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California Eminent Domain Report

"…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Government Can Be Estopped from Going Back on Precondemnation Promises

Posted in Court Decisions

When the government promises to do one thing and then does another, it usually has myriad excuses.  Sometimes it claims that its staff (the people with whom the opposing side are typically interacting) cannot bind the agency.  Other times, it claims that it cannot contractually agree to things that take away key government functions (e.g., the government cannot contract away its right to condemn property).  But every once in a while, the government gets stuck, even in the absence of a formal written agreement.

In HPT IHG-2 Properties Trust v. City of Anaheim (November 20, 2015), the Court of Appeal upheld a trial court ruling that the City was estopped from, in effect, going back on a promise to build a parking structure.  The facts are long and convoluted, but essentially boil down to this:  The property’s owner wanted to build a hotel complex on its property, but the City knew that it would need part of the property for an overpass project in the future.  In the end, the City approved the Owner’s plans for its hotel project but, in doing so, the parties also agreed about how the future overpass project would be handled.  In particular, the City agreed that it would pay the Owner for the property it needed for the overpass, and that it would acquire and build a parking structure for the Owner on a adjacent property to replace the parking that would be lost due to the overpass.  In exchange, the Owner designed its project so that it could accommodate the future overpass by, among other things, reducing the project’s overall size.

In implementing this, the Owner and the City agreed to two sets of project “plans” for the hotel project:  (1) an “interim” design that the Owner would build; and (2) a “final” design that incorporated the City’s overpass.  The Owner proceeded to build its hotel project and, years later, the City was ready to build its overpass project.  Everything went well until the City announced that instead of building the parking structure, it would build only a surface lot on the replacement property.  In order to achieve the required number of spaces, the City would disregard its own “Resort Specific Plan Area” landscaping and setback requirements.

Having built its entire project under the restrictive “Resort Specific Plan Area” rules, the Owner was not enthused about its new parking lot.  It wanted the City to comply with its own standards and build the structure that was originally contemplated so that the new parking lot matched the overall project, with extensive setbacks and elaborate landscaping for the new parking lot.

The unpublished opinion is long and fairly complicated, but the bottom line is that the Court agreed with the Owner that the City could not go back on its agreement to build the parking structure.  The Owner had relied on that promise in building its $40 million hotel complex, and it was entitled to have its parking match the project’s overall design even after the City built its overpass.

There’s probably a lot more to this story, but rather than dig into the minutiae, I wanted to offer a comment only tangential to the actual opinion.  While this situation obviously went sideways when the City tried to avoid spending the money on a costly parking structure, the overall concept here reflects good public policy.  Often, an owner’s planned development will conflict with a planned public project, and where the private development is going to take place before (maybe even many years before) the public project, many bad things can happen.

Sometimes, agencies try to delay or even prevent an owner’s development, knowing that the damages associated with taking all or part of the developed property down the road could be massive.  But the courts have (correctly) prevented such tactics, ruling that this can result in a de facto taking of the property.  Other times, the owner rushes ahead with its own project without regard for the future public project, knowing that it can seek damages when the taking occurs.

Here, by contrast, the parties actually worked together, seeking a solution to the Owner’s desire to build a hotel complex on the property, a part of which the City would need for its future overpass.  They designed the project in both an “interim” and “final” configuration, working together to ensure that the Owner’s project fit within the City’s future plans.  This allowed the Owner to proceed with its construction on its schedule, while still providing the means to construct the overpass in the future — without hugely impacting the Owner’s project.

While the plan did not work out exactly as the parties anticipated in this case, I still like the effort to work together, and think that owners and agencies can learn from this example.  My advice:  make sure both parties are very clear on how the “interim” and “final” conditions will work, along with who will pay for what along the way.  In addition, it’s important to consider the possibility that the future public project will never get built, and include provisions for dealing with that potential outcome.

Right of Entry Statutes Are Back in Business – For Now

Posted in Court Decisions


For decades, California public agencies have utilized a statutory “right of entry” procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with acquiring the property. (See Code of Civil Procedure section 1245.010 et seq.) That process was thrown into flux in 2014 with the Court of Appeal’s decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court, which struck down an agency’s efforts to conduct precondemnation investigation and testing, concluding that any significant physical intrusion onto private property constituted a taking for which just compensation must be paid – thereby requiring a formal eminent domain proceeding. But when the California Supreme Court decided to take up Property Reserve, agencies were left scratching their heads, wondering what to do until that decision comes out (likely sometime in 2016). Based on a Court of Appeal decision published this week, Young’s Market Co. v. San Diego Unified School District (Nov. 19, 2015), agencies have at least one answer.

