On Tuesday, the Lake Elsinore City Council adopted a Resolution of Necessity to acquire a 2+ acre property in order to expand Serenity Park. As Michael Williams describes in his article “City hopes to take over boat launch,” the expansion is part of the City’s plan to develop a skateboarding arena . The City’s staff report says the City has been negotiating with the property owners for about a year, but that they have not agreed on a price for the property. The staff recommended the city move forward with an eminent domain lawsuit.
It isn’t clear why the owners rejected the City’s offers, but a good bet is that they weren’t happy with the appraised value. Although the property is currently vacant, Mr. Williams’ reports that at one time the owners sought to develop the property with a self-storage facility. My guess is that the owner sees it as a valuable, income producing property, while the City looks at it as a piece of vacant land not suitable for much. In other words, this may come down to a fight about the property’s “highest and best use.”