While much of the focus in California lately has been on eminent domain for transportation projects, there’s some new condemnations moving forward in both Northern California and Southern California for social — or community — development projects.

  • Down south, the San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Port of San Diego has exercised its condemnation powers to acquire four acres of prime property on Chula Vista’s Bayfront in order to construct the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan project.  The Master Plan, approved by the Coastal Commission in 2012, is a joint project between the Port and the City of Chula Vista to transform 550 acres into a waterfront destination.  The Port originally appraised the 4-acre parcel at $2.4 million, but reduced its appraised value and offer to $1.6 million after it discovered the presence of contamination.  The next step will be filing the eminent domain lawsuit in court.
  • Up north, the Mercury News reports that the City of Freemont has adopted a resolution of necessity allowing for the use of eminent domain to acquire a 1.54-acre parcel needed for the development of the Downtown Civic Center.  The City Council also approved a relocation plan for up to 23 businesses displaced by the acquisition of the property at 39156-39200 State Street, which structures will be demolished under Freemont’s plans for a new City Hall and other municipal buildings.  Adopted in 2014, the Civic Center Master Plan identifies a 5.7-acre site on the northeastern corner of Capitol Avenue and State Street for a large public plaza, city administrative offices, and other community-focused uses as well as adjacent parking.  Groundbreaking is expected to start in 2017.  The article reports that the property owner has retained an attorney and an appraiser, but has not responded to the City’s appraisal or offer or otherwise engaged in negotiations with the City.