Young’s Market Co. held that Phase II investigations on private property – including soil borings, lead and asbestos testing, among other activities – for a duration of 10 days does not constitute a temporary physical taking of property, and therefore an eminent domain proceeding is unnecessary and these activities may be performed pursuant to the right of entry statutes.


Young’s Market Company owns a two-acre parcel in downtown San Diego adjacent to an elementary school. The property was improved with an indoor go-kart racing center. As part of its investigation to potentially acquire the property, the school district filed a petition for entry to conduct environmental studies, including drilling over 30 boring holes for groundwater and soil sampling and bulk sampling of building materials suspected to contain lead or asbestos. The testing was expected to take 10 business days to complete, and upon completion, the borings would be backfilled with sand and grout and resurfaced with concrete.

The property owner opposed the petition, arguing (i) the right of entry statutes only permitted innocuous or superficial entries on property, and (ii) the school district’s proposal was an unconstitutional taking. The owner argued that the removal of dirt and building materials effected a permanent physical occupation, thereby requiring the district to file a condemnation action and pay just compensation as determined by a jury. The owner alternatively asked for the court to stay the decision until Property Reserve is decided by the California Supreme Court, or require the district to deposit $500,000 toward compensation for lost rent, goodwill, and property.

The trial court granted the school district’s petition for entry, allowing for the testing to move forward upon the district’s depositing $5,000 as the probable amount of compensation.

The Court of Appeal

On a petition for writ of mandate to the Court of Appeal, the Court started by walking through the law on permanent physical takings, temporary physical takings, and regulatory takings — mirroring the discussion in Property Reserve. The Court next discussed the right of entry statutes, which allow for entry onto property for various testing and studies upon a deposit of probable compensation; if damage or interference occurs in an amount above the deposit, the court can enter judgment for any unpaid portion or the owner may recover for such damage through a civil action.

After considering the scope of the proposed testing, the Court concluded that the school district’s activities did not qualify as a taking of property that would require a full eminent domain jury trial to determine just compensation. The Court found no permanent, physical taking, as the testing was limited to ten days and involved the removal of minimal amounts of building surfaces (less than the size of a postage stamp), and the re-filling of two-inch to six-inch diameter borings with sand or grout. The Court likewise found no temporary physical taking, as the duration was short and the intrusion was minimal – with no evidence of substantial disruption to the property’s use or operation.


As we’ve indicated in our prior analysis of Property Reserve, these “right of entry” cases are likely going to be decided on the duration of testing and inspection. According to the Court in Young’s Market Co., 10 days is acceptable. But where does that leave us now?

Public agencies can take a bit more comfort in moving forward with petitions for right of entry. Being able to rely on the Young’s Market Co. decision provides strong support that the statutes are still constitutional and available for pre-acquisition testing and inspections. So if your public agency has had a project on hold pending moving forward with environmental testing, or has had difficulty securing access to private property, you now have the authority you need to proceed to court to secure access, or at a minimum a much stronger negotiating position with private property owners.

But don’t take too much comfort. We’re still awaiting a decision by the California Supreme Court in Property Reserve. That decision could fully support and align with the conclusions in Young’s Market Co., it could go in an opposite direction that would require a different, more substantial eminent domain process with necessary protections for property owners before gaining access for testing and inspections, or it could identify some other standard entirely. We should get that guidance in 2016. But even before then, don’t be surprised if the property owner in Young’s Market Co. petitions the Supreme Court for review, at a minimum asking for the Court to stay this decision until Property Reserve is decided.

While this decision is surely welcome news for public agencies, and perhaps it suggests the direction the California Supreme Court may go with Property Reserve, everyone in the right-of-way industry should remain cautious, as the decision could be short lived.

Caltrans’ Highway 101 Overpass Condemnation Case Ends in Split Decision

Posted in Valuation

untitledFor several years, we’ve been following an eminent domain lawsuit in Marin County involving Caltrans’ acquisition of 34 acres for a $29.7 million interchange project at the Redwood Sanitary Landfill, which would widen the overpass over Highway 101 and install new frontage roads on both sides of the highway to create safer conditions for traffic going in and out of the landfill.  After a 20-day trial, the litigation has finally ended with a jury verdict that appears to be close to a split between the property owner’s appraisal and Caltrans’ appraisal.

