Solano County

Solano agency to vote on land condemnations

By From page A1 | January 29, 2013

SUISUN CITY — A bigger, better Green Valley interchange along Interstate 80 and improved westbound I-80 ramps to Highway 12 in Jameson Canyon will take up more space, some of it on private property.

The Solano Transportation Authority is trying to obtain that space. It is poised to start eminent domain proceedings against 10 private property owners so it can seize the land and let the courts decide the fair market value.

That doesn’t mean the agency will absolutely use its condemnation powers to take the land. But, if the agency Board of Directors grants its approval, the possibility will be there if no deal can be reached.

At a glance

  • Who: Solano Transportation Authority
  • What: Special meeting to start land condemnations
  • When: 4 p.m. Wednesday
  • Where: Suisun City Hall, 701 Civic Center Blvd., Suisun City
  • Info: 424-6075

“We’ll keep negotiating, absolutely,” agency Deputy Executive Director and Director of Projects Janet Adams said.

The Solano Transportation Authority Board of Directors will discuss the matter at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Suisun City Hall, 701 Civic Center Blvd. Members are the mayors of Solano County’s seven cities and one county supervisor.

To move forward with the condemnations, seven of the eight board members must vote “yes.” Once the Solano Transportation Authority has obtained the properties, it will give them to the state Department of Transportation.

The Solano Transportation Authority has been a key player in efforts to improve freeway traffic flow in the Interstates 80 and 680 interchange area. The agency and Caltrans are working on an initial $111 million project that is to start construction next year.

Plans call for building a new Green Valley interchange slightly to the east of the present one. This new interchange is to have an overpass with four lanes, compared to the present two lanes.

New ramps will be built to better sort out the traffic trying to leave I-80 for Highway 12 in Jameson Canyon with traffic merging onto I-80 from the Green Valley interchange. The new ramps will include an elevated structure to separate traffic streams.

The California Transportation Commission in May is to vote on allocating about $35 million for the project, with the rest of the money coming from other sources. Adams said the Solano Transportation Authority must first show that it has control of the necessary land or a plan to get control of the land.

“We made offers on these properties back in the spring,” Adams said. “This is not something that’s come quickly on the property owners.”

But there’s a point where the Solano Transportation Authority must keep moving to meet the timelines, she said.

The project requires land acquisitions from 15 private property owners, as well as from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Fairfield, Vallejo and the Fairfield-Suisun School District, a Solano Transportation Authority report said. The agency has deals with five private property owners and is working with PG&E and the public agencies on contracts.

That leaves 10 private property owners who could see land subject to condemnation proceedings. They are the Mangels Family Trust; Robert Dittmer, TRE of Cordelia Trust; PEM Green Valley TIC, LLC; Lees Pet Club, Inc.; Napa Tahoe Specialty Retail Development, LLC; IMET, LLC; Watt/Fairfield Associates Limited Partnership; James and Cheryl Campi; Plaza Court Properties, LLC; and Kerry Egan, et al, the report said.

Size of the land varies widely, from more than 11 acres in the case of the Dittmer property to 1,404 square feet for a temporary construction easement in the case of Kerry Egan.

To begin condemnation proceedings, the Solano Transportation Authority Board of Directors must make a number of findings. Among them is that the public interest and necessity require the project.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Discussion | 1 comment

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  • This is a Microcosm!January 29, 2013 - 8:52 pm

    Your private Property will be confiscated, Crimes will be commited by Illegal persons in our Country., AND YOU WILL BE DISARMED!.....Welcome to the Democratic Party!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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