Rancho Cordova RDA's Eminent Domain Powers Upheld

The City of Rancho Cordova's Redevelopment Agency has been working to implement plans to eliminate blighted conditions along Folsom Boulevard.  As part of those efforts, the RDA filed an eminent domain action to acquire a 9-acre site owned by Lily Company.

Lily Company challenged the RDA's right to take on numerous grounds, including lack of proper blight findings and allegations that the RDA was colluding with the Los Rios Community College District.  We initially reported on the case in an August post, Rancho Cordova Eminent Domain Case Involves Allegations of Contractual Interference.

The court has now upheld the Rancho Cordova RDA's right to take the property.  According to an article by Helen Brewer in the Rancho Cordova Post, Superior Court Affirms Rancho Cordova Redevelopment Agency in Eminent Domain Case, the court ruled that the RDA's Resolution of Necessity:

contains ample evidence of the blighted condition of the subject property and the surrounding area, of the need to acquire the subject property in order to further the objectives of the City’s Redevelopment Plan…to lead to the greatest public good and the minimum of private injury.

This does not mean, of course, that Lily Company has lost the entire case.  In most eminent domain cases, the real fight is over the amount of just compensation to be paid; that fight is still ahead of the parties.  But with the right to take challenge defeated, the RDA should have the option of seeking prejudgment possession, which would allow it to proceed with the project while the trial on compensation is still pending. 

As one interesting side note (and a sign of the times), it appears that anyone really interested in this case can relive the entire thing on line.  The Courtroom View Network has posted links to the entire trial on its website. 

I have never actually used the CVN site; I only stumbled onto it looking for more information about this case.  And, as entertaining as it would be to watch two experts in the field, Norm Matteoni and David Skinner, battle it out in court, I'm not willing to pay the money for the video and the bucket of popcorn I'd need. 

That said, if you have used the CVN services, please let me know what you think of them.  I'm intrigued. 

  • Rick E. Rayl
    Partner

    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 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.

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