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San Marcos uses eminent domain

SAN MARCOS — The San Marcos City Council unanimously voted to use its eminent domain authority to acquire several parcels of property it needs for a key road extension near the Cal State San Marcos campus.

The council voted March 8 to adopt a resolution of necessity, which empowers them to use eminent domain to acquire the property, several parcels located between 197 and 199 South Twin Oaks Valley Road, near the intersection of Barham Drive.

City officials said they need the land – some of it temporarily and some permanently – to extend North City Drive from its current block-long length to a quarter mile, where it will intersect with Twin Oaks Valley Road. Twin Oaks is also scheduled to be widened at the intersection.

North City Drive currently starts at Campus Way, the location of The Quad, a recently completed mixed-use complex adjacent to the college campus.

City staff said in a report that the city made an offer to the owners, the Lawrence E. Sullivan and Dolores A. Sullivan 1996 Family Trust, in November, but no agreement could be reached.

Under the state’s eminent domain law, a public agency has a right to force the sale of private property for public good for fair market value. If the parties cannot agree on a purchase price, a jury trial will determine the property’s value.