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League Supports Bills to Provide Brownfield Remediation Authority to Cities and Authorize Expenditure of Proceeds of 2011 RDA Bonds

April 5, 2013
This week the League officially announced its support of AB 440 (Gatto) and AB 981 (Bloom). Both bills would address problems created by the dissolution of redevelopment agencies.
AB 440
Assembly Member Gatto’s bill would give cities, counties and housing authorities the authority to use the brownfield remediation tools previously granted to redevelopment agencies under the Polanco Redevelopment Act. It would also give these agencies the ability to use this authority at any location in their jurisdiction, not just in former redevelopment project areas. California’s policy goals of greenhouse gas reduction, transit-oriented development and reducing sprawl can depend heavily upon investing in the revitalization of urban areas.
The Polanco Act allowed former redevelopment agencies to expedite the removal of hazardous substances from urban parcels in accordance with state-approved cleanup plans. Once the area was remediated according to the approved plan, the local agency was immune from liability. That immunity was also extended to future developers and owners of the parcel.
AB 981
The League is also urging city officials to support Assembly Member Richard Bloom’s AB 981, a bill which would authorize:
  • Bond proceeds issued before June 28, 2011, and backed by Low and Moderate Income Housing funds, to be used for affordable housing purposes; and
  • Successor agencies that receive a finding of completion to use proceeds from bonds issued before June 28, 2011 for their intended purposes.
This bill is needed to provide flexibility for communities to use bonds issued between Jan. 1–July 28, 2011 to important local priorities including infrastructure and affordable housing.
Next Steps
AB 981 has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Local Government as well as the Housing and Community Development. The League will notify city officials when hearing dates have been set.
AB 440 is scheduled to be heard on April 16 in the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. The bill has also been referred to the Assembly Local Government Committee, with a hearing date to be set.
The League’s support letters are available at www.cacities.org/billsearch by typing “AB 440” or “AB 981” into the search function.

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