Another Example of an Early Eminent Domain Case Caused by Timing Constraints
Posted in Projects

As we reported in an update yesterday, San Luis Obispo County adopted resolutions of necessity to condemn portions of three parcels needed for Nipomo’s Willow Road interchange project.  According to an April 21 Santa Maria Times article by April Charlton, "Board OKs use of eminent domain," the County is still negotiating with the owners, but was forced to start the eminent domain process now, or its risks losing key project funding:

[T]he county is required to show the state that the project is ready to proceed by the end of June to obtain millions of dollars in transportation funds allocated for the interchange’s construction.

Based on the article's tone, it sounds like the County hopes (and intends) to complete voluntary acquisitions of the three properties, but is constrained by funding deadlines to commence the eminent domain process before exhausting the negotiations. 

This is just another example of the way arcane funding requirements and the new possession rules cause agencies to condemn earlier than should be necessary.  In this example, the situation becomes a "lose-lose" if the parties reach deals on voluntary acquisitions, as both sides may be forced to spend unnecessary attorneys' fees in a lawsuit that neither of them wants. 

  • Rick E. Rayl

    Rick Rayl is an experienced litigator on a broad range of complex civil litigation issues.  His practice is concentrated primarily on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and other real-estate-valuation disputes.  His public ...

California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain. We cover all aspects of eminent domain, including condemnation, inverse condemnation and regulatory takings. We also keep track of current cases, project announcements, budget issues, legislative reform efforts and report on all major eminent domain conferences and seminars in the Western United States.

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