The Sonoma County Community Redevelopment Agency, along with all other 400 redevelopment agencies in California, was dissolved on February 1, 2012 by the action of the State Legislature as confirmed by a decision of the California Supreme Court.
What was Redevelopment?
Redevelopment agencies (RDAs) were regional government bodies dedicated to urban renewal. RDAs operated through tax increment financing and provided a consistent source of funding for affordable housing and revitalization of under-served or blighted regions known as redevelopment areas. Sonoma County has three former redevelopment areas: the Lower Russian River, Sonoma Springs, and Roseland.
What is a Successor Agency?
To facilitate the winding down of redevelopment agencies, the State of California required that successor agencies to the redevelopment agencies be assigned to manage redevelopment projects underway when dissolution happened, make payments on outstanding debts, and dispose of the former redevelopment agency's non-housing assets.
Each successor agency has a seven-member Oversight Board comprised of representatives of local agencies that serve in the former redevelopment project areas. The Oversight Board is responsible for overseeing the wind-down of former redevelopment agency's business and ensure that the funding for redevelopment area projects is carried through in those regions through "enforceable obligations."
The Successor Agency is authorized to continue to implement projects that were in progress at the time of dissolution (“enforceable obligations”). These projects are listed on each Successor Agency’s Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS), submitted to the State of California Department of Finance annually.
The County of Sonoma was designated as the Successor Agency to the Sonoma County Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Successor Agency is staffed and administered by the Sonoma County Community Development Commission. The Successor Agency is governed by the Oversight Board of the Successor Agency and the Board of the Successor Agency (consisting of the members of the Board of Supervisors). The ROPS filed on behalf of our Successor Agency are all publicly available.
Housing Successor Agency
As a part of the Dissolution, the law made special provision for the housing programs and funding associated to the Redevelopment Housing Set Aside, which had required that 20 percent of each tax dollar allocated to a redevelopment agency be dedicated to affordable housing uses. The law required that the jurisdictional governing body of the redevelopment agency (city or county) decide whether it wanted to serve as its own successor housing entity, or whether the housing assets (but not the housing liabilities, which remained the responsibility of the successor agency) of the redevelopment agency would pass to the regional housing authority in the jurisdiction.
The County of Sonoma, and the cities of Sebastopol and Sonoma, decide not to serve as their own Successor Housing Entities, and all encumbered housing assets of the three former redevelopment agencies were transferred to the Community Development Commission, as parent entity of the Sonoma County Housing Authority, by operation of law. These assets, as well as income earned on the assets, must be held in a Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Asset Fund (LMIHAF) and used pursuant to the housing provisions of California Community Redevelopment Law (CRL).
The Oversight Board oversees certain aspects of fiscal management of former Community Redevelopment Agency assets, other than affordable housing assets discussed supra. The Oversight Board is comprised of representatives of the local agencies that serve former redevelopment project areas: the city, county, special districts, K-14 educational agencies, and the public. Oversight Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to holders of enforceable obligations, as well as to the local agencies that would benefit from property tax distributions from former redevelopment project areas.