By A.J. Hazarabedian

The Calleguas Water District is considering using eminent domain to acquire an easement on two properties in Camarillo.  The easements are needed for a pipeline project which, according to the Ventura County Star article, will help bring much needed water to Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks and Camarillo.

The article, “Water district may invoke eminent domain on Lewis Road to finish pipeline,” quotes Eric Bergh, resources manager for the District, who says they have been having a hard time finding the legal owner of one of the properties and negotiations have “stalled” with the other property owner.

The article indicates that if the District continues to have trouble negotiating an agreement by the end of the month, they will consider adopting a Resolution of Necessity.  As discussed in our California Eminent Domain Handbook, a Resolution of Necessity is the government agency’s formal decision to acquire property by eminent domain.  As touched on in the article by Susan Mulligan, a Director at the District, the Calleguas Water District will have to find that the pipeline project is necessary, that the property they seek to acquire for the project is necessary, that the project is located in such a way as to offer the greatest public benefit with the lease private detriment, and that an offer to purchase the property has been made (or the offer was not made because the owner could not be located after a diligent search).

The District will consider adopting a Resolution of Necessity at their July 5, 2011 meeting if an agreement is not made before then.