According to an article in the Marin Independent Journal, Marin jury awards rancher $3.2 million for land seized in Novato, Caltrans’ appraisal was $575,000, and the owner’s appraisal was $6 million.  The jury returned a verdict at $3.2 million, which equaled about $1.7 million for the part-taken, and $1.5 million in severance damages to the remaining property as a result of the project.

In arguing for severance damages, the property owner claimed that the project would disrupt roads, cattle crossings, pipelines and a quarry operation, and would impact the property’s potential use as a lucrative winery.  (This seems like a potentially inconsistent highest and best use argument, as a property owner arguably should not be able to recover severance damages based on impacts to the property’s current use AND its future highest and best use, although there could arguably be temporary impacts if the current condition is an interim use.  If you’d like more information about highest and best use issues, let me know and I’m happy to discuss in more detail.)

Prior to trial, Caltrans apparently offered $1.8 million as a “final offer”.  Because the jury verdict was significantly above Caltrans’ final offer, the owner may be entitled to litigation expenses, including reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and expert fees, if the owner’s final demand was reasonable.  The owner is filing a motion to recover such fees, so we will see what transpires.  If you’re interested in how courts determine the award of litigation expenses in eminent domain, feel free to read some of our prior posts on the subject.

Fundamental Evidentiary Issues – Avoiding Exclusion of Your Opinion of Value and Comparable Sales

Posted in Court Decisions, Uncategorized, Valuation

In an unpublished opinion filed this week, the California Court of Appeal confirmed two fundamental evidentiary rules related to eminent domain matters:

  1. A witness intending to testify to an opinion of value must exchange a statement of valuation data; and
  2. A witness will be precluded from testifying to a comparable sale if it is determined by the court that the comparable is not “comparable” and would confuse the jury.

Before we delve into the case, here’s a basic reminder of California law as it pertains to these two issues:

With respect to the court’s first finding, California Code of Civil Procedure §1258.250 provides:

“A statement of valuation data shall be exchanged for each person the party intends to call as a witness to testify to his opinion as to any of the following matters: (a) The value of the property being taken…”

With respect to the court’s second finding, California Evidence Code § 352 provides:

“The court in its discretion may exclude evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the probability that its admission will (a) necessitate undue consumption of time or (b) create substantial danger of undue prejudice, of confusing the issues, or of misleading the jury.”


In California Department of Transportation v. Francisco Javier Briseno, Caltrans, filed an eminent domain action to acquire 2.75 acres of unimproved land owned by Briseno in the City of Chula Vista.  As required by CCP §1258.250, Briseno exchanged a statement of valuation for his real estate appraiser’s opinion.  Briseno’s appraiser relied on eight sales transactions to conclude to his fair market value conclusion.  At the time of trial, Caltrans filed a motion in limine to exclude one of the sales transactions, Comp 2.  A developer had purchased property adjacent to Comp 2 to develop a 533-unit apartment complex.  As a condition of the development, the developer was subsequently required to purchase Comp 2 and dedicate it to the City for public park use, or pay the City $980,000 in additional development fees.  The developer agreed to purchase Comp 2 for $950,000.  Caltrans argued that Comp 2 was not comparable because the purchase price did not reflect what a buyer would pay for similar property, but rather what this developer was forced to pay in order to be able to proceed with his development.  Caltrans argued that Comp 2 would confuse the jury and should be excluded under Evidence Code §352.

Caltrans also filed a motion in limine to exclude testimony by Briseno himself regarding the value of plants on his property on the basis that a statement of valuation had not been exchanged for Briseno.

Exclusion of Comp 2

As the court often does when deciding whether to preclude evidence, the Court balanced whether the probative value of Comp 2 substantially outweighed the risk of prejudice and confusion to the jury under Evidence Code §352.  With various factors testing the limits of comparability, the Court agreed that the risk of confusion and the undue time necessary to explain the unique factors surrounding Comp 2, (i.e. that it was not a transaction freely entered into by a buyer), outweighed its probative value, and as such excluded Comp 2.

Precluding Opinion of Value

The Court also held in favor of Caltrans on whether Briseno was properly precluded from testifying as to his opinion of value regarding the plants.  The Court pointing to CCP §1258.250 confirmed the trial court’s ruling that since a statement of valuation was not exchanged for Briseno, Briseno would not be allowed to testify as to value.


