The California Legislature passed a budget that will eliminate redevelopment efforts throughout the state. The decision will likely gut Santa Barbara’s development aspirations. In 2012 alone, $90 million in local construction activity was to be paid for by Redevelopment Agency Funds. Santa Barbara’s Redevelopment Agency made national news when – to deal with panhandling on State Street – they allocated $50,000 for “The State Street Benches Relocation Pilot”… a project that would have turned 14 benches perpendicular and removed the backs from others.
The beneficiaries will be local schools, whose share of property taxes, until now, have been diverted to local redevelopment efforts like; the Granada Garage, 617 Garden Street, the Library Plaza Renovation project, and an $835,000 wisteria arbor.