History of the Redevelopment Agency in Montclair
The Montclair Redevelopment Agency was established on June 6, 1977, and its Board of Directors was comprised of members of the Montclair City Council. Provisions of State law enable the Agency to undertake community projects designed to improve certain areas within the City which have suffered economic decline, deterioration of improvements, or which have been unable to attract and promote new private investments to enhance the quality of life in the area.
The Agency was responsible for setting the course of redevelopment in the City of Montclair and for being sure that redevelopment plans are in the best interests of the Community. In directing the City Redevelopment activities, State law provided the Agency with broad governmental functions and authority to accomplish its purpose, including but not limited to: the right to issue bonds for authorized purposes and to expend their proceeds, and the right to acquire, sell, rehabilitate, develop, administer or lease property. The Agency could also demolish buildings, clear land, and cause construction of improvements including streets and sidewalks.
The former responsibilities of the Redevelopment Agency included:
- Rejuvenatation and upgrade of areas of blight or neglect
- Stimulationof private investment
- Strengthening of the City's financial base including sales and property taxes
- Improving and/or constructing public infrastructure
- Creating and securing local jobs
Consistent with these goals, the Agency was actively involved in many projects and programs. A few of these included:
- Affordable Housing Programs
- Commercial Rehabilitation Programs
- Economic Development Business Attraction and Marketing Programs
- Capital Improvement Projects in five redevelopment project areas
The End of Redevelopment
The cities and the State of California had a year-long battle over the elimination of redevelopment.
As part of the strategy to close funding gaps in the State’s budget, AB1X 26 and AB1X 27 were signed by Governor Jerry Brown on June, 29, 2011. AB1X 26 eliminates redevelopment and suspends redevelopment agency activities, including incurring indebtedness or entering into or modifying contracts. AB1X 27 establishes a new Alternative Voluntary Redevelopment Program that allows cities to “buy-back” their agency then continue their work improving communities.
On December 29, 2011, the California Supreme Court issued its decision to uphold Assembly Bill X1 26, the measure that was introduced to abolish redevelopment agencies statewide. The Supreme Court found the provisions of AB1X 27 unconstitutional. As a result of the court’s decisions, the City of Montclair lost one of its most vital tools used to promote economic development, create jobs, develop safe and attractive affordable housing, and support to its local businesses.
Former Redevelopment Agency’s Contributions to the Community
The elimination of redevelopment has resulted in the loss of several programs and services provided by the former Montclair Redevelopment Agency to residents and businesses. Over the course of its 34 years in operation, the Montclair Redevelopment Agency administered and completed projects that invested millions of dollars in our local economy, and significantly contributed to the quality of life experienced by our City’s more than 37,000 residents who make Montclair their home.
The Montclair Redevelopment Agency invested millions of dollars in the community, including but not limited to:
- $15 million that supported public facilities including Alma Hofman Park improvements, the Montclair Community Collaborative Family Resource Center, and the Montclair Police Facility
- $30 million that provided for crucial public infrastructure projects including the widening of Central Avenue a the I-10 Freeway, Mission Boulevard improvements, and the Ramona Avenue Grade Separation
- $8.8 million that were invested in the City’s local economic development efforts and created over 600 jobs
- $7.8 million that created safe, attractive, and affordable housing for low-income residents
On January 12, 2012, the City became the Successor Agency of its former redevelopment agency.
Now that redevelopment agencies are dissolved, Successor Agencies are only able to make payments on existing obligations of their respective former redevelopment agencies. These obligations can be found on the Successor Agency’s Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS).
A local Oversight Board made up of seven members was established in 2012 to review and approve the Successor Agency's ROPS. In addition, the Oversight Board approves all actions of the Successor Agency.