Mission homeowner Shawn Adams was one of several people to address council on Monday night. He wants assurances from city council that he will be fairly compensated if the district expropriates his land on Cedar Street.

Roundabout reconsidered for Cedar Street

Homeowners want fair compensation if homes, property need to be expropriated.

A proposed roundabout for Cedar Street will be re-examined by district staff in an attempt to improve traffic flow in the area.

Staff has recommended widening the intersection to allow more lanes, but council requested to re-examine a plan for a roundabout which was proposed last year, but was rejected by the previous council.

Whichever option is eventually chosen, it remains likely the expropriation of land on the street will be needed.

Several Mission homeowners voiced concerns regarding the district’s plan to expropriate privately-owned land.

Mayor Randy Hawes told homeowners who came out to Monday’s council meeting that the current intersection at Cedar Street and Seventh Avenue is inadequate.

“It is in failure. As it turns out, the design of that was completely inadequate so it’s just not working, So something has to be done,” he said.

While the roundabout is an alternative option, Hawes said private land would likely still need to be expropriated.

Council has not approved any plan yet, but homeowners came out to ask for clarification on the future of their properties.

Shawn Adams, who lives at 7642 Cedar St., told council he found out his home was up for expropriation in June of 2014.

“I was never consulted about anything.”

Adams said when he went to city hall he was told there was no expropriation in the works whatsoever.

While he agrees the intersection must be improved, Adams is not happy with the process thus far.

“I see that some of us make some sacrifice for the common good, there’s no argument there. I just want to walk away with a fair settlement when it’s all done and I want total transparency. I don’t want any more lying to me over this.”

He added that he wants enought compensationto replace his home with something of equal or comparable value.

Hawes told him that in an expropriation, the property in question would be appraised and a settlement negotiated.

Dan Bernier, who lives on Cedar Street, four houses up from Seventh Avenue, has similar concerns, but also wanted to know why only one side of the street is being impacted by the expropriation.

Hawes told him the district can’t do anything with the other side of Cedar because the property is owned by BC Hydro.

“So the government is safe from expropriation but not the people that elected them?” asked Bernier.

He added the proposed road improvements have already affected his life.

“The second you put that proposal out, whether it goes through or doesn’t go through… our properties have been devalued.”

He wants to know why he’s still paying full municipal taxes when his property has lost value.

Another homeowner asked what options were available if the city wanted the land. She asked if they could negotiate a deal to give up a smaller portion of property to allow her to keep the house.

Hawes said, when the time comes, they would be open to negotiate a deal that would benefit both sides.

Council will now wait until the roundabout report is presented to them.

The original proposal calls for the widening of Cedar Street to allow for five lanes, two in each direction and one left turn lane, as well as other improvements to help driver visibility.

The cost would be about $3.6 million, money that the district does not currently have in the budget.

It is not yet known if the roundabout project would be more or less expensive.

The district plans to apply for federal funding for the road improvements.

 

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