So to sum it up, be sure your comparables are “comparable” and are arms-length-transactions which would not unduly prejudice or confuse a jury.  Even more fundamentally, if you intend for a witness to testify at the time of trial and provide a valuation opinion, be sure to exchange a statement of valuation for that witness.

Finally, while the Court in the Briseno case did not get into the discussion of the factors considered to determine the “comparability” of a comparable, here is a reminder of what California Evidence Code §816 states:

When relevant to the determination of the value of property, a witness may take into account as a basis for his opinion the price and other terms and circumstances of any sale or contract to sell and purchase comparable property if the sale or contract was freely made in good faith within a reasonable time before or after the date of valuation. In order to be considered comparable, the sale or contract must have been made sufficiently near in time to the date of valuation, and the property sold must be located sufficiently near the property being valued, and must be sufficiently alike in respect to character, size, situation, usability, and improvements, to make it clear that the property sold and the property being valued are comparable in value and that the price realized for the property sold may fairly be considered as shedding light on the value of the property being valued. (Emphasis added).

A Quick Refresher on the Tax Consequences of Condemnation

Posted in Uncategorized

Most of us are at least vaguely familiar with the tax on gains from the sale of property.  Many of us know that when property is sold voluntarily and the funds re-invested, the gain may be deferred under Internal Revenue Code section 1031.  What is sometimes overlooked is the taxability of gains when property is sold involuntarily, i.e., condemned.  As we posted several years ago, Internal Revenue Code section 1033 contemplates just such a situation, and provides some advantages over a section 1031 exchange: An owner has more time to re-invest and may actually hold the proceeds pending that investment – no intermediary needed.  (Unlike some other Code provisions, sections 1031 and 1033 do not eliminate gain; rather, they defer gain by allowing the taxpayer to move “built-in” gain from an old property to a new property.)

When Does Section 1033 Apply?

So, when can a property owner facing condemnation take advantage of section 1033?  As one might expect with the tax code, there are a few rules, including:

  • The property must be condemned (i.e., there must be a lawsuit filed) or there must be a “threat or imminence” of condemnation;
  • The property must be replaced within a specified period (usually within 2-3 years)
  • The property must be replaced with eligible property (these are similar to the “like-kind” requirements of section 1031);
  • If, as usually happens in condemnations, the owner receives money first, the owner must elect to treat any gains under section 1033.

And if you’re a taxpayer seeking a deferral of gain in California, you should be aware of federal-California difference that might affect you.  While section 1033 can apply regardless of the nature of the condemning entity, for Proposition 13 purposes, in California the condemnation must be by a public entity, not a private entity with the power of eminent domain.  (For a discussion of why this rule doesn’t make sense and should be changed, see my colleague Brad Kuhn’s post on Prop 13 base value transfer.)

Who Should Care About Section 1033?

Obviously, property owners whose property may be taken for a public use — and their attorneys — should be aware of the advantages of section 1033.  Owners should also pay particular attention to the “threat or imminence” of condemnation requirement.  It is not enough that the property is merely being considered for acquisition, or that an owner is negotiating with a public entity.

Condemning authorities and their consultants should also realize the benefits section 1033 may offer during the negotiation process.  Educating a property owner about the tax consequences of a sale may mean the difference between reaching an early deal and having to proceed to court.

What Happens if Only Part of Property is Condemned?

A large number of condemnations involve only a portion of the property, for example, a strip of frontage for a street widening.  How does section 1033 benefit the owner of the remaining property?  In the case of a part-take, a property owner may be entitled to severance damages – the difference, if any, between the value of the remaining property before and after the condemnation.  The award of severance damages is applied first against and reduces the taxpayer’s “basis” in the remaining property (generally, original purchase price plus the cost of improvements, minus depreciation) and is not taxable to that extent.  Any damages leftover are taxable unless the taxpayer uses section 1033 to restore the remainder or invest in eligible replacement property.

Well, there you have it, my quick summary of section 1033.  I’m sure my colleagues here who are more familiar with tax law (I’m an eminent domain attorney, not a tax attorney) can delve into the specifics.  Together we can guide both owners and agency folks so everyone can maximize their benefits under section 1033.

