1/01/2008

Family Receives Millions In Eminent Domain Dispute

A jury has awarded an Otay Mesa family that sued Caltrans in an eminent domain dispute $26.7 million, it was reported Friday.

The Anderson family was approached by the California Department of Transportation in 2006 about purchasing 2.8 acres of a 58-acre parcel off Otay Mesa Road, east of Interstate 805 and south of Brown Field.

Caltrans offered $172,410 but a Superior Court jury concluded Wednesday that the land is worth $1.3 million, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The award includes money that the jury found the family lost as a result of the majority of the remaining parcel being frozen by Caltrans activity.

Caltrans reportedly wanted to use the land to build Route 905 through the area. It was a project first announced in the early 1990s with an initial completion date of 1997. To date, it has not been built.

Family attorney Vincent Bartolotta Jr. told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the award was "truly a victory for the little guy. The justice done in this case shows that Caltrans can't just come in and bulldoze people."

Ed Cartagena, a Caltrans spokesman, told the newspaper that the agency likely will appeal.


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