Church shortchanged for property

September 10, 2013 

I was really confused about the process and the players in the Archway Commons project.

After research, it appears the redevelopment agency wanted a public housing project like this to use money it had accumulated for that purpose. However a mess seems to have been created by EAH and Paul Draper for reasons not fully explained in the news story or the RDA reports.

Redevelopment agencies were created to produce what couldn’t always happen in the private sector so spending more than appraised value isn’t a legal issue, but is a business issue for the community that creates them. Appraisals are used as part of the business issue and eminent domain, if required.

However, paying less to the church for its property doesn’t appear to be proper unless they were part of the EAH-Draper deal. They are entitled to receive a written offer from the agency which must be based on an appraisal. The only exception is if the church property had been listed for six months. Even then it was never used when I worked for the city/RDA, as it can create ill will once the appraisal becomes a public document. It also creates distrust in the public agency.

BILL HARPER

Modesto

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