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Appeals Court Affirms CRA Spending Cap

March 21, 1997

For the second time in a little more than a year, the 2nd District Court of Appeal has refused to lift a 1977 Community Redevelopment Agency spending limit engineered by former Los Angeles City Councilman Ernani Bernardi in his long-running battle against the agency.

The $750-million spending cap in the agency's Central Business District Redevelopment Zone Project Area was the result of a consent decree to settle a 1975 lawsuit brought by Bernardi. By 1993, the CRA was nearing the limit and went to court when Bernardi refused to agree to alter it.

In October 1995, a Superior Court judge ruled that the court did not have authority to overturn the agreement without the consent of all parties. The CRA appealed and lost--twice. It can take its case to the state Supreme Court, but agency officials said Thursday they have not decided what to do.

The spending limit leaves them without a method to launch new projects in the historic but stagnant downtown area and unable to continue funding an array of social services projects, officials said.

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