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June 25, 2008 > Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

The recent articles and editorials of the Tri-City Voice on public redevelopment have provided great insight on this process of government whose ramifications are little understood by the general public.

Some years ago my mother owned a small two story commercial office building in downtown San Francisco. Several adjacent properties contained similar buildings of various sizes and scales. The surrounding area had been developed with numerous high rise office buildings.

My mother and the adjacent property owners met and concluded that it would be in their mutual interests to combine their properties and sell them to a major developer of commercial real estate for development into a single large scale building.

After some years of meetings, negotiations and great diligence on the part of many persons, they accomplished their objective. A beautiful high rise office building was ultimately built.

All this was achieved without public redevelopment. There was no eminent domain. Nobody was forced to sell against their will. No public indebtedness was incurred. Additional property tax revenues accrued to the City and County of San Francisco, the school district, and other public agencies without restriction as to use.

Appropriate city and county land use regulations can provide owners of private property with sufficient incentive to redevelop their properties in economically beneficial ways. The inefficient, costly, cumbersome, and bureaucratic public redevelopment process, which benefits some commercial interests at the great expense of others and the general public, is an albatross that stifles the efficient functioning of a dynamic private enterprise system.

Theodore R. Bresler, Fremont

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