Not only do i agree with your statements, i'll add some ancedotes on San Diego..

Our downtown revitalazation has come with a huge price. The "corporation" that is in charge of downtown RD owes the city over 90 million in tax dollars. One of our council people (Donna Frye)asked that the CCDC start paying... their response?? Oh hell no, and if you think you are going to make us pay it, we will bankrupt the city because John Moores(of the Padres baseball team) still has buildings to build around his new ballpark(that was voted on by the people under the guise of no tax dollars being used and that was BS...we had to bail them out of course) and we are kissing up to him, developer Doug Manchester, etc who are way more worthy than the city. Parks that were promised are being runover by condo buildings(many cant sell units, and average is over 500k for just a 1 bdrm), infrastructure is being ignored so badly that several streets daily are closed off because of sewage breaks, water breaks, etc.. Affordable housing?? just pay a pittance and your absolved of any moral need(John Moores used his attorneys so well on that one -- city refused to allow him to pay to force some affordable units in the off-downtown area, and he threatened to sue the city and ED "his" ballpark to build units -- and these were things that didnt come out until later). We are now being threatened by Doug Manchester, who conned the military BRAC to give him exclusive rights to waterfront area, and as a result not only presented a plan that was unacceptable to regs passed in 92, but then did another con by saying that he was "trading" a tiny piece of property for a park in exchange for the development plan going through... and then afterwards said the park wasnt going to happen because more condos are being built on the site, even though there is an active faultline going through fill, not even solid land.

My area is what some may call the inner city -- i call it mainstream america. Many minority, many poor senior and disabled, and a lot of potential, as this is one of the last inexpensive areas to live and buy. even though houses have been selling, too many apartments were converted to condos, at a high price and shoddy work. as a result, zonings were quietly changed, to the advantage of developers and so-called non-profits so they can get places ED cheap and build monoliths where nice, neat single family homes used to be, supposidly to "help" the neighborhood. It aint helping, only providing money into developers pockets, and when the areas RD group got money, you should see the fighting going on to who is going to get it for which ugly project, instead of improving and upgrading the area, which is what the members and the majority of the community want it for, and the damn city people have told the area RD group that they cant spend it on upgrades, they have to give it to a developer!

I could go on where a RD area was created so that certain people could go in and demolish the current businesses and do their own condos etc, using the excuse of a traffic enterchange that wont be taken care of for at least another 10-20 years and irregular lot size. Another area became an RD area because the city officials in power dont like a group of activists who are trying to stop RD etc, and were hoping to scare them by proposing development in the middle of their neighborhoods (they have views!). Quiet zoning changes happen every day here, so many times you start a process for permiting and find out that things have changed 2-4 times and ultimately you may not get what you need or want. and sue? forget it... your intimidated with police choppers, people video taping you, following you, you mail being hijacked, etc...much less code enforcement etc.. and community plan amendments are being done daily; some of the RD areas are finding out about them when they are told by city staff that a change was made to accomodate a certain project.

and this is not just san diego.. its all over the state.. and california is the worse on the abuse and on the apathey of the homeowner to fight back.