According to a Contra Costa Times article, "San Pablo tries to quell eminent domain fears with promise to residents," the City of San Pablo has promised residents that it will not use the power of eminent domain to acquire owner-occupied residences for purposes of private development. The promise is a bit odd, given the fact that Proposition 99, which Caifornia voters passed in 2008, is intended to prohibit exactly that use of eminent domain. (We'll leave aside for the moment whether Proposition 99 really does effectively prohibit the taking of residential property for redevleopment.)
The article notes that over 100 individuals showed up at a recent city council meeting to oppose a proposal to renew the redevelopment agency's eminent domain powers for another 12 years. In an effort to calm the residents' fears, the City took a symbolic step and pledged to sign agreements with any homeowner-in-residence, "promising not to use eminent domain improperly."
Notably, citizens correctly pointed out that the proposal does nothing to protect business owners, and given the fact that more than 90 percent of the City of San Pablo is within a redevelopment area, one can imagine it is difficult for such owners to feel secure.
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