Some homeowners in Mission are going to have to give up at least a portion of their property, if not all of it. It’s unpleasant, but it’s also necessary.
Anyone who has driven along the Cedar Connector, especially the intersection of Cedar Street and Seventh Avenue, knows that traffic is not only congested, but dangerous.
The bottleneck has to be addressed. And whether council decided to increase the number of lanes, or create a roundabout to keep traffic flowing, the result is going to be the same – the intersection needs to get bigger.
That means expanding onto more property.
Expropriation is a difficult, but needed option that allows a municipality to acquire privately owned land as long as the owners are compensated.
And that’s the key. How do you compensate someone who may have lived in the home for 30 years?
The negotiation process can be tricky. A home’s appraised value may not be adequate to allow the owner to find new, similar accommodations.
If only a portion of the land is needed, the home may remain standing, but much closer to the new roadway.
Residents on Cedar who may be impacted by the project are currently in limbo. Council has yet to decide what to do with the intersection, or even how to pay for it. Homeowners can only wait and see if their land is needed.
Until then, they have few options. They can’t sell their homes – who would buy them knowing they could be expropriated?
It’s a tough situation for both sides. The sooner a decision is made, the better for council, homeowners and commuters.