In February 2009, the city of American Canyon filed an eminent domain lawsuit in Napa County Superior Court to acquire vacant property on which the city intended to build two water storage tanks. According to a Napa Valley Register article, "AmCan settles deal for water tank property," the city has now settled the lawsuit for $542,909. In return, the city obtained 3.2 acres of unimproved land and an additional four acres for permanent and temporary easements.
It appears that the settlement was prompted by the court's recent ruling that the property owner was not entitled to severance damages to the owner's remaining 100-acres of property not being condemned by the city. The court reasoned that "the construction and use of the water tank project did not cause the economic damages claimed by [the owner]." As part of the settlement, the city has agreed to provide the owner with water and sewer services, potentially a major savings for the owner's planned residential development.
The city obtained prejudgment possession of the property early in the lawsuit, and construction of the first water tank is nearing completion. The city, however, has been unable to find funds to pay for the second storage tank. The second tank will eventually be connected to a high-pressure tank on a 313-acre preserve the Napa Valley Unified School District purchased several years ago.
Brad Kuhn, Chair of Nossaman's Eminent Domain & Valuation Group, guides private and public sector clients through complex real estate development and infrastructure projects – particularly with eminent domain/inverse ...
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