San Mateo Residents Worried California High-Speed Rail Authority Will Invoke Eminent Domain on Their Properties

The Daily Journal reports that the high-speed rail project in California is causing many residents in San Mateo to worry about how the future rail line will impact their neighborhoods, the value of their properties, and whether or not many of them will be able to remain in their homes since many believe the project will require significant property acquiring through eminent domain.

Voters in California approved Proposition 1A in November of 2008, a $9 billion bond measure that will fund a high-speed rail project from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Recently, the environmental review process regarding a four-track system on the Peninsula was suspended by the California High-Speed Rail Authority due to the proposal of a "blended system" by both federal and state lawmakers. The proposed system would have the high-speed trains sharing an existing two-track system with Caltrain, the commuter rail that runs between San Francisco and San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The two-track system would need to be modernized to accommodate the high-speed trains. Additionally, the blended system would be greatly scaled-back and would significantly reduce the need for properties to be acquired by eminent domain for the project. However, officials in San Mateo have indicated that the tracks may have to be buried from the downtown area headed north or suppressed due to the narrowness of the corridor.

Many residents in the area are greatly concerned that they will not be able to remain in their homes once the project is underway and will be forced to give up their homes; while others are worried they will not be able to receive fair market value for their properties if they sell before the project begins. According to the article, it is required that real estate agents disclose to potential buyers the intent of the authority to use the Caltrain corridor for its trains. However, they only have to refer buyers to check the authority's website for more information, and currently, the website does not have much detail regarding what the design for the high-speed rail system will ultimately be.

Contact the eminent domain attorneys in Los Angeles at The Peterson Law Group if you or your business is facing a dispute involving eminent domain. We will work creatively to find a solution that works for you. Call 213-236-9720.

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