Vallejo to host Solano360 meeting Monday

Vallejo to host Solano360 meeting Monday

Posted in the Martinez Forum


Vallejo, CA

#1 Apr 27, 2013
Vallejo to host Solano360 meeting Monday

Plans to modernize and redesign the Solano County Fairgrounds will receive their second-to-last public vetting Monday, during a Vallejo Planning Commission meeting.

How the city divvies up tax revenue and development revenues with the county is set to be one of the more pivotal discussion points.

Recent past public meetings on the project, dubbed "Solano360" for its plan to ultimately make use of the 149-acre fairgrounds year-round, drew sizable public attendance with pocketbook-oriented fiscal concerns.

City Manager Dan Keen said one of the newest things the public will have a chance to bite into is the detailed revenue sharing plan, a piece of the project's larger development agreement.

"One of the fundamental things we really stuck to in negotiations (with the county) is that we didn't want to share revenue that we hadn't received," Keen said. "The city never gets ourselves in a situation where we have to give up our general fund (revenue) from some other part of the city to conform with this development. In my book, that's a pretty good protection for the city."

The revenue-sharing plan only will consider four revenue sources, including property, sales, utility user and business license taxes, that may be generated by the new project. Other revenue, like a state public safety, hotel occupancy and the city's

Measure B sales taxes, among others, will not be tapped for the revenue-sharing agreement, Keen said.

As an example, Keen noted that the plan to funnel 97 percent of those four taxes' revenue back to the county from 2016 through 2022 looks extreme -- yet it is just a portion of the whole. As an example, in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the project is expected to increase city revenue by about $1.1 million, but only $632,000 (about 57 percent) will be set aside for the county, Keen said.

Resident Dan Levin, a long-time observer of the project, said Friday that a small group of residents met Thursday to discuss the proposed documents. They raised concerns related to potential increased flooding issues and revenue loss for the city.

"The calculations I did, based strictly on county numbers -- this is actually a losing proposition for the city," Levin said, calling revenue the city retains "crumbs."

"(One of) the big problems: It's $38 million total that the city is going to be contributing. Originally, it was going to be zero," Levin said.

Planning Commissioner Tony Adams, who highlighted environmental and flooding concerns at the gathering, also criticized the project. He said it will draw from ongoing development projects elsewhere in the city.

"It's one of those situations where nothing would be better than something," Adams said.

On Monday, the Planning Commission is set to make a recommendation on the revenue-sharing plan, in addition to the overall county-initiated 50-year development script -- known as a Specific Plan -- and resulting updates to related city planning documents.

The Solano360 plan, designed to maintain the 64-year-old annual fair as a centerpiece, has been under development since 2007, following earlier failed efforts. The latest plan calls for an updated "fair of the future," private mixed-use development, alternative transportation access, synergy with neighbor Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and the city's waterfront and downtown, and new revenue and jobs -- all with a sustainable "green" ethos in mind.

The Vallejo City Council ultimately will need to approve the plan, as it relates to private development on the site. Each development project -- ranging from a proposed large-scale entertainment use to retail shops, office space or housing -- will also come back for city review as they come closer to reality.

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