Eminent-domain issue presses Riverside agency: Riverside CA Press-Enterprise, 2/16/07

By Dan Lee

The Riverside City Council is expected to consider a new law Tuesday that would limit when the city redevelopment agency can acquire owner-occupied single-family homes through eminent domain.

The law would also require the agency to pay fair market value compensation for condemning and taking any property from landowners.

Assistant City Manager Michael Beck said a new state law requires the redevelopment agency to establish an eminent-domain policy by July 1. The proposed law establishes that policy, he said.

It also reflects the terms of a legal settlement last year that limited the use of eminent domain in the La Sierra-Arlanza redevelopment project area and standardizes it for the city's six remaining redevelopment areas, Beck said.

An owner-occupied single-family residence would be exempt from eminent domain except:
  • When the home is encumbered by a lien stemming from a code violation,
  • When the home is unoccupied and boarded up for more than a year,
  • When the home has become a public nuisance.

The other six redevelopment project areas are the Downtown/Airport area, the University Corridor/Sycamore Canyon area, Hunter Park/Northside, Magnolia Center, Casa Blanca and Arlington.

The proposed law has no connection with the proposed improvements in the Riverside Renaissance plan, Beck said.

Riverside CA Press-Enterprise: http://www.pe.com