Wednesday, April 23, 2014

County moves toward eminent domain on Silva Valley project land

From page A3 | January 11, 2013 | 18 Comments

El Dorado County needs approximately 12 acres of additional land to begin building the Silva Valley Interchange at Highway 50 between Bass Lake Road and El Dorado Hills Boulevard. Negotiations with about 15 owners of separate target parcels have not been fully successful, and the county must begin the process of acquiring some of the land through eminent domain.

The Board of Supervisors conducted a special hearing Friday Dec. 28 and eventually adopted a “Resolution of Necessity” which authorizes the beginning steps in the process. Because much of the project is within the jurisdiction of the California Department of Transportation, that state agency can authorize the county to take the action.

“Caltrans is the lead agency and they require us to do this,” District 4 Supervisor Ron Briggs explained during a phone conversation last Thursday. “We have to follow Caltrans protocol, otherwise we would just negotiate with the owners. Eminent domain is not very common for us. Usually we go to the ‘willing owner as a willing buyer,’ he added.

Briggs further said the county had “come to terms with 10 or so owners of other related parcels, but there’s one we just can’t find.” He added that the parcels are not uniform in size and that slices and pieces of them have to be considered in the overall action.

Board documents note that the “subject property” is part of a block of 52 acres owned by a company called EDH 52, “a California general partnership whose general partner is Angelo T. Tsakopoulos.”

Back in May, the county offered EDH 52 $468,600 for the parcel based on figures developed by the county’s appraisal consulting firm.

“After several months of discussions and communications, a settlement was not reached and the County must now move forward with the proposed Resolution of Necessity in order to commence eminent domain proceedings,” the documents state.

The Resolution of Necessity establishes “findings” that the project provides a public benefit that is “more necessary… than the use to which the property is appropriated.” And under the State’s Streets and Highways Code, Caltrans is authorized to delegate to the county the power of eminent domain “with respect to any portion of the State Highway System within that county.”

A half-dozen sections of the California Code of Civil Procedures and another section of the Streets and Highways Code “authorize the Board to acquire any property necessary for the use and purposes of county highways.” The two-phase project is intended to serve future commercial and residential development of the surrounding area.

In addition to an overcrossing with four through lanes and two deceleration lanes at Silva Valley Parkway and Highway 50, the project includes east and west auxiliary lanes between El Dorado Hills Boulevard and the new interchange.

Phase 1 involves the majority of the work with the exception of the “eastbound diagonal on-ramp and the westbound loop on-ramp.”

Those projects are projected to begin after the year 2020 and be operational by 2030.

Briggs described acquisition of the additional land and right of way as time-sensitive both to take advantage of current lower costs before “the construction bidding process goes up and to not lose one or two million dollars in Caltrans grants.”

The property owner was notified of the hearing in accordance with the state codes and has the right to speak at the hearing with respect to the four findings, according to the county’s documents.

They are: “Whether the public interest and necessity require the Project;  Whether the Project is planned or located in the manner that will be most compatible with the greatest public good and the least private injury; Whether the subject Property is necessary for the Project; and Whether the offer required by Government Code Section 7267.2 has been made to all owners of record.”

DOT engineer and project manager Adam Bane led the staff presentation to the board Friday noting that the department has “been working on this project for quite some time, since the 1980s.” Bane described the property as east of the current Silva Valley Parkway and north of Highway 50. The proposed interchange and parkway will be located slightly east of the existing underpass and will connect Silva Valley to Whiterock Road.

Bane further explained that the county’s negotiations with EDH 52 were at an impasse, however the sticking point is not based on opposition to the project but to the “mitigation of damages” to the rest of the firm’s property.

“Damages are a compensation issue to be determined outside of this (Resolution of Necessity) process.” And, “Negotiations will continue concurrent with condemnation process. If issues cannot be resolved through negotiations, a jury will determine amount of damages, should you authorize filing of eminent domain action,” DOT’s documents state.

In addition to the terms of the Resolution, that is, the “findings,” Bane recommended that the board include an authorization for the “outside Counsel, Meyers Nave to proceed with the necessary steps to acquire the property.”

Both issues can be addressed concurrently, Bane assured the board. And he reiterated the urgency of moving forward because “one state grant for $1 million expires June 30 of this year unless we have all the property rights.”

The county has not received any notification from EDH 52 that it opposes (the Resolution of Necessity), he said.

Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt the Resolution.

Contact Chris Daley at 530-344-5063 or Follow @CDaleyMtDemo. 



Discussion | 18 comments

  • EvelynJanuary 11, 2013 - 9:57 am

    QUESTIONS: 1. Who are the primary beneficiaries of the Silva Valley Interchange? 2. Aside from wanting half a million (or more) for his property, will Mr. Tsakopoulos in other ways benefit from the transaction? 3. What is Historic Clarksville's fate? (Or does anyone even care?) 4. WHAT SIZE BOND -- FOR TAXPAYERS TO PICK UP -- WILL BE FLOATED TO COMPLETE THIS PROJECT?

