Two property owners affected by an upcoming project to widen a deadly 2.25 mile stretch of San Vicente Road in Ramona are holding out in settlement negotiations with the county, prompting officials to explore how they might seize the land through eminent domain.
They are the last of 31 homeowners affected who have not settled, though county officials said they will continue to try and reach an agreement.
All of the settlements so far have been less than $150,000 for taking strips of property along the road and driveways for slope/drainage and temporary construction easements to make the road safer. The project does not require the county to seize any buildings or anyone's entire property.
But since the final two property owners haven't settled, county officials on Wednesday are asking the Board of Supervisors to set a hearing for Aug. 7 to approve a "Resolution of Necessity" to start eminent domain proceedings. The two parcels are valued at $18,800.
The San Vicente Road Improvement Project involves widening the 2.25 miles of the road between Warnock Drive and east of Wildcat Canyon Road that has seen several fatal accidents. There have been 26 crashes along that stretch over the past five years, including two fatal ones, according to U-T San Diego.
Ramonans have expressed concerns about how the widening will affect plant irrigation, the equine community and people driving down the road during the 18-month construction period. The project plans call for two bicycle lanes, a granite pathway (west and south sides) and a graded parkway (east and north sides).
Officials expect to be able to begin accepting bids and award a construction contract for the project in early 2014.