YORK – The city will be utilizing eminent domain in order to purchase land for street extension and infrastructure in the northeast part of the city.

City officials say talks with the owner of the land, as well as a developer who is pursuing a new housing area, have been underway for more than two years.

“We have talked about this and tabled this several times,” said Mayor Barry Redfern. “This has been worked on for two years and the city has given many opportunities to discuss and handled this.”

“If an agreement happens, the city won’t follow through (with the eminent domain process),” said York City Administrator Joe Frei. “I’d rather see them (the landowner and the developer) have an agreement. But for now, I recommend you go this route.”

Both Councilmen Ron Mogul and Mat Wagner said they “weren’t fans of eminent domain,” but that they recognized this has been going on for a very long time.

This pertains to an area near the northeast corner of East 16th Street and North Washington Avenue, for street right-of-way, public utility infrastructure and a drainage area.

As explained earlier by Redfern, having right-of-way would allow the extension of Washington Avenue north and allow for more residential development in that area. A small amount of ground is needed for the street and an easement is needed for water drainage.

He said the ground has been appraised and the city is prepared to pay for it.

“I’m not in favor of eminent domain, but if we don’t take this step, we won’t get that street by the elementary school,” said Mogul during an earlier meeting.

The council voted in favor of the eminent domain process – to be used if needed – with the exception of Councilman Ron Saathoff who voted against.

The two small parcels in question measure .798 acres and .63 acres.

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