FAIRFIELD — A public hearing is scheduled Tuesday and City Council members must decide if there is just cause to use eminent domain to acquire land needed for the planned train station on Peabody Road.
Council members will hear the issue of acquiring 85,592 square feet of land for a proposed train station at the section of Vanden and Peabody roads. The area would be used for a parking lot, a road extension east of Vanderbilt Drive and “all uses necessary or convenient” for the train station.
Staff recommends the council hold the hearing and adopt a Resolution of Necessity and use eminent domain to acquire the nearly two-acre parcel that belongs to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. That would cost the city at least $265,858, the appraised amount of the land, as well as lawyer fees, according to staff reports.
The Fairfield-Vacaville train station has long been a dream of city leaders. The $50 million project is coming closer to reality with construction slated for as early as spring 2013. The nearly 3,000-acre site is designed to include a combination of homes, businesses, open space and parks and to become a hub for regional transportation.
Construction will eventually shut down traffic on Peabody Road for at least a year.
To prove the need for eminent domain, the council must prove four things: public interest and the necessity must require the project; the project must be planned with the greatest public good and least private injury; the land being acquired must be necessary for the overall project; and the city must have offered a fair value to the landowner.
The acquisition, according to staff, will not interfere with PG&E’s operations because the land is located on the southern edge of the parcel and is unused, other than power poles and lines that will stay in place.
Staff reports state the overall train station project could not be completed, given its importance to pedestrians, bicyclists and people with disabilities trying to access the train station, without the PG&E property.
The Fairfield City Council meets at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 100o Webster St.
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.