LASD Trustee remarks at the April 23 meeting seem to suggest the District may be entering into Eminent Domain condemnation litigation. Also, they decided NOT to proceed with restarting the FMPC now. Perhaps there can be a restart in the fall though.
The Mountain View Voice’s Kevin Forestieri did a great job describing the trustees’ reasons for delaying consideration of the prioritization of the $200 M of facilities projects at existing campuses. So I won’t repeat that info. As Kevin points out, the main reason is that trustees don’t know how much money will be left from the $150 Measure N bond after paying for the acquisition of the 10th site at Safeway – Old Mill. MV Voice article here.
I would add a few tidbits to Kevin’s work.
On April 23, the trustees seemed really concerned that the 10th site would be more costly than hoped. Trustees Johnson and Speiser seemed anxious, saying that there is not going to be news about the likely price ” till May or June.”
Lalahpolitico: It may be that the 10th site “seller” is forcing a judicial “condemnation” litigation action to be taken. A three-hour closed session trustee meeting at the end of March/beginning of April announced “significant new litigation.” Condemnation? However, that litigation could also be because the charter is threatening to sue the District about the plan to move 900 BCS students on so little land on the 10th site…not “reasonably equivalent” facilities?
At the April 23 meeting, Trustee Peruri said it was possible that the money left after buying the 10th site would be on only the order of ” $10M, $20M, 30 M”….not $50 M. Peruri pointed out that that to fix up Blach and Egan junior highs for conversion to the middle school model –moving 6 graders to the jr. highs — was way over $40M. [Although the meeting’s presentation slides focused on “what if” middle school conversion occurred…let’s remember this conversion decision has not yet been made by trustees.]
There was discussion that the $200M of needs and wants at the existing campuses per the Facilities Master Plan would need to be “phased”…probably in 3 phases. Lalahpolitico: Beyond the Phase 1 Measure N $150 M, that is probably $100M more, and then another $100M. Hold onto your wallet!
And what’s missing from the $200M in the Facility Master Plan? Trustee Taglio pointed out the State still hasn’t decided if there is going to be State funding of Transitional Kindergarten (TK all day) for the entire cohort of 4-year-olds. Right now the District is paying only for the cohort turning 5 in the fall months — that is four classrooms at two schools. If there were to be State funding, all six elementary schools, each would need new four classrooms. Lalahpolitico: I think Taglio was implying adding facilities for full-year TK might be a higher priority than middle school conversion. And fourth graders might need to be moved to portables.
Bottom Line: Condemnation Litigation is Scary
Maybe the acquisition of the 10th site is not proceeding as easily as was once hoped. The seller is perhaps going to be a tough as the seller’s lawyer warned repeatedly. The seller is probably not accepting the District’s offer… an offer based on a 3rd party appraisal.
Excerpt from a Lalahpolitico post about Eminent Domain & Condemnation lawsuits
“The District will make a written offer for the 10th site that cannot be lower than the amount of the appraisal.
In response to the offer, the owner can refuse the offer and later challenge the District’s right to take the property. If so then…
The District will trustees will adopt a Resolution of Necessity, giving the owner 15 days notice to object to the taking.
At this point the two parties may attempt to negotiate more; the district could sweeten its offer for the 10th site. If there is not agreement, the District will FILE A CONDEMNATION LAWSUIT. The owner needs to file a response within 30 days asserting reasons for objecting to the taking.
At this point, the District might ask court to take pre-judgement possession of the 10th site, IF it deposits with the County treasurer the full amount of the appraisal or a higher offer that it believes is the market value . The owner might be able to oppose this early possession filing in the court..” ETC. on and on