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With No Response From Owner; Resolution Passes to Allow Eminent Domain Takeover of property near aqueduct 

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HESPERIA, Calif. (VVNG.com) – A vote to allow the City of Hesperia to acquire a property near the California Aqueduct through eminent domain was passed on Tuesday. 

The 19-acre property is located north of Yucca Terrace Drive, abutting the California Aqueduct.

On or about September 19, 2022, the City made a written offer to purchase the 19.26 acres at an amount not less than the appraised fair market value, to which the property owners, Seung D. Hong and Byng S. Hong, did not respond.

Earlier this month, the City said they gave the required notice of intent to adopt a resolution of necessity to acquire the property, but no response again from the owner. The registered address of the property owner is in Michigan.

The City confirmed that the property taxes have been getting paid, as required to be paid twice per year.

The property was chosen for its topography location, the City said.

‘It is undeveloped, it is vacant, and putting this elsewhere would require additional cost. If we ever hear back from the property owner at a later stage, we will certainly engage in good faith negotiations, but we have heard nothing so far, and that’s why we’re requesting the eminent domain proceedings to be commenced,” said Hesperia City Attorney Pam Lee.

For this property, the City seeks to create a water retention Basin to attenuate the surface runoff during rainfall events, and potentially provide a sewer lift station.

“This project will be built in phases and will mitigate with the first phase being approximately $5 Million. Funding for that project is going to be presented to the city council for your approval and consideration. But the solution will be arrived at in a variety of ways,” said Rachel Molina, Assistant City Manager.

Council Member Cameron Gregg asked for more time in allowing the owner to respond, however, the City attorney said the owner may respond up until the time the property is fully conveyed. 

“Just to further clarify even if the adoption of the resolution of necessity occurred tonight, eminent domain proceedings wouldn’t commence for several months,” City Attorney Pam Lee said, estimating that it will take about 6 months for the city to own the property.

Funds for the appraised fair market value will be on deposit with the State of California until the owner shows up, the City Attorney confirmed.

The vote was passed with all council members voting in favor of it.

RELATED ARTICLE: Hesperia seeks 2nd property seizure through eminent domain; eyes 19 acres near California Aqueduct

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