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Stop Blight Fraud!

Stop the abuse by municipalities of using fraudulent claims of blight as the excuse for transferring private property from one individual to another.

Proposition 98 vs. Proposition 99

Over a million California citizens have signed a petition to once and for all eliminate the ability of the  City Governments including that of National City to take property from ordinary people and give it to rich developers. This petition has become the Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act, Proposition 98, which will remove the threat of eminent domain abuse. Learn more about Prop 98, The Best Yes! at YesProp98.com

The politicians and their agent the League of California Cities have created a counter measure, the Homeowners and Private Property Protection Act, Proposition 99. The real purpose of Proposition 99, as described in the table below, is to stop Proposition 98.  Proposition 99 only protects some homeowners and does not protect renters, workers, or other property owners.

Summary of the Differences
Proposition 98 Proposition 99
Private property may not be taken by eminent domain for private use under any circumstances. Proposition 98 protects: single family homes including owner-occupied homes, apartments, businesses, farms, churches, rentals, commercial property, residential property. Private property can be taken in any circumstance other than that of being a single family residence that has been owners' principal place of residence for at least one year prior to the State or local government's initial written offer to purchase the property.
Property may be taken by eminent domain only for true public use (e.g.. freeway construction, parks, or schools). No change in the present meanings to the terms: "taken," "damaged," "public use," and "just compensation. 
Property may not be taken by government and used for the same purposes (e.g. residential housing cannot be used for government housing). No protection from present excesses.
Family farms and open space are protected from seizures by government for the purpose of selling the natural resources. No protection from present excesses
If a public agency takes property under false pretenses, or abandons its plans, the property must be offered for sale to the original owner at the original price and the property tax would be assessed at the value of the property when it was originally condemned. No protection from present excesses
If farmers or business owners are evicted by eminent domain, they would be entitled to compensation for temporary business losses, relocation expenses, business reestablishment costs and other reasonable expenses. No protection from present excesses
Government may not set the price at which property owners sell or lease their property. However, tenants who live in rent-regulated communities will continue to receive the benefit of those regulations as long as they live in their residences. No mention. Please, ask the supporters of Prop. 99, if they plan to initiate or vote for a rent control ordinance in your area.
Does not prohibit or impair voluntary agreements between a property owner and a public agency to develop or rehabilitate affordable housing. No mention.
Since Proposition 98 protects all single family residences, it includes the only worthwhile item in Proposition 99. Proposition 99 contains nothing extra to benefit property owners and workers.  If Proposition 99 receives a greater number of yes votes, each and every provision of Proposition 98 shall be null and void.

Here’s how you can help:


The redevelopment area is shown below.

Map showing the revised redevelopment area

Map showing City Hall and Kimball Park

Map showing City Hall and Kimball Park

If your property is in the dark area and is not a residence, the City will be able to use eminent domain to take it. The eminent domain area can be extended by the City Government at anytime to include the entire project area or any of its parts. They also have the power to include residential property at any time. The City can use eminent domain to take the building or by its threat force the owner to sell.

Further Information on Flawed Basis of National City's Redevelopment Plans

Draft Report of the Community Development Commission to the City Council By the Rosenow Spevacek Group (RSG)

Please download and read the RSG report. It was written and paid for by the City to provide the necessary evidence of blight.

RSG Definition of Blight

The source for the causes of blight employed by RSG are in the CALIFORNIA CODES HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTION 33030-33039


The relevance of the text in red to blight is questionable.
Comments on the individual paragraphs are shown in italics.


PHYSICAL BLIGHTING CONDITIONS

  1. Buildings in which it is unsafe or unhealthy for persons to live or work. These conditions may be caused by:
    1. Serious building code violations,
    2. Serious dilapidation and deterioration caused by long-term neglect,
    3. Construction that is vulnerable to serious damage from seismic or geologic standards,
    4. Buildings suffering from faulty or inadequate water or sewer utilities.

      If a building was permitted by the City of National City, it is the responsibility of the City to provide water and sewer utilities. What has the City done to have the examples given in the report repaired?
  2.  Conditions that prevent or substantially hinder the viable use or capacity of buildings or lots. These conditions may be caused by:
    1. Buildings of substandard, defective, or obsolete design given present general plan, zoning, and other development standards.

      Changes to the building code should not automatically make a property blighted.
  3. Adjacent or nearby incompatible land uses that prevent the development of those parcels or other portions of redevelopment project areas.

    This makes it possible to use redevelopment as an excuse to take any property.
  4. The existence of subdivided lots that are in multiple ownership and whose physical development has been impaired by their irregular shapes and inadequate sizes, given present general plan and zoning standards and present market conditions.

    These lots were legal when the buildings were constructed.


