I-5 freeway acquisitions complete

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.

Peterson Law Group represented several of the property and business owners affected by the final phase of the I-5 widening project, including an El Pollo Loco franchise and a machinery moving business that occupied 11 acres.  Both businesses were required to relocate.  Both cases involved valuation of real estate, improvements, trade fixtures, equipment, and loss of business goodwill.

Based on current schedules, the last phase of the I-5 widening is expected to be completed in mid-late 2019.

However, Blue Mountain Lake institution, the current owner of the museum, asserts that there are problems with the village's use of this process. The institution suggests that the property's value was reassessed, and it resulted in a lower value upon which the fair market value would be based. The institution also suggests that the village has not shown an actual need for the property in completing its development. Together with what it claims is the village's inability to follow the designated legal steps to acquire property, the institution is seeking to stop this acquisition.

Often, the use of eminent domain is necessary as a community grows and develops. Additionally, as California communities are revitalized, it may be necessary to acquire property to aid in this process. However, this acquisition is not always necessary for public use. When there is a question regarding the use or the value of the property in question, experienced legal guidance can be invaluable in deciding which steps the property owner should take.

Source:, "Eminent domain at parking garage site expected to resume in January", Antonio Olivero, Sept. 1, 2017

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