For the public good in California, it is sometimes necessary to use the law to take certain properties from owners. While this might sound as if it is a direct challenge to the fundamentals of ownership, there are certain projects that are in the public interest, making it necessary for real property to be taken under the law for eminent domain. Those seeking the property can face legal challenges by the property owner, so it is wise to be prepared for this eventuality with a firm basis in the law.

A California city is trying to accrue private property it feels it needs to complete a road project. A City Council vote agreed to move forward with an eminent domain claim to take the property from four owners. The sale price is in flux based on the law. The sides are obligated to negotiate, but if no agreement is reached, the city can simply take the property with the prices determined later. The road project and its schedule hinges on the property being used. Thus far, attempts to negotiate with the owners have been fruitless.

The project is in an industrial area and is believed to be critical to the city’s advancement and success. In its current state before the project, the road is problematic for businesses and its employees. The pavement is rated poorly at 12 out of a possible 100 for quality. If there are delays in the project’s completion, around 130 city jobs may be lost. The reconstruction is for just shy of two miles of road. One property owner says redwoods will need to be chopped down, stoking worry. He and another owner think the project will also negatively impact their driveways.

The law states that cities can buy property if it is for public use regardless of the owner’s willingness to sell. Market value must be paid with the courts determining the price if no agreement is made. Cities and other entities are often characterized as being in the wrong with eminent domain cases. This is not the case and these projects are frequently vital for the economy, its sustainability and improvement. Having legal assistance is imperative for time-sensitive projects involving these matters related to real property. Consulting with qualified legal professionals is key.