Irvine's council opts to save its redevelopment agency

IRVINE — The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved an ordinance that saves the Irvine Redevelopment Agency (RDA) from dissolution.

The voluntary program opts the RDA into an alternative redevelopment program, thus bypassing any closure required by the Dissolution Act, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown into law June 29.

The funds will be paid through the RDA, not the city's general fund, said Mark Asturias, city housing and redevelopment manager.

The City Council also approved the city staff's recommendation to appeal the contribution amount — about $2.6 million for the fiscal year 2011-12 — which was determined by a state finance department alternative formula and varies by city.

Had the state used the statute's original formula for calculating a city's contribution, Irvine's would have been a negative number, Asturias said.

An appeal of the amount must be made by Aug. 15.

Total statewide contributions could amount up to $1.7 billion for the fiscal year 2011-12 and more than $400 million for each following year, according to staff reports.

Projects such as those underway at the Orange County Great Park and the Doria affordable housing project in Stonegate Village rely on RDA funds and will be able to continue under the voluntary program.

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