Sacramento – Today, Assembly Bill 121 authored by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento) was given final approval by the Assembly on a 60-16 bipartisan vote and now goes to Governor Brown for his action. The bill would provide an exemption allowing Sacramento County to sell or enter into a lease, concession, or managerial contract involving properties at the former Mather and McClellan Air Force Bases without having to adhere to traditional government surplus property sale requirements.
“AB 121 would allow the County of Sacramento to continue to develop the former Mather and McClellan Air Force Bases, creating jobs and supporting the local economy,” said Dickinson.
Under existing law, the county would typically have to engage in a lengthy, complex process which makes it very difficult to develop the site in an integrated manner. This process opens the bidding to any member of the public, regardless of how the prospective buyer intends to develop the property. In 1997, Sacramento County was exempted from this procedure on the former Mather and McClellan Air Force Bases. Because of this exemption, Sacramento County was able to select private bidders that fit its vision for developing the properties, and did so in an expeditious manner. These properties are now considered national models for the reuse of former military bases.
AB 121 extends the previous exemption which ended in 2011 that, at Mather, served as the legal basis to attract and contract with a developer, who is currently master planning an 800 acre site at Mather as a mixed use development expected to generate 3,600 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs.
AB 121 will also assist the County in further developing McClellan, one of the most successful conversions of a former military base in the country, and which Dickinson was highly involved in during his tenure on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. McClellan Park has the entitlements to construct an additional 6,000,000 square feet of new buildings, and will be able to employ a workforce of 35,000 at full capacity.
With the abolishment of redevelopment and the tools it provided, it is critical that Sacramento County continue to have this exemption to quickly respond to the marketplace. The exemption ensures that taxpayers’ dollars are protected and maximized by allowing the county to sell properties at market rate for projects that achieve the highest and best use consistent with the reuse plans for the closed bases.