There was much rejoicing this week in the Santa Ana neighborhood of Mark and Sherri Clemens. They’ll be moving out in a few months and friends and neighbors turned out to wish them well.
Although they were the successful bidders when the Calvary Church auctioned off an 82-year-old house in Orange last April, it wasn’t clear at first whether they would be allowed to take possession of their new home. On the day the bids were opened, they found out that the city also coveted the site for future expansion of the Main Library.
The resolution came Tuesday night when the City Council voted not to enact eminent domain proceedings on the home at 146 N. Shaffer St. City Manager William Little said the action came because “people were very concerned about preservation of their neighborhood.”
He said city officials will now look at other ways to expand the library, which Director Karen Leo said is bulging with three time the material it was designed to hold when built in 1961.
The expansion wouldn’t come for another “five or 10 years” but Little said Orange decided to bid for the home because it came on the market, rather than wait and have to evict occupants later. Plans to eventually acquire three other homes will also be dropped, he said.
“We hope to get in there by Thanksgiving or, if not then, by Christmas,” Mark Clemens said Wednesday. “We’re just really happy right now. I’m kind of tired though because we had quite a celebration.”