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Van Nuys : Council Starts Process to Condemn Land

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday took a step toward condemning land adjacent to the Van Nuys Amtrak-Metrolink station to acquire it to build a public driveway into the station.

The City Council asked City Atty. James Hahn to prepare an ordinance that would order eminent domain proceedings to be brought against the property owners, who have a marble-products business on the site.

The landowner has refused a city offer of $800,000 for the land.

Tom Henry--a planning aide to City Councilman Joel Wachs, who represents the area--said that it is his understanding that the property owners do not object to having their land condemned because they see it as the only way to get a higher price than the $800,000 appraisal.

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The city Department of Public Works can offer only the price set by an independent appraiser, which, Henry said, in his opinion does not take into account improvements made to the property.

But the city attorney does have the power to offer a higher price than the appraised price, Henry said.

Once the city has the land, it plans to build a public driveway into the station and add traffic signals at the nearby intersection of Van Nuys Boulevard and Keswick Street. Currently, train riders must park their cars in a satellite parking structure and ride a shuttle into the station.


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