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COALITION FOR REDEVELOPMENT REFORM

Our History

Who are we? And what do we want?

More than a year ago, many of us had a "heads-up" from the RDA when they sent us certified letters telling us that the Agency wanted to take our properties and turn them over to out-of-town developers for high rise, high density, high cost housing to provide a critical mass of shoppers for the planned Palladium project and that if we were not willing to take what the developers would offer, the Agency would take our properties by eminent domain and transfer title to the developers. We were the "Not for Sale by Owner" folks. We won that battle, but we knew that the war was not over.

During the year, the City Council, acting as the RDA agency, issued Exclusive Negotiating Agreements and then Developer Disposition Agreements (DDA - Done Deal Already) to Blake Hunt Developers of Walnut Creek to take over the Tropicana Shopping Center from its owners who had spent more than $9 million of their own money to renovate the Center, and voted to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on relocation and appraisal consultants to treat the property as if the agency already owned it and to give the chosen developers a subsidy of $50 million for this property and one across the street.

In May of 2002, the PAC, a grass-roots group guided by RDA, approved a Strong Neighborhood Initiative Plan (SNI) to put one-third of the City of San Jose in a merged Redevelopment Area under the control of RDA, subject to its power of eminent domain, to take private property for private purposes, and to subject it to another layer of government, whereby any property in an SNI area could not obtain a permit for improvement, renovation or change without the approval of the RDA even if such plans complied with current building codes and zoning regulations.

We are property owners, business owners and tenants who care about the City of San Jose; we are the stakeholders who have been here and intend to stay here. We are not against strong neighborhoods - we are the strong neighborhoods. We want redevelopment money to go to the neighborhoods - it is our money. We do NOT believe that the people of San Jose should be forced to give up their constitutionally guaranteed property rights in order to receive money to improve the neighborhoods.

We are a coalition of concerned people who have joined together for the purpose of protecting the community against public and private entities engaged in redevelopment abuses. We provide education, advocacy and a public forum, enabling all voices to be heard.

We want the people of San Jose to take back our City - we want strong neighborhoods to be the voices of the people, not of the RDA and its paid consultants.

The more concerned people who join our battle against eminent domain for private gain, the stronger our message is and the more successful we will be.

For further information, please contact CRR at (408) 817-5678 or through our message board.

Loraine Wallace Rowe
Chairperson of Coalition for Redevelopment Reform