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.
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