By Andrea Koskey
Lawyer for property owners says concept is ‘shaky’
Improvements to the Highway 20 and Kibbe Road intersection that would create a private haul road for Teichert Aggregates Inc.’s Hallwood plant were approved despite an appellate court ruling that said the project does not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.
Yuba County supervisors voted 4-1 on Tuesday morning to acquire slivers of land from 10 property owners through eminent domain.
Gary Livaich, an attorney with Desmond, Nolan, Livaich and Cunningham of Sacramento, which is representing several property owners, said a 3rd District Court of Appeal ruling sided with the residents in that not everything was considered before using eminent domain.
Livaich also represented some of the 3,000 Yuba County residents who sued the state over damages from the 1986 flood, according to Appeal-Democrat archives.
Planning on the haul road project, nine miles east of Marysville, began in 2003. It is designed to alleviate gravel truck traffic in the residential Hallwood area. Teichert representatives have said the location is the least disruptive to neighbors and surrounding agriculture.
The project would create wider turning lanes for trucks and realign Kibbe Road north and south of the highway.
Among Livaich’s arguments is that eminent domain can only be used if the project is for public good. Livaich said the road will only benefit a private company because it was “bought and paid for by Teichert.”
“The right to take property here is a bit shaky,” Livaich told supervisors, “and the court will not allow you to move forward if you approve these resolutions today.”
Although permits were granted for the project, Livaich said he and property owners are still waiting on a ruling from Yuba County Superior Court that will determine whether an environmental impact report complies with the CEQA. If the court finds it does not, he said, the project cannot move forward unless certain requirements and mandates are met.
Property owner Forest Tull, who is among those represented by Livaich, said he does not disagree with the project, only its location.
He said if Kibbe Road intersected with the highway farther west, the new intersection would be taken off a curve and eliminate residents’ safety concerns about trucks blocking driveways.
Supervisor Hal Stocker was the lone dissenting vote, saying the project would be better if it were located farther west.
“I think its a good idea to have a haul road,” Stocker said. “But I think there is a better alternative.”
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