YORK – This week, York City Administrator Joe Frei informed the council that he has directed the York City Attorney to start the eminent domain process regarding land for street extension and infrastructure in the northeast part of the city.
In early June, the council approved the utilization of eminent domain regarding this project – if progress couldn’t be made with the owner regarding the sale of that small amount of land.
This week, Frei said all efforts made with the owner have come with “no response, nothing,” so the procedure has been started.
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 during an earlier meeting. “This has been worked on for two years and the city has given many opportunities to discuss and handled this.”
Both Councilmen Ron Mogul and Mat Wagner said earlier 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.
So in June, 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.
This week’s action puts the action into motion.
The two small parcels in question measure .798 acres and .63 acres.