Ensuring that eminent domain cannot be used, building trust between the council and having a specific set of projects were some of the concerns mentioned at a special Lodi City Council meeting on redevelopment.
The meeting was discussion only to get feedback on what is next for redevelopment.
"Is there any kind of redevelopment agency this community would pass?" Hansen said. "That is the first step."
Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce said she would support a redevelopment agency that could only use the money generated for infrastructure on the Eastside. Repairing the infrastructure would still benefit developers, she said, because it would make the area more appealing.
But she said the possibility of giving direct incentives to developers is one of the major concerns with redevelopment.
"It gets morphed into this back door economic development based on all kinds of visions that might or might not happen," Mounce said.
However, redevelopment supporter Steve Jarrett said the council has to include some economic development tools in order to generate the property tax increment needed to pay for millions of dollars in infrastructure projects.
"Redevelopment is driven by the private sector because it has to have the increase in revenues that can only come from commercial," Jarrett said.
Seeking a compromise, John Beckman suggested that maybe the redevelopment plan could prioritize public works projects first and require that those be finished before allowing any economic development. He is the president of the Building Industry Association of the Delta and a former councilman,
Having never attended a council meeting before, Karen Dillard said she wanted to explain that eminent domain was the major reason people opposed Measure W. She said the council needs to do a better job of explaining that the redevelopment plan has safeguards to prevent the city from taking property.
"It's a fundamental concern, and no amount of logic will convince people otherwise. It's an emotional issue," she said.
Councilman Larry Hansen said the council decided to not include eminent domain in any form in its redevelopment agency, and that the city has a strict eminent domain ordinance. He said he understands that people worry that a council 20 years from now could go through the process to reinstitute eminent domain into the plan.
He suggested that maybe the council could consider putting the issue on the ballot to allow people to vote on limiting eminent domain. Then, it could only be overturned by another vote of the people.
The council plans to set another special meeting to discuss in more detail what an agency would look like at a future meeting.
Redevelopment is not a new issue. The council formed an agency in 1999, and the city has run into opposition ever since. Here is a brief overview of important redevelopment events:
July 1999: The Lodi City Council formed the city's first redevelopment agency.
August 2002: Opponents of redevelopment collected enough signatures to halt the agency.
September 2002: Council voted to repeal the ordinance that created the city's redevelopment agency and to seek additional public input.
March 2003: City leaders discussed reintroducing a new redevelopment plan that excluded eminent domain, but the plan never gained traction.
July 2008: The council voted again to establish a 2,000-acre redevelopment agency.
October 2008: Redevelopment opponents collected enough signatures to require the council to put redevelopment on the ballot.
March 2009: Measure W, the ballot initiative, failed after receiving only 46 percent of the vote.
Source: Compiled from News-Sentinel stories
What is needed on the Eastside?
The city of Lodi sent postcards to Eastside residents asking what they would like to see improved. City staff divided the responses into four categories.
Below are the top three answers in each category and how many people voted for it:
Potential redevelopment projects:
Street lighting: 11
Requests for additional city services:
Code enforcement, including noise, rental property, weeds and unkempt yards: 38 Gangs/crime/police: 41
Tree maintenance: 11
Private enterprise requests:
Bowling alley: 6
Skating rink: 4
Grocery store: 3
Enforce immigration laws: 4
End homelessness: 2
Source: City of Lodi survey of Eastside residents
To see the results of the complete survey, go to www.lodinews.com/blogs/citybuzz.