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  • Ken SteersJanuary 11, 2013 - 4:48 pm

    Evelyn he turned down the offer as would I. 470K for 52 acres is a low ball deal

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  • Sue TaylorJanuary 12, 2013 - 9:13 pm

    Ken - paragraph one stated the county need to get 12 acres with 15 owners not being successfully negotiated. They are not talking about the entire 52 acres, rather it sounds like a portion of the 12. A bigger question is Evelyn's #4. Is the public prepared to fund a bond to bring in this interchange?

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  • Robert ChapnickJanuary 12, 2013 - 10:45 pm

    As usual, all of us will be forced to pay for another expensive project in western El Dorado County that does nothing to benefit the rest of us. We all know money flows downhill. Perhaps we can roll El Dorado Hills into Folsom. Sometimes I wish we could split this county in two and let people pay for their own capital improvements, As Silva Valley parkway will benefit me and most other El Dorado County residents in no way. Of course the old thought about splitting the state in two comes to mind again. If only.

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  • Sue TaylorJanuary 15, 2013 - 5:37 pm

    I just watched the Board of Supervisors meeting that approved this interchange. The sad part is that there was not one person from the public to make comment. This project was thrown together and who knows if geographically it will work. It is now designed as a massive overpass as you come down the Bass Lake Grade. This will be another 20 year construction project that no one knows where the funding will come from. Picture of the project:

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  • TBFebruary 02, 2013 - 1:40 pm

    I am a resident of Serrano and I believe many residents are not supportive of the interchange as currently designed. Please read the public comments to the EIR. Many concerns were raised at the time and to me county staff have not fully addressed their concerns. Some of the issues included increased noise, air and light pollution as well safety concerns with oak meadow elementary school, and increase in crime. Earlier designs were a much scaled down version of the current design, which is very large includes cloverleaf, and once built will easily be the largest interchange in EDC. Why did the BOS allow something this large and disruptive to the community to be approved? I don't believe they were representing their constituents, especially the prior district 1 sup John knight, who was voted out of office this last fall. The new BOS members need to re-look at this project and address all of EDC's concerns, including the funding. Until then this project and purchasing any more property needs to be put on hold. EDC staff should be required to perform adequate outreach to EDH and the county, and be required to address the issues. If you agree please call your elected district Supervisor's office and urge him or her to reconsider the design and project impacts. Thank you.

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 7:17 pm

    Board documents note that the “subject property” is part of a block of 52 acres owned by a company called EDH 52, “a California general partnership whose general partner is Angelo T. Tsakopoulos.” - HERE

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 7:22 pm

    (2003) Businessperson of the year: Developer Angelo Tsakopoulos - HERE - Tsakopoulos' shrewd planning and targeted purchases have given him land holdings bigger than the entire city of Folsom. ... He's been buying, zoning and selling for decades. ... A few highlights: He bought the 2,000-acre Valley View tract in El Dorado Hills, paying about $20 million for land entitled for 2,160 homes. He kicked off lot sales in his SunRidge community, the first part of the huge Sunrise-Douglas area in Rancho Cordova to hit the market. So far he has agreed to sell 1,812 lots, worth roughly $100 million. As an owner in the proposed 14,000-home Placer Vineyards project in western Placer County, he backed landmark deals for water and sewer treatment that may cinch the project's approval in '03.

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 7:24 pm

    "Angelo Tsakopoulos, a close friend and top political donor to the Clintons as well as the Democratic Party, confirmed that Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic nomination in the next Presidential election." - HERE

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    (1997) "A Night at the White House: Friends, Officials, the Famous and the Generous" - the list includes Angelo & Sofia Tsakopoulos - HERE ********** Good grief, the list is so extensive I'm feeling I must be about the only person Bill overlooked.

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 7:34 pm

    (2010) Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis becomes US Ambassador to Hungary. - HERE: Daughter of a real estate tycoon and California political player, Tsakopoulos Kounalakis raised more than $1 million for Hillary Clinton during her 2008 primary battle with Barack Obama. But once Obama had all but locked up his party’s nomination, the Greek-American millionaire switched camps and supported the man who now has made her ambassador to Hungary.

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    Can anyone spot the common denominator to the above 5 posts?

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 7:40 pm

    Care to speculate on whether the above is of local import?

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 13, 2013 - 7:48 pm

    With such bonafides surely Tsakopoulos is sustainable, green and enviro-friendly. I’ll bet he has a pet bunny.

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  • EvelynFebruary 14, 2013 - 10:24 am

    Phil: Except for the pet bunny (which I'm investigating day & night), you've pretty well nailed it.

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  • EvelynFebruary 14, 2013 - 10:36 am

    Those of you invested in calPERS will be pleased to know you're (relatively) as green as Angelo Tsakopoulos. And there's a good reason why.

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 14, 2013 - 2:38 pm


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  • EvelynFebruary 14, 2013 - 2:49 pm

    SEND CHOCOLATES. (I have work to do. Don't bug me!!!)

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