Thursday, May 27, 2010

City declares 3,000 acres of ag land "blighted"

The City Council late Tuesday declared blighted more than 3,000 acres of prime land for a new development despite concerns from residents that the process was rushed. On Tuesday, a new law kicks in that, with a few exceptions, prevents local governments from using urban-renewal authority to declare agricultural land blighted. Urban renewal allows cities to create tax increment financing districts so that taxes generated from the authorized area can go toward public improvements within that boundary. "I feel like this process has been rushed," said Tori Willis, one about 70 people who packed a room at the city's community center. "I wish there was more time to talk to the community to see what we wanted." "This plan has been rushed," Resa Labossiere told the council. "It's been rushed for the sole purpose to include the ag land." Critics say governments for years have abused urban-renewal laws, initially designed for cities to use to redevelop rundown urban areas. Many have instead declared as blighted undeveloped parcels of land. That prompted Colorado lawmakers to pass this year's bill, preventing them from doing so in most cases...more

Build it and they will take it.

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