Liquid Gold: Valuation of Water Rights

Posted in Uncategorized

150211181726-15-twl-everglades-super-169California’s heat-wave continues, and so does the drought.  With water becoming more and more scarce, the topic of water supply and how to value water rights is becoming a key issue in California.  If you’re interested in these issues, International Right of Way Association Chapter 57 is hosting is fall seminar this Friday, October 14, titled “Water Supply & Impacts.”  There are some great speakers lined up to discuss California’s water supply, how to value flowage and drainage easements, and how water can impact a property’s highest and best use.

And if you’re interested in a scholarly discussion of valuing water rights, particularly in the eminent domain or regulatory takings context, check out William Wade’s article, “Liquid Gold or Water for Pecans? Valuation of Groundwater in Regulatory Takings Law.”  Bill is an expert in regulatory takings, and he has a great discussion about how the regulation of ground water can expose public agencies to potential liability under Penn Central’s regulatory takings law, and how to value such water rights through a discounted cash flow analysis when they impact an ongoing business.  He concludes that simply valuing the land itself with and without water rights may be insufficient (i.e., a “before” and “after” valuation), but instead it may be more appropriate to look at the loss of income produced by the business operating on the property.

If you’re heading out to IRWA Chapter 57’s Water Supply & Impacts seminar, I look forward to seeing you there.

Waivers of Rights to Compensation are Enforceable in Eminent Domain Actions

Posted in Court Decisions

13th_St_Railroad_Crossing,_CordeleIt’s not every day you’re involved in a successful eminent domain case before the California Court of Appeal.  It’s even more unusual when the case deals with a number of interesting legal issues, such as the enforceability of a waiver of just compensation, the compensability of a license, the breadth of the “project influence rule” for purposes of a property’s valuation, and the substantial impairment of access test.  I was fortunate enough to have dealt with all these interesting issues in a single case, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. KBG I Associates, LLC, in which the Court just issued its decision.


The case involved the acquisition of a non-exclusive access easement from a 3.8-acre industrial property in order to provide alternative access to a parking garage serving the Expo Line Project’s La Cienega Station.  As part of the Project, the public agency also terminated the property’s license to cross over a railroad right-of-way, which was the property’s primary access point.  The license was terminable on 30 days’ notice, and it contained a provision by which the property owner waived any rights to seek damages as a result of its termination.  The agency provided a new, alternative access point to cross the railroad tracks about 1,100 feet away, but the owner claimed the new access point was inferior.

The owner’s appraiser concluded that absent the Project, the license would have remained in effect, or potentially converted to an easement, and damages due to the direct loss of access caused over $2.2 million in severance damages.  The public agency’s appraiser did not consider the loss of access, as the owner only enjoyed a revocable license which contained a waiver of damages in the event of termination.

The trial court ruled in favor of the public agency, concluding that a license is not a compensable property interest in eminent domain and in any event, the license contained a waiver of the owner’s rights to seek damages in the event of its termination.

The Appeal

On appeal, the property owner argued that under the “project influence rule,” the agency’s actions of terminating the license must be ignored.  The owner relied on Code of Civil Procedure section 1263.330, which provides that the determination of fair market value shall not include any increase or decrease in value attributable to the proposed project, the eminent domain action, or any preliminary actions of the public agency to acquire the property.  The Court of Appeal rejected this argument, concluding that regardless of the rule, the owner had contractually waived any rights to seek damages for the license’s termination.  In other words, the “project influence rule” does not write out of existence the parties’ contractual agreements with respect to compensation.

The owner also argued that as a result of the Project, the property experienced a change in the quality of access which caused severance damages.  The Court once again explained that because the owner had waived damages as a result of the license’s termination, the owner could not recover severance damages for this change in access.  Moreover, other changes in access caused by the Project, such as loss of left turn or a less convenient means of access, did not rise to the level of a substantial impairment, which is a threshold requirement before a reduction in property value becomes legally compensable.


While unpublished, the decision supports the concepts that (i) a license is not compensable in an eminent domain action, (ii) a waiver of the right to just compensation is enforceable, (iii) the “project influence rule” is not so broad so as to ignore the parties’ contractual agreement, and (iv) the substantial impairment of access test is still alive and well, despite some broad language in recent court decisions indicating “all” severance damages caused by a public project are to be considered.