ECONOMIC BLIGHTING CONDITIONS

  1.  Depreciated or stagnant property values.
  2. Impaired property values due to significance in the presence of hazardous waste where the agency may be eligible to use its authority as specified in Article 12.5.

    Presently Pacific Steel (see below) could be considered to have hazardous waste. However, it is the responsibility of the State of California and National City to solve this problem.
  3. Abnormally high business vacancies, abnormally low lease rates, or an abnormally high number of abandoned buildings.
  4. A serious lack of necessary commercial facilities such as those normally found in neighborhoods including grocery stores, drug stores, and banks and other lending institutions.
  5. Serious residential overcrowding that has resulted in significant public health or safety problems. As used in this paragraph, 'overcrowding' means exceeding the standard referenced in Article 5 (commencing with Section 32) of Chapter 1 of Title 25 of the California Code of Regulations.
  6. An excess of bars, liquor stores, or adult-oriented businesses that has resulted in significant public health, safety, or welfare problems.
  7. A high crime rate that constitutes a serious threat to the public safety and welfare.

Section 33030 of the Health and Safety Code states:

(b) A blighted area is one that contains both of the following:
(1) An area that is predominantly urbanized, as that term is defined in Section 33320.1, and is an area in which the combination of conditions set forth in Section 33031 is so prevalent and so substantial that it causes a reduction of, or lack of, proper utilization of the area to such an extent that it constitutes a serious physical and economic burden on the community that cannot reasonably be expected to be reversed or alleviated by private enterprise or governmental action, or both, without redevelopment.

These conditions are not prevalent and substantial in National City. The RSG study is essentially worthless because there was no data from control areas, such as the “Old” part of La Jolla or even Mission Beach. These are areas, which no rational being would call blighted. The terms used by RSG to prove that an area is blighted include: dilapidation or deterioration, inadequate lots sizes, parking and setback requirements, subdivided lots that are under multiple ownership and whose physical development has been impaired by their irregular shapes or inadequate sizes

The real purpose of this declaration of blight is to collect more revenue!

The Real Blight that RSG omitted from their report

Notes on the National City Council Meeting of May 15, 2007


County Sues City

San Diego County is suing the City of San Diego, the City Council, and the City's Redevelopment Commission over the Granville redevelopment plan

The County Supervisors are:

Greg Cox, District 1 (National City) email: greg.cox@sdcounty.ca.gov greg.cox@sdcounty.ca.gov

Dianne Jacob, District 2 email: dianne.jacob@sdcounty.ca.gov dianne.jacob@sdcounty.ca.gov

Pam Slater-Price, District 3 Chairwoman email: pam.slater@sdcounty.ca.gov pam.slater@sdcounty.ca.gov

Ron Roberts, District 4 email: ron-roberts@sdcounty.ca.gov ron-roberts@sdcounty.ca.gov

Bill Horn District 5 Vice-Chairman email: bill.horn@sdcounty.ca.gov bill.horn@sdcounty.ca.gov

Supreme Court 5 to 4 for Eminent Domain

If the actions of the Mayor and City Council are not to your satisfaction, then exercise your rights as a citizen.

If you believe that there is a real danger of loosing your business, property or job, protest before they are lost.

Send your letter to:

Seek legal representation. We use

Michael Dalla

Karen Frostrom and Vincent Bartolotta

City Clerk City of National City

Thorsnes, Bartolotta, Mcguire

Telephone: (619) 336-4226

(Telephone: 619) 236-9363

Fax: (619) 336-4229

Email: frostrom@tbmlawyers.com

mdalla@ci.national-city.ca.us

Web: http://www.tbmlawyers.com/about-us.html


Previous Experience with the National City CDC

The CDC has already used eminent domain to take a valuable property from us by condemnation and sold it to our neighbor! Even after the expense of suing, we had to settle out of court for about 85% of the fair market value, as the legal fees were mounting faster than the potential gains. Presently, they are attempting to take another. Fighting this has been and is expensive and painful. Cities have been corrupted by this access to easy money and the political power that goes with being the real owner of all of the property within their jurisdiction. Massive areas have been declared blighted when the only real blight was that placed on the title to these properties

The tax structure for the transfer of property from one private owner to another private owner in California handsomely rewards the cities. The city's share of the property tax is increased from 13% to 83%. Since the cities receive sales tax and do not receive any of the state income tax, their funding is increased when well paying manufacturing jobs, which often include benefits, are replaced by poorly paying retail jobs.

Blight Fraud in National City & San Diego Examples

National City Documents: View Documents

Our Lawyers' Fight against eminent domain abuse: View Information

Recent Article: View Article

The abuses of the redevelopment are detailed by three organizations dedicated to fighting those abuses and protecting private property rights. Please see their web sites for more information: Visit Organizations

Webmaster: Robert C. Leif email: rleif@rleif.com.