Silver Lake Road Extension Eminent Domain Vote on Monday — Why? — Because We Can, But Should We?

Thanks to Sharon Hurst for the heads up on this, I plan to let my city councilman know my thoughts on the matter.  Hope you will do the same.  Here is Sharon’s email to me just received:

On Monday, the City Council will vote to exercise its power of eminent domain and take property from Evans Nursery in order to construct the Silver Lake Road extension.  I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely disturbing to see our city government using power to seize private property.   This is the kind of thing they do in Connecticut or California… not in Oklahoma!  Yes, we know there may be some rare instances when eminent domain is absolutely necessary.  But is this road really such a necessity that it requires the City take property from people who don’t want to sell?  I think any of us would be hard pressed to say it is.  Especially when we remember this has nothing to do with diversion of traffic and everything to do with easier access to Robinwood Soccer Fields.  Don’t forget — this Silver Lake Road extension was originally part of the 2007 Park Proposal.  I’m also curious… is it legal for the City to exercise its power of eminent domain over property outside the City limits?  Two parcels of land fall in Washington County — not within the City (or at least that’s the legal description from the Resolution in the City Council packet).

 

Let’s hope these City Council members, who have professed themselves to be such avid private property rights advocates, hold to their principles when it comes time to vote on Monday.  Why not send them an email or call them, and let them know what you think?  Or better still, come Monday night at 7pm and tell them in person.

 

Tom Gorman, tagorman@aol.com, 918-333-2244 ext.100

Ted Lockin, ted.d.lockin@gmail.com, 918-333-6692

Mike McGrew, mikeslock@sbcglobal.net, 918-440-2715

Dale Copeland, copeland4bville@aol.com, 918-333-4488

Erin Tullos, eetullos@gmail.com, 918-213-4240  [However, I believe Erin is on extended maternity leave and no longer attending Council meetings. Is this true?]

Sharon M Hurst

=========================================================

 

The excerpt from the E-E article is reproduced below.

 

City plans to condemn property

By Jessica Miller

jmiller@examiner-enterprise.com

Steps to condemn property in the path of the Silver Lake Road extension are expected to be taken by the Bartlesville City Council during a 7 p.m. meeting Monday.

According to a resolution that the council will consider during the meeting, employees and agents of the City of Bartlesville have been unable to acquire certain tracts of land necessary for the construction of the roadway extension — between Frank Phillips Boulevard and Tuxedo Boulevard.

City of Bartlesville Director of Engineering Terry Lauritsen said Friday that the land to be considered for condemnation is located on the very north end of where Beck Drive ties into Tuxedo Boulevard. He said the city is looking to square up where the road ties into Tuxedo to make it more perpendicular to Tuxedo.

If approved, the resolution states that because the land cannot be acquired by negotiation or purchased at Fair Market Value, the city attorney is authorized and directed to institute necessary legal proceedings to acquire the rights, title and interest to the land “by the exercise of the power of eminent domain and to take such further action as may be convenient or necessary to acquire the identified property interest.”

The resolution also states that an emergency will be declared to preserve the public peace, health and safety “by reason of which this resolution shall be in full force and effective immediately from and after its adoption by the council and approval by the mayor.”

 

Related article from 2010 here >>>

Sandra Crosnoe for Finding Gems & Sharing Them

OKGrassroots

3 Responses to “Silver Lake Road Extension Eminent Domain Vote on Monday — Why? — Because We Can, But Should We?”

  1. Sandra Crosnoe Says:

    http://examiner-enterprise.com/sections/news/local-news/condemnation-pulled-agenda.html

    Condemnation pulled from agenda
    By Jessica Miller
    jmiller@examiner-enterprise.com
    An item related to taking steps to condemn a portion of property in the path of the Silver Lake Road extension was pulled from the Bartlesville City Council meeting agenda Monday night.

    Mayor Tom Gorman explained that he has had the opportunity to speak with Pat Evans, an owner of the property, and feels a point has been reached where negotiations can occur between the city and Evans that will be acceptable to both sides of the transaction.

    The land in question is located on the very north end of Beck Drive, where the street ties into Tuxedo Boulevard.

    Gorman said the land is about 2,600 square feet — 6/100ths of an acre of the 3-acre site.

    “This piece that we’re asking for is currently unused except for a sign. Of course, we will relocate that sign at our expense for Evans Nursery,” Gorman said.

    Acquisition of the land will allow for a square intersection at Tuxedo, Gorman said, “and not have it at an angle like Beck Drive is currently and also to provide line of sight for people turning onto and off of Tuxedo Boulevard.”