Redevelopment affects everyone
Within the Park Avenue redevelopment project, 12 motels will be purchased by the Redevelopment Agency and demolished, displacing about 56 tenants. In addition, 39 businesses and 39 households will need to relocate, at an estimated cost to the agency of about $1.7 million.
The purchasing process, which began in November starts with an independent real estate appraiser’s property value assessment, said Judith Von Klug, South Lake Tahoe’s redevelopment manager.
“I review the appraisal and if I find it acceptable, under state law, that is the amount we must pay. It is not like the typical real estate situation where you can underbid – we have to offer the full amount of the appraisal,” Von Klug said. “If we think there is evidence of higher value, I’ll go to the Redevelopment Agency in closed session and they make the final decision. If, on the other hand, we can’t reach an agreement with the property owner, then the court must decide whether the situation is a proper use of eminent domain – and while personal opinions may differ, the courts have held for decades that redevelopment serves a public purpose.”
Eminent domain empowers the city’s Redevelopment Agency to buy out property and business owners in an area that the agency deems as blighted – even if the property and business owners want to stay put. The power of eminent domain is a way for cities to make the kind of public improvements that private entities could not handle on their own, Von Klug said.
After giving property and business owners the obligatory 90-day notice, Von Klug said she hopes to have the building sites ready for American Skiing Company development by mid-May.
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