The City of Santee's Prospect Avenue Widening Project is moving forward, and because the City has not been able to secure all the necessary right of way voluntarily, the City is now poised to condemn the remaining interests it needs for the project.
On July 10, the City adopted a resolution of necessity which allows the City to proceed with the eminent domain actions on as many as 43 property interests, including several full take acquisitions, along with many partial takes and temporary construction easements.
A July 23 article in the Santee Patch, Santee Council OKs Property Seizures for Widening of Prospect Avenue, describes the project in more detail. As noted in the article -- and is typical in these situations -- the July 10 adoption of the resolution of necessity does not mean that the City will now stop negotiating with property owners. Rather, the City is likely moving forward with eminent domain now to protect is project timing, either due to funding constraints, construction constraints, or both.
If the City files its actions now, it can seek prejudgment possession of the properties so that it can proceed with construction while the parties continue to fight about the amount of just compensation the City must pay to the owners. The City expects to complete the project by December 2014.