According to a San Diego Union Tribune article,"City ready to acquire land to widen Plaza Boulevard," National City has adopted resolutions of necessity in order to use eminent domain for the widening of a 1.1-mile stretch of Plaza Boulevard. 37 properties are impacted, although the City has reached agreements with a majority of the property owners.
The expansion project will widen Plaza Boulevard from four to six lanes between Highland Avenue and Euclid Avenue, including a section under the 805 freeway. The City says widening its busiest commercial corridor will improve safety, increase traffic capacity, reduce congestion, and beautify the boulevard.
The impacted property owners are faced with giving up temporary construction easements, along with portions of their property permanently. According to the article, however, the owners are more concerned with the construction impacts, such as the project's elimination of a left-hand turn lane in front of a business. When there is an acquisition through eminent domain, these types of impacts are typically compensated through severance damages to the property owner and business goodwill losses to any business operating on the property.
Interestingly, like we've reported in the past, the City's urgency to begin using eminent domain is once again fueled by the need to pursue stimulus dollars this summer, as the federal government is paying for 80 percent of the project's cost.
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