September 2017 Archives
Communities throughout California are comprised of a variety of land uses and property types, including retail stores, commercial businesses, industrial facilities, and residential communities. In addition to these types of properties, there is also the need for properties to accomodate law enforcement and the California criminal system, which can take form as State prisons or local jails. In some cases, the use of eminent domain is required in order to acquire properties for such uses. Most often these types of structures are located away from population centers.
Traffic flow and congestion continues to be an important consideration to local and state planning, development, and infrastructure analysis in California. Local authorities and state agencies study traffic patterns and vehicle counts over several years, and then draft scenarios in which traffic flow and congestion can be improved. Often, these scenarios support infrastructure enhancement or expansion, which is carried out through public projects across the state to improve major street intersections, freeways, overpasses, railroads, public transportation boarding stations, and the like. Existing infrastructure is often surrounded by development, and so eminent domain proceedings are required in order to acquire the additional land needed to expand an existing improvement or develop and build a new infrastructure improvement.
Caltrans, working hand in hand with local cities in Los Angeles close to the Orange County border, have been planning for the Interstate-5 widening project for over a decade. The project was presented, implemented and began construction in 5 separate phases spanning from the 605 freeway in Santa Fe Springs to the 91 freeway in Buena Park. With earlier phases completed, Caltrans turned towards acquiring the private property needed to begin construction on the last phase in late 2014. The last phase required properties on the south side of I-5 from Alondra Boulevard to Artesia Boulevard. Earlier this year, Caltrans completed its acquisition phase, and has now turned towards demolition of existing structures to prepare for the I-5 realignment and widening.
Business enterprise takes on government entity and overcomes. While this may sound like something out of a made for television drama, it is reality for some in California. The fact that the government entity was utilizing the eminent domain process to acquire property and the business enterprise was able to fight back and finally come to a settlement provides hope for others.