Shasta Scout broke the first story about a significant proposal to develop a series of city-owned parcels comprising almost 200 acres of prime riverfront land. Here’s what we knew then and all the updates since.
The McConnell Foundation owns more than 4,000 acres within or adjacent to Redding city limits. Shasta Scout spoke with COO Shannon Phillips to ask what policies guide the Foundation’s land acquisition and how buying and developing property fits with their overall philanthropic mission. McConnell’s goal, Phillips said, is to promote the “best and highest use” of land for the majority of local residents.
Last year, the city’s consideration of a proposal to buy key riverfront land led to months of community concerns. Many have said the city didn’t do well enough at listening to the community. This fall, as the Redding prepares to plan for that same key land, they’re hoping to take a different, more engaged, approach
A civil lawsuit filed against the City of Redding by the Redding Rancheria was decided in the Tribe’s favor last week. That case relates to a small parcel of land that provides important road access for the site of the Rancheria’s proposed casino development. Back in 2020, Michael Dacquisto was the only city council member who voted against vacating, declaring surplus and selling the land. He spoke to Shasta Scout over the weekend about what drove his decision then, and how he sees things now.
Redding’s riverfront development was last planned decades ago before the Sundial Bridge, Turtle Bay Museum or the Redding Arboretum existed. Funding an update to the 30 year-old plan would be the city’s first step in deciding how to utilize riverfront land after the council voted against declaring the land surplus last month. The city could take advantage of $1 million or more in federal COVID relief money to fund the planning process.
Redding’s City Council voted to utilize funds to begin a city-led planning process instead of declaring prime riverfront properties “surplus.” The vote followed months of discussion, public workshops, and community surveys about public land close to the Sundial Bridge. The land issue has provoked significant community conversations about who represents a city stakeholder and how local government engages the community in planning and decisions.
The land we now know as Redding has been a part of Wintu people’s vast homelands for thousands of years. Today, after surviving state-sponsored massacres, violent removals, and discriminatory legal doctrines, Wintu tribes remain almost entirely landless. For some Wintu people, the proposed sale of riverfront land is inseparable from the need to reckon with this often-suppressed history.