Effective February 1, 2012 all redevelopment agencies in the State of California were dissolved pursuant to AB X1 26. Although the Whittier Redevelopment Agency has been dissolved, this website has historical information about the Whittier Redevelopment Agency and will be used by the City of Whittier as the Whittier Redevelopment Successor Agency to provide information related to the dissolution and winding down of the Whittier Redevelopment Agency. This website will be updated periodically to provide additional information.
Whittier Redevelopment Agency Dissolution
The State of California decided to eliminate redevelopment so that it could capture and use redevelopment funds for other State budget expenditures. Cities and Redevelopment Agencies sued the State in Court to stop the elimination, but ultimately lost the case (California Redevelopment Association, et al. v. Matosantos, et al. Case No. S194861). On December 29, 2011 the State of California Supreme Court handed down their ruling confirming the State’s authority to eliminate redevelopment agencies. As part of the Supreme Court’s ruling, redevelopment agencies were eliminated on February 1, 2012.
Redevelopment funds have infused a tremendous economic benefit to the City of Whittier. The Whittier Redevelopment Agency has funded numerous housing, retail, commercial, industrial and public projects. Thousands of jobs have been created as a result of these redevelopment activities. The elimination of redevelopment will result in an annual loss of over $5 million to the City. Unfortunately, many of Whittier’s redevelopment and economic development programs will be eliminated.
Transition / Establishment of WRSA
The winding down of the Whittier Redevelopment Agency’s existing obligations will be managed by a new separate public entity, the Whittier Redevelopment Successor Agency (WRSA). It was created by the City Council by Resolution No. 8442 on February 14, 2012. As of February 1, 2012 WRSA assumed the assets of the Whittier Redevelopment Agency. It will honor the Whittier Redevelopment Agency’s recognized obligations and has the job of disposing of the Whittier Redevelopment Agency’s assets. The WRSA approved a Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule which details expenses from January 2012 through June 2012, such as pass through payments, project commitments, administrative costs, and other contractual payments. Future payment schedules will be adopted in 6 month increments.
Eliminating redevelopment agencies did not eliminate the necessity for communities throughout California to build more affordable housing, eliminate blight, foster business activity, clean up contaminated Brownfields, and create jobs. Finding viable replacements for providing the economic development incentives lost by the elimination of redevelopment will be challenging. Regardless, the City of Whittier will research proposed legislation, any new state and federal statutory tools, assessment districts, and old models such as special tax vehicles.
Per State law (Health and Safety Code Section 34179), WRSA is required to have an Oversight Board. Oversight Board members shall serve without compensation or reimbursement for expenses and they will have personal immunity from suit for their actions taken within the scope of their responsibilities as Oversight Board members. The Board must be created by June 1, 2012.
The Oversight Board will be comprised of seven members appointed by:
- Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors;
- Mayor of Whittier;
- Largest special district by property tax share, which is anticipated to be the Los Angeles Consolidated Fire District, although there has been no final determination;
- Los Angeles County Office of Education;
- Chancellor of the California Community Colleges;
- Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors – member of the public; and
- Representative of employees of the former redevelopment agency appointed by the mayor.
WRSA actions must first be approved by the Oversight Board. The Oversight Board is considered to be a local entity for purposes of the Ralph M. Brown Act, the California Public Records Act, and the Political Reform Act.