Recently we’ve been reporting on redevelopment agencies’ efforts to utilize redevelopment funds before they’re no more under new proposed legislation. Whether you agree or disagree with the existence of redevelopment agencies, sometimes those agencies acquire properties on behalf of other government entities for undisputed public purposes. For example, the Redding Redevelopment Agency is currently acting on behalf of the State Administrative Office of the Courts to acquire property necessary to build a new Shasta County Courthouse. If redevelopment agencies are abolished, these government entities will need to look elsewhere when it comes to property acquisition.
More specifically on the Redding Redevelopment Agency situation, according to the article "City’s Sights on Land," the Agency agreed in a special session this week to commence eminent domain proceedings against the owners of three downtown parcels needed to build the new Courthouse. In total, eleven parcels are needed for the Courthouse, and Agency officials are also contemplating purchasing (acquiring?) a 110,000-square-foot Costco store on Dana Drive.
The Agency has made the necessary offers, but the owners disagree on price. One of the owner’s attorneys apparently has objected to the Agency’s right to take on the grounds that the offer is so low that the taking is not planned in a manner that will be compatible with the greatest public good and least private injury. An agency must find that a project is planned in a manner that is compatible with the "greatest public good and least private injury" prior to adopting a resolution of necessity to proceed with eminent domain. Unless the offer is so far off that the agency couldn’t meaningfully evauate project alternatives, I don’t see how the amount of an agency’s offer to purchase has anything to do with this finding.
Assuming the Agency succeeds in acquiring all the necessary property, the proposed Courthouse will feature 14 courtrooms and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.