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County begins eminent domain action on Silva Valley property

By From page A9 | October 02, 2013

El Dorado County Supervisors adopted a Resolution of Necessity to begin eminent domain proceedings to acquire one parcel in El Dorado Hills needed for the Silva Valley Parkway interchange. Recommended by the county’s Transportation Division of the Community Development Agency, the resolution opens the process based on the determination that the project represents the “greatest public good with the least private harm.”

Adam Bane, DOT senior civil engineer, told the board last month that General Partner Robert Matz, representing the property owners Douglas Grant Line Associates, Sacramento Realty Investors-El Dorado and Sacramento Realty Investors-Clarksville, has been “very cooperative and does not oppose” the county’s action. He further explained that some issues with “title deeds of trust” remain unresolved and that the owners have signed a “Possession and Use Agreement,” which allows the county to move forward on the project.

The parcel is just over six acres south of Highway 50 at Sylva Valley, of which the right of way needed is 5.7 acres. The balance represents a utilities easement and about one-quarter acre of “uneconomic remnant,” which Bane said is considered to have no realistic value to the owners and is therefore included in the action.

Part of Phase 1 of the larger project, the county plans for a “20-year capacity” to cover existing need plus planned growth, according to the El Dorado Hills Master Plan. That plan is based upon projected development of 4,000 acres within the area as authorized under the county’s general plan, Traffic Management Plan and the Sacramento Area Council of Government regional plan, Bane explained. The original Environmental Impact Report was done in 1990 and updated by a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report in 2011, he noted.

District 1 Supervisor Ron Mikulaco interrupted Bane at that point.

“Clarksville is not going to be plowed under. Is that correct?” Mikulaco asked.

Bane said that Clarksville is not going to be plowed under, “not at all.”

A majority of the proposed work will be done in Phase 1, which includes a four-lane overcrossing for through traffic on Silva Valley Parkway with accompanying “partial clover leaf” on- and off-ramps from Highway 50 and continuous auxiliary lanes between El Dorado Hills Blvd and the Parkway. Phase 2 is anticipated to begin after 2020 and become operational by 2030 and will add an eastbound diagonal on-ramp and a westbound loop on-ramp.

Bane reminded the board that state matching funds of approximately $1 million under the State-Local Partnership Program are time sensitive and that the “project needs to move forward in order to get the SLPP funds.” Local funding is available through the El Dorado Hills Traffic Impact Mitigation Fees program and the Silva Valley Interchange Set Aside Fund.

County supervisors have the authority, under the state constitution and as a political subdivision of the state, “to exercise the powers of eminent domain (by virtue of the California Code of Civil Procedure) … to acquire any property necessary for the use and purposes of county highways,” according to the language of the county’s Resolution of Necessity.

In order to exercise those powers, the county must first make “findings” determining that “the public interest and necessity require the project.” Furthermore, the proposed project must be “planned and located in the manner that will be most compatible with the greatest public good and the least private injury.”

The “subject property must be necessary for the project” and an appropriate offer (to purchase) must have been made to all owners of record.

All of those findings have been determined and are specified in the board’s resolution.

The owners of the parcel, Douglas Grant Line Associates, Sacramento Realty Investors-El Dorado, and Sacramento Realty Investors-Clarksville were given notice and the opportunity to be heard before the board on Sept. 17, according to the resolution. No one appeared on behalf of the owners at the Sept. 17 meeting.

The resolution concludes that outside counsel, Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver & Wilson, with assistance from county counsel are authorized “to proceed immediately with the commencement of an action for eminent domain pursuant to the Eminent Domain Law set forth in the Code of Civil Procedure …”

In a follow-up e-mail, Bane noted that the appraised value of the parcel is approximately $300,600.

With regard to any of the owners opposing or challenging the county’s proposed decision he said, “In this case the ownership has not expressed a desire to challenge the project or acquisition and we do not anticipate the process getting held up.  As was discussed in the presentation, we have an agreement with the property owner which provides the county the rights necessary to move forward with construction while the eminent domain action goes through its process.”

Chris Daley


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