By A.J. Hazarabedian

The San Jose Creek Capacity Improvement Project in the city of Goleta will require eminent domain; this according to Noozhawk’s article “Attorney Says Vote on Eminent Domain Puts Goleta Council ‘On a Road to Litigation.'”

At the August 16th City Council meeting, councilmembers adopted a “Resolution of Necessity” to acquire the necessary parcels by eminent domain.

A “Resolution of Necessity” is the government agency’s formal decision to acquire property by eminent domain.  It must be adopted before the condemning agency can commence an eminent domain action in court.

The project, per the city’s website, will include “the removal and replacement of both the existing concrete flood control channel from Hollister Avenue to the Twins Screen Drive-in property and the existing Hollister Avenue Bridge over San Jose Creek.”

While the city is only seeking portions of private properties for the project, the attorney for the property owners suggests that the city acquire the parcels on the east side of the channel in their entirety.  He argues this “would allow the construction equipment, vehicles and materials to be on site and accessible as needed, instead of affecting properties on both sides of the channel.”

As often occurs on properties potentially affected by eminent domain, the attorney points out that “eminent domain has already caused a major tenant to leave the property in anticipation of the difficulties that might happen as a result of the city’s activities.”

The article indicates Community Services Director Steve Wagner is hoping to continue negotiating with property owners, but adopting the Resolution of Necessity aids in the timing of the project.