Unintended Environmental Consequences of the Demise of Redevelopment in California

By: Craig A. Moyer
– Environmental Leader

California has a rich history of seizing opportunities that, at first glance, seem perilous. Following a significant industrial and manufacturing era in California, many communities in the state were saddled with properties contaminated with hazardous substances. These brownfields properties were often located in otherwise prime development areas, such as near shorelines and along key transit corridors. Recognizing the opportunities for transformation and revitalization these properties presented, California enacted various legislative measures to encourage and incentivize their cleanup and redevelopment. One of these measures, the Polanco Redevelopment Act (California Health & Safety Code, §§ 33459 eq seq.), was enacted more than 20 years ago, and has facilitated the transformation of neighborhoods and communities from San Diego to Emeryville, and many places in between.

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