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Friday: Listen to the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM at 5 p.m. to hear our interview with Stephen Bartholow, editor of Santee Patch, who has been tracking this story.

July 25, 2013 (Santee) – By a unanimous vote, Santee City Council ignored pleas from residents and authorized the city to seize and force sale of four properties, as well as obtain easements for nearly a hundred more.   The declaration of eminent domain was done to allow the Prospect Avenue street widening project, which impacts properties on nine streets.

“We don’t want to leave,” Gloria Duff testified, Santee Patch reported.  Duff, whose family has lived in their home for 50 years, said the family took out a second mortgage for remodeling recently and fears they won’t get enough money.

Mayor Randy Voepel stated that “We always have to look at the greater common good over the individual, which sounds like communism to me, and I’m not a fan of eminent domain myself.” But he voted for it, authorizing the city to seize properties where landowners have refused to sell to the city. 

The resolution, adopted July 9, allows the city to seize and sell four properties, take ;permanent easements on 29 properties, and acquire 65 temporary construction easements. 

Staff has indicated that the city is continuing to negotiate with the property owners.

The city seeks to widen Prospect Avenue for installing bike lanes, sidewalks, lighting, curbs and gutters, as well as placing utilities underground. 

The project would impact over 100 properties on Prospect as well as properties on Hubbles Lane, Paseo Drive, Cora Mae Place, Tumbleweed Terrace, Siesta Road, North Magnolia, Fiona Way, and more.

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