By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Petaluma’s City Council will meet Tuesday to discuss eminent domain proceedings against land owners with property along Highway 101 and East Washington Street.
The city is seeking to acquire portions of the properties as part of a planned Highway 101-East Washington interchange expansion.
Petaluma has reached agreements on purchase prices with two of three owners, according to staff reports. Escrow is set to close at the end of the year on the two properties.
The parcels include land behind the Raley’s shopping center, the Kmart center and vacant land owned by Regency Centers, which is planning a Target shopping center along East Washington.
Regency and the city haven’t agreed on a purchase price, according to a staff report.
Proposed purchase prices weren’t revealed.
Negotiations were continuing with all three owners, but construction planning deadlines required a City Council decision on eminent domain by the end of the year.
Attempts to reach Regency officials Monday were not successful.
Eminent domain proceedings, where property owners are compensated at market value when land is taken by a public entity, are allowed when the public’s interest requires the project. A supermajority of five votes of the seven-member council is required for approval.
The council could reject the staff’s recommendation to proceed and direct further negotiations. That could delay the project and funding, according to the staff report.
Planned changes to the interchange include reconfiguring the southbound 101 onramp, widening the end of the northbound onramp and adding a new diagonal northbound onramp with a bridge that would span Washington Creek.
The changes are intended to improve traffic flow around 101 and East Washington, one of the busiest areas of town.