Montebello : Eminent Domain Vote Held

The Montebello City Council on Monday delayed action on a controversial proposal to give the Redevelopment Agency the power to condemn property to make way for new development in South Montebello.

City staff members asked the council to certify environmental impact reports on the proposal. Those reports determined that the use of eminent domain in two redevelopment areas would accelerate redevelopment, but it would create no environmental problems that could not be mitigated by improvements in roads and the local water system, among other things.

A citizens group, South Montebello Area Residents Together, contends that the use of eminent domain would bring additional traffic, air pollution and noise into their neighborhoods.

The council delayed action until Nov. 10 to allow SMART lawyer Christopher A. Sutton to submit written objections to findings of the environmental impact reports. The council could give final approval to the eminent domain proposal that night.

City staff members contend that the Redevelopment Agency needs condemnation power to be able to quickly assemble sizable parcels of land that would be attractive to developers.

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