Reporting Andrea Menniti
MODESTO (CBS13) — Stanislaus County Supervisors have claimed eminent domain on a Modesto home after they were unable to make a deal with the homeowners.
Part of the home sits along the path of the county’s $15 million widening project on Claribel Road. The county says there are more than a dozen crashes on this stretch of road a year. It’s hoped that the project will make the roadway safer for people heading from the east.
Officials tried negotiating with the property owners, but after two years, they took the drastic step of claiming the property under eminent domain laws.
“He hasn’t responded to any form of communication on the phone, in writing or visiting his office,” said Colt Esenwein with the public works department.
The homeowners are being offered $85,000 in exchange, but they say they have a loan for triple that amount, leaving them more than $150,000 short.
The property is a rental, and the tenant has made other living arrangements.
There were a total of 17 properties affected by the project. The county says they’ve made deals with four and continue to negotiate with the others, not including the property now under eminent domain.
They say it’s a rare move, but it has to be done because the project is on a tight construction schedule. Crews have to replace the bridge over a canal.
“We have to be in and out of that canal outside of the watering season so the farmers aren’t affected,” Esenwein said.