Letters to the Editor: The racism of Redondo Beach’s anti-growth political leadership
Letters to the Editor
The racism of Redondo Beach’s anti-growth political leadership
Last week, the City Council voted 4-3 to approve a “land bank” that would be used to create a “community-controlled” water district to buy up large parcels of land as needed for a new “housing” development.
The vote was largely along partisan lines, with the two Republican Council members voting for the plan and the three Democrats against it. In addition to the five Democrats voting no, it was the third time in seven months that a Council member has been absent for a vote on this project.
Last week, the City Council unanimously voted to approve the “land bank” proposal. According to City documents, the council was “primarily interested in using the land bank to build affordable housing at a moderate scale for low-to-moderate-income families,” and had two goals.
The first was to expand the Redondo Beach Housing Authority (RBHA) by increasing its budget from $80 million to $90 million. The second was to “maximize access to affordable housing for low-to-moderate incomes by utilizing the land bank to acquire land and develop parcels through the creation of a Community Controlled District.” According to this document, the city could potentially take up to five land parcels from the Redondo Beach Housing Authority with the intention of creating affordable housing – each land parcel would have a market value of $12 million to $22 million.
The proposal was also approved unanimously with two no votes; one by Council President Tom Waddington, who opposes the plan, and the other by Council member Bill Rosendahl, who voted against it.
Last week, one of the two land parcels targeted by the land bank was purchased for $6.2 million in a transaction that was brokered by Mayor Toni Atkins and RBHA Board Chair Greg McSwain. The city spent $3 million to acquire this property in December from developer Edith Koochichingh; the next transaction is expected to be $2 million or less, according to the City Council memo in January recommending the Land Bank vote.
To buy land, the City Council and the RBHA could have chosen from several options in the