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San Diego Supervisors Wield Eminent Domain Laws

— San Diego County Supervisors used eminent domain laws today to take two pieces of property they say are needed to complete county projects.

Eminent domain gives public agencies the right to take private property for public use, as long as fair compensation is paid.

Supervisors voted to annex land owned by SDG&E to expand access to its new operations center in Kearny Mesa. According to the County, negotiations with the power company failed to reach an agreement on the purchase. The County assesses the lands value at $200,000.

Secondly, Supervisors voted to take 15 acres of land in Santee to complete a 45-acre site they say is needed to build a new women’s jail. The land is currently owned by developer Ryan Companies Inc. The parcel is valued at $25,000.

The 40-year-old Las Colinas women's jail in Santee has been the subject of a number of grand jury reports, saying it's overcrowded and in need of replacement.

Santee city officials say there are more appropriate locations for a new expanded women’s jail in other parts of the county.

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