acre property could fall into foreclosure and auction.
Spencer Abbott had two goals and two assists after missing two games and Eric Fehr scored twice in his debut with the San Diego Gulls in an 8-3 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners Friday night.
On Friday, a fourth woman came forward with disturbing allegations of sexual assault by a San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Angry Poway Unified School District parents on Friday packed the sidewalk calling for a local teacher to be fired after sending inappropriate text messages to a teenage student.
The unemployment rate in San Diego County dropped to 3.7 percent last month from 4.1 percent in September, according to state figures released Friday.
Black Friday is a week away, but many retailers are now making you wait. This year, companies are offering discounts the entire week leading into Black Friday. News 8's Eric Kahnert reports on some of the goods you can get during Black Friday "week."
A sea of pink will travel through San Diego starting Friday for the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day. The 60 mile journey kicks off early Friday morning and ends Sunday evening at the final destination – the celebratory Closing Ceremony.
Camp Pendleton and Naval Base San Diego have among the highest rates of sexual assaults reported to the military among Marine Corps and Navy bases worldwide, according to a Department of Defense report released Friday.