It's not often we go an entire week without a blog post, but last week was a bit hectic on our end. Here's a few California eminent domain and infrastructure updates from throughout the week:
- San Bernardino Eminent Domain: In its article "IVDA approves eminent domain for Tippecanoe widening," The Riverside Press-Enterprise is reporting that the Inland Valley Development Agency has authorized moving forward with eminent domain to acquire 461 square feet of property in San Bernardino near the north east corner of Tippecanoe and Central Avenue as part of a street widening effort. While the property has been appraised at only $7,240, the Agency estimates it will spend nearly $50,000 in administrative and legal costs to accomplish the acquisition. Aside from the public perception concerns, this dramatic price differential highlights one reason why public agencies usually turn to eminent domain as a last resort. But sometimes the property is absolutely necessary and a project cannot be completed without the necessary right of way. In this case, the Agency appears to be left with no other options as negotiations dating back to 2008 have been unsuccessful.
- Yucca Valley Condemnation: According to the Vote29 Blog, Yucca Valley approved using eminent domain to acquire 30' a easement to pave a 60' wide road. The City is using its controversial power after it did not receive any response from the owner to the City's offer to purchase the property. Again, the City's appraised value of the property is small ($2,400), and it is likely the City will spend much more in attorneys' fees to go forward with eminent domain.
- Calleguas Water District Eminent Domain: According to a Ventura County star article, "Water district may invoke eminent domain on Lewis Road to finish pipeline," the Calleguas Water District may use eminent domain to acquire the easements necessary to transport wastewater out to sea off Port Hueneme. The District has apparently had difficulty locating the property owners. In order to move forward with adopting a resolution of necessity, the District must find that an offer has been made to the owners of record or the offer has not been made because the owner cannot be located with reasonable diligence. (See CCP 1245.230(c)(4).)
- Los Angeles Infrastructure Projects: The California Transportation Commission announced it has allocated $825 million to 92 highway, transit and rail projects in an effort to strengthen California's economy and upgrade the state's transportation system. Los Angeles County received $526 million in allocations primarily for Caltrans design-build projects. See the press release for the funding distribution. (Caltrans also will begin construction next month on the $380 million I-5 / Carmenita Road Interchange project.)
- High Speed Rail: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the California High Speed Rail Authority can begin spending a $16 million grant to help integrate California's rail network with the high-speed passenger service on the San Francisco to San Jose corridor.
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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