Rohnert Park Considering Eminent Domain

Property owners say they signed earlier agreements with tribe


The city of Rohnert Park is considering using eminent domain in order to complete the $10 million Wilfred Avenue widening project in time for the casino opening in 2014, the Press Democrat is reporting.

The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria are financing the street widening in anticipation of about 11,000 additional daily vehicle trips when the casino opens, according to the story.

But neither the city nor the tribe have been able to reach agreement with five property owners over the parcel, prompting the city officials to consider the move.

Eminent domain is a tool government agencies can use to take over property if they can demonstrate it is in the public’s interest to do so, such as a road, bridge or other infrastructure project.

The parcel in question is just under an acre and stretches from Redwood Drive to Stony Point Road, nearly all of it outside city limits.

“What we’re proposing here is taking a very depleted road that has no improvements and we’re looking at certain improvements that we believe greatly benefit the overall community,” City Manager Gabe Gonzalez told the Press Democrat.

The council will discuss whether to utilize eminent domain at Tuesday’s meeting starting 5pm.

To read the full story, click here.

Reginald "Rex" Henderson February 10, 2013 at 05:44 PM
City leaders have clearly lost their minds on this one.
Cindy Bert February 10, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Because of the tremendous additional traffic, the road widening/drainage project should have been the responsibility of the tribe building the casino.
G Man February 10, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Don't fix the road because of the casino, fix the damn road because it is unsafe. It is dangerously narrow, uneven, and has tank traps on either side that could swallow a truck. Oncoming traffic presents you with a white-knuckle game of chicken. I don't like the idea of imminent domain. Why not just press on with the LaBath access to the casino? Better road, anyway.
don February 10, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Ms Bert; The Tribe and the city have tried to purchase the land needed to widen the road. Do the DD before making silly statements. Know, what may happen is the property will be taken, because the current "owners" want to cut off their noses to spit their faces. Again silly. We all know this road is really dangerous. This will happen one way or the other, its just too bad there couldn't be a win/ win for all concerned!
Janette Brown February 11, 2013 at 02:27 AM
If its private property and the city "takes" it.. just appalls me. I know they can do this but just because you can does not mean you should. Think of your home or property ...now think of someone coming in and saying its now theirs ....
Dan Fleming February 11, 2013 at 01:41 PM
This happens all the time. My sister owned property on Horn ave. She and the others on that side the street had to sell to the Railroad Co. and not one word was printed in the Press! The road needs to be widened any way, why not on the Casino's dime?
Stop Graton Casino February 11, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Accommodating the traffic needs for a non-conforming commercial project to the detriment of the area residents is the kind of behavior we can expect from the city and its tribal partner, Graton Rancheria. Stop the Casino 101 Coalition has a lawsuit currently in court to force the city to perform the necessary study under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Although centered around the California tiger salamander habitat surrounding Wilfred Ave, such a study would also include an “environmental justice” aspect, “The concept behind… "environmental justice" is that all people – regardless of their race, color, nation or origin or income – are able to enjoy equally high levels of environmental protection... Environmental justice efforts attempt to address the inequities of environmental protection in these communities.” State of California, Department of Energy web site. Learn more about our CEQA suit and read our CEQA currently before the court at http://www.stopthecasino101.com/id69.html Learn more about California’s environmental justice policy at http://www.energy.ca.gov/public_adviser/environmental_justice_faq.html
Stop Graton Casino February 11, 2013 at 05:39 PM
The 11,000 car trips per day are 60% of the total casino traffic, at the very least. By the time the casino reaches its full expansion, the Wilfred widening will be inadequate for the amount of traffic that will be generated. See the casino's traffic flow chart's from its own study at http://www.stopthecasino101.com/id94.html
don February 11, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Again; The 101 coalition sure likes giving away money. Why not try and make a win/win for yourselves rather then beating your heads against a concrete wall. You folks are like a highly indulged child (spoiled) having a temper tantrum. Get over it people.
Cindy Bert February 12, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Don, I do understand about the taking of property....we lost ours when the Hwy 12 clover leaf went in many years ago. Promised myself I would never use that highway...but now I travel it most everyday.
Cindy Bert February 12, 2013 at 03:51 PM
I do agree that PD is not the way to have this road widened. It should be to make a dangerous road safe. There should be a better way to enter the casino area. I did not want the casino in the first place.
Dan Fleming February 13, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Cindy, the tribe agreed to pay for half the price of widening the road. A few months back they decided pay all the cost of the widening the road. 12 Million I think is the cost. Do you think the tribe is being responsible?


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