San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said the city will press for new laws enabling local reinvestment in lower-income communities, following a California Supreme Court ruling upholding the state’s dissolving of more than 400 redevelopment agencies.

The court ruled Dec. 29 that the state can abolish the agencies to deal with a budget shortfall. However, it struck down a law that would have forced the agencies to pay the state $1.7 billion this fiscal year to reopen.

“This is a sad day for San Diego,” Sanders said in a statement. “Plain and simple, this money grab by the governor will have severe negative impacts on our neighborhoods and our economy for decades to come.”

Sanders said redevelopment programs have been “an incredibly effective tool” for eliminating blight, increasing the affordable housing supply and creating jobs. He said the city will “begin working immediately” with state legislators to pass new laws allowing for local reinvestment programs.

Redevelopment agencies, in place since the 1940s, use a portion of local property taxes to fund construction projects in areas deemed blighted or depressed. State lawmakers voted this year to abolish the agencies as part of efforts to deal with a $26 billion budget deficit.

— Lou Hirsh