We've previously reported on the City of Imperial Beach's use of eminent domain to displace tenants in the Miracle Shopping Center. According to a recent San Diego Union Tribune article, "Eminent domain to begin soon against IB merchant," the City is continuing down that path -- this time with the business South Bay Drugs. The owner has operated the business in the shopping center for 28 years.
The City Council voted on Wednesday to move forward with the adoption of a Resolution of Necessity so the eminent domain process could begin. But the case has a bit of an interesting twist.
Specifically, the business owner stopped paying rent several months ago based on a City consultant's telling the business that the rent payments would be offset against the business' relocation benefits. When the City sued to evict the business for non-payment of rent, a San Diego Superior Court judge sided with the business. The City is now appealing that ruling, apparently hoping that if the business is evicted, it may not be entitled to any eminent domain proceeds.
If the tenant had a reasonable belief -- based on a statement by a City consultant -- that rent payments would be offset against the payment of future relocation benefits, it is difficult to understand the City's basis for trying to evict the tenant. And if the City is not trying to avoid the payment of just compensation and business goodwill losses, why is it continuing to attempt to evict the tenant when the City can simply take possession through the upcoming eminent domain proceeding?
Brad Kuhn serves as Chair of Nossaman's Eminent Domain & Valuation Group. Brad is a real estate and business litigation attorney, with a particular emphasis in the transportation, energy/gas, water, land-use development, and ...
California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain in California. We cover all aspects of eminent domain in California, 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 California eminent domain conferences and seminars.