By A.J. Hazarabedian

The city of Fontana may use eminent domain to acquire a property near the 10 freeway for the Citrus Ave./I-10 Interchange Improvement project.

The city will be deciding whether or not to adopt a resolution of necessity to acquire property, owned by Calabasas Property Inc., by eminent domain.

A resolution of necessity is a government agency’s formal decision to acquire property by eminent domain.  It must be adopted before the condemning agency (in this case, the city of Fontana) can commence an eminent domain action in court.

As explained further in our California Eminent Domain Handbook, in order to adopt a resolution of necessity, the government agency must find that the project for which the property is to be acquired is necessary, that the property is necessary for the public project, that the project is located in such a manner as to offer the greatest public benefit with the least private detriment, and that an offer to purchase the property has been made.

These issues will be discussed during the upcoming council meeting.  According to the San Bernardino Sun article, “Fontana eyes freeway,” the city is in negotiations with the property owner and has made an offer.

The city plans to begin construction in 2011, replacing the existing four-lane Citrus Avenue bridge with a new six-lane freeway interchange.

Calabasas Property Inc. will have an opportunity to address the city council at the next city council meeting.