Phone: (530) 538-2405
Fax: (530) 538-2468
The Oroville Redevelopment Agency, incorporated July 6, 1981, was established for the purpose of improving the environment of the City and creating better urban living conditions through the removal of blight.
Authorized and organized under the provisions of the California Community Redevelopment Law, the Agency is an entity legally separate from the City of Oroville, but existing solely to perform certain functions exclusively for and by authorization of the City of Oroville. The Agency operates in its redevelopment project area. The Agency also provides local funding for the development of affordable housing throughout the City.
Redevelopment is a process specifically designed to help local governments in revitalizing their communities. It encourages new development, jobs, and generates tax revenues in declining urban areas by developing partnerships between public and private entities. Authorized by the State of California, the Oroville Redevelopment Agency acts as the City’s real estate developer in an effort to spur economic growth. By using its unique powers to focus public investment in the City’s blighted areas, the Agency helps attract and guide private investment to improve living and working conditions and increase revenues to the City of Oroville by enlarging its tax base.
The California Health and Safety Code provides the basis for redevelopment activities (Starting at Section 33000, also known as the Community Redevelopment Law or CRL). Section 33037 of the CRL states that the basic goal of redevelopment is the removal of blight. Two conditions of blight must be met before redevelopment powers can be used, and they are physical blight and economic blight.
Examples of physical blight Include:
- High vacancy rates in existing commercial space;
- Inability to develop vacant lots or irregularly shaped lots;
- Unsafe building conditions;
- Aging, deteriorating, and poorly-maintained buildings, sometimes interspersed with well maintained buildings;
- Poor structure quality, such as susceptibility to flooding and earthquakes, that requires significant improvements to buildings in order to safely occupy them;
- Inadequate infrastructure to support development (i.e. utilities, storm drainage, sewers, street lighting, confusing and inefficient street systems).
Examples of Economic Blight:
- High business vacancy, low leases and high turnover rates;
- Depreciated or stagnant property values and other evidence of disinvestments;
- Hazardous waste and other negative environmental conditions;
- High incidences of criminal activity, sometimes equated with an over concentration of bars, liquor stores or adult stores, and high unemployment;
- Lack of neighborhood business to serve the community, such as banks, pharmacies or grocery stores and;
- Residential overcrowding.
In order to determine whether an area is suitable for redevelopment the Redevelopment Agency must address whether or not these two conditions of blight are met. The Agency presents these findings in a “redevelopment plan” for the proposed area that is then presented to the Oroville City Council. The Council has the authority to pass legislation permitting the use of redevelopment in a given area.
How it Works
Once the legislation has been passed, the Redevelopment Agency works with the community to formalize how the community will grow and helps to build the economic partnerships that will make it work.
A Redevelopment Agency has seven main tools to assist in carrying out development within a community:
- Receive and spend tax increment revenue;
- Help improve public infrastructure and facilities;
- Prepare sites for development;
- Acquire property, resell property it has assembled, and/or participate in the redevelopment of property;
- Encourage private development;
- Regulate land use; and
- Preserve, rehabilitate and produce affordable housing for low-and moderate-income families.
The unique power of being able to use tax increment revenue allows redevelopment agencies to invest money into a community to encourage private business to do the same. An agency collects this increase in revenue, or tax increment, from property taxes on the land they are redeveloping to repay the debt incurred in the project, and to reinvest these dollars in redevelopment activities within the project area. Before the Agency begins work on a project, the Butte County Assessor’s Office designates the current assessed property tax value in what is called the “base year". Any increase in revenue above that amount becomes the tax increment.
Once the project is completed, it begins to generate enough revenue to pay its own way and contribute to other areas of community improvement. When a redevelopment project ends, the property taxes from the increase in property values return back into the city’s general fund. This money, no longer needed to help improve infrastructure can now be used to improve the schools, roads, libraries, and increase public safety service to the community all while stopping the spread of deterioration and blight.