Mayor Marion Barry vetoed a bill Friday that would have given the D.C. City Council authority to review proposed land sales by the city's urban renewal agency and would have required that appraisals of such lands be made public before they are sold.
Barry said in a letter to the council that disclosing appraisals before sales are final "can only serve to inhibit and prolong the negotiation process."
He said allowing the council to review the Redevelopment Land Agency's proposals to sell land would "supercede and render sterile the functions" of the RLA, adding: "I am afraid if we start second-guessing the authority vested in boards and commissions, then this may become the order of the day for all boards and commissions."
Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4), chairman of the housing and economic development committee, which drafted the bill, said the council would probably reintroduce a modified bill rather than try to override the veto.
She said the council may call for appraisals to be released after sales are completed.
However, council member Betty Ann Kane (D-At Large) said yesterday she would oppose delaying the release of the information. "That wouldn't serve any purpose after the sale," said Kane, who introduced the provision that would have require release of apraisals.
A group of 15 community organizations filed suit against the city last March in an attempt to learn the appraisals done on 12 parcels of land sold by the RLA to private developers. The city refused to release the information under the Freedom of Information Act.
In April, the Barry administration decided that the appraisals of sold properties could be released, but has not yet turned over the information to the community groups.