HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: REVIEW AND MODIFY OR TERMINATE OUTDATED REDEVELOPMENT STANDARDS

12-A
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:
REVIEW AND MODIFY OR TERMINATE OUTDATED
REDEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
Problem Identification:
HCD’s commercial redevelopment efforts are hampered by outdated standards and controls. The City has not reviewed or updated the 60 or 70 existing neighborhood renewal plans in at least the past 10 or 12 years. In many cases, the plans are outdated.HCD, therefore, is placed in the awkward position of trying to stimulate new retail opportunities on commercial strips while having to enforce outdated, sometimes irrelevant plans.The result can be that businesses which would have located in commercial districts are not permitted to do so, thereby thwarting neighborhood improvement and forcing the City to lose potential tax revenue.

Recommendation:
Develop a prioritized schedule for reviewing the City’s neighborhood renewal plans. Priorities should include: (1) those plans that are about to expire; and (2) areas of (commercial) opportunity in which the City is already planning a redevelopment initiative. In the long term, the City should establish a schedule of reviewing neighborhood plans every four to five years.

Classification:
Revenue Enhancement

Function/Operational Area:
HCD — Commercial Revitalization, Neighborhood Project Coordination; City Department of Planning

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Staff time to establish schedule and eventually to review and modify plans.

Barriers to Implementation:
The modification and/or termination of redevelopment standards and controls requires careful analysis. A prioritized schedule to review neighborhood plans could be quite controversial. As per regulations established by the Urban Renewal Authority, the work to modify neighborhood plans must be undertaken in conjunction with the business and neighborhood leadership and presented to City Council. Without broad support these changes’and even the schedule to analyze the status of the plans’could become quite controversial. (It is important to note that not all standards and controls are outdated and inappropriate, and that modification or termination of these standards does not mean the elimination of all controls. Zoning requirements and building codes would still be enforced, as they are elsewhere in the city.)

Projected Implementation:
Six months to develop a prioritized schedule of reviews.

Next Steps:
The Planning Department should take the lead on developing a prioritized schedule of reviews, but should do so in close cooperation with HCD, and with the direct input of the Commissioner.

Analysis:
None.