This week, the City of Oakley offered an explanation via their outreach efforts of the eminent domain action the City Council took last Tuesday.
Here is a look at what they wrote:
The City has initiated the steps to move forward with the legal process for the eminent domain of the property located at 3486 Main Street. We wanted to present the facts and history on this very sensitive and important community issue.
We value the privacy, freedoms and progress of this great community and the families represented here in Oakley as we approach a population of over 43,000 people.
The City Council has taken this decision under serious and extensive consideration since we became a city in 1999. Prior to that date, plans had already established that O’Hara Ave would continue north through Main St to provide an effective flow of traffic and access and is all a part of what is called “The Downtown Specific Plan.” The owner of the property has been aware of this development, but may have thought or hoped it would never happen, but already the long-discussed plans are in motion.
The property owner has been offered the fair market value of $900,000, but has continued to refuse to engage in cooperative conversations. The eminent domain process creates the opportunity for a court to decide the value the City will pay for the property. Now that this process is underway, our efforts are now focused to be as sensitive as possible when it comes to the most important piece to this very difficult and intricate puzzle: the families involved. This is our priority as we pride ourselves in being “A Place for Families in the Heart of the Delta”.
We will be reaching out to all the families who rent the small homes at this location to help them in many ways to transition, as we realize the inconvenience and disruption this may cause. There are also laws in place that will ensure that they are able to find housing similar in size and price. This is a process that will take many months and no one is being moved out of their rental home at this time.
We are hopeful that the community will realize and understand these important efforts to continue the ongoing success of a downtown where families can walk and shop and gather for events and fun activities that help make Oakley great. The long-standing goal of making Downtown Oakley vibrant and business and pedestrian-friendly moves forward. Many improvements have been made over the years, but more will be made as we move ahead.