It’s Baaacckkkk…. Redevelopment Returns to California

Posted in Redevelopment

redevelopmentWe’ve been closely watching Assembly Bill 2 work its way through the legislature for most of 2015, and last week, it was finally signed by the Governor.  What does it mean?  You can find a detailed analysis by my partner, Bernadette Duran-Brown, in our recent E-Alert, but generally, it means redevelopment is back in California.

AB2 allows local governments to create Community Revitalization and Investment Authorities (CRIAs), which will have the power to issue bonds, provide low-income housing, prepare and adopt a revitalization plan for an area, and acquire property using the power of eminent domain.  Once a CRIA is established (through a city, county, special district, or a joint powers agreement), a board will be established, which must include at least two members of the public who live or work in the area.

CRIAs, like former redevelopment agencies, can freeze property taxes of an area and then collect the increased tax increment to use on revitalization activities.  However, in an effort to curtail redevelopment abuse, the taxing entities in the plan area, like cities, counties and special districts, must agree to divert the tax increment to the CRIA.

It’s not clear at this point how CRIAs will positively or negatively impact disadvantaged communities.  Moreover, in a potential competition with CRIAs, Governor Brown also signed AB313 on September 22, which enhances the powers of Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs), another type of tax increment financing entity the Legislature created last year.  Will the EIFDs and CRIAs be fighting over the same pot of funds, or will they complement one another, giving local governments even more strength to implement public projects?

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into AB2 and see how it plays out in 2016.

Legislative Update: AB2 Passes Both Assembly and State Senate

Posted in Redevelopment

Back in May, we provided an update on the status of AB2, the bill which would create Community Revitalization Investment Authorities, (see here).  Things were relatively quiet over the summer but this month has the bill seeing a lot of action: It was passed by the state senate on September 9, passed by the assembly on September 12 and has been sent for final review before hitting the governor’s desk for signature.  As we discussed previously, Governor Brown vetoed the last iteration of this bill because the bill vested the program in redevelopment law, and the new bill does not.  While he has made comments that he could possibly support an “economic development program…that focuses on disadvantaged communities with high unemployment”, it is unclear whether Governor Brown will be supportive of this bill.  A recent San Diego Tribune article looks at the legislative and legal maneuvering that has taken place since the elimination of redevelopment agencies between the legislature and the governor and is worth a read.

It shouldn’t be long before we get Governor Brown’s opinion of AB 2. We will keep you posted!

Condemnation Projects Everywhere!

Posted in Projects

Public agencies in California are once again getting busy with new projects.  It seems at every event I attend all the right-of-way professionals, appraisers and eminent domain attorneys tell me they’re fully occupied.  Recent news articles support this conclusion.

For example, according to an article in the Orange County Register, Santa Ana council OKs EIR moving forward on Warner Avenue widening using eminent domain, the City of Santa Ana has adopted a final environmental impact report for the Warner Avenue Improvement Project, which will reconfigure the road from Main Street to Grand Avenue, and ultimately require the acquisition of 31 full residential, six partial residential, two full commercial and 13 partial commercial properties.  Given the public opposition, the City is already planning on having to use eminent domain for the acquisitions.  The partial acquisitions are usually the most controversial, as property owners have disputes as to damages to their remaining property and impacts from construction of the proposed project.  Similarly, the acquisition of commercial properties bring the possibility of business losses, which are typically subject to a wide discrepancy in valuation opinions.

Similarly, according to an article in the Hi-Desert Star, Water district takes first steps toward eminent domain for easements, the Hi-Desert Water District is in the process of building a new sewer collection system, which will require the acquisition of 353 easements just for the first phase of the project.  The District has already successfully negotiated 216 acquisitions, but 96 remain unresolved, and where negotiated settlements could not be reached, the District’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution of necessity in order to use eminent domain to acquire the easements.  A number of property owners have raised concerns about how the proposed acquisitions will impact the ability to develop their properties, but the District must push forward with condemnation as its loan for the project is contingent upon having all necessary property interests under control.

Finally, according to an article in the Manteca Bulletin, Manteca seeks right- of-way for interchange, the City of Manteca is getting ready to take steps to obtain the right-of-way needed to convert the McKinley Avenue undercrossing of the 120 Bypass into a full-scale interchange.  The property acquisitions are expected to cost $4 million to complete the project.  Once complete, the project will improve traffic circulation in the area.  But interchange projects typically result in significant impacts to nearby properties, so it will be interesting to see whether Manteca has prepared a realistic right-of-way budget.

Stay tuned to see what’s next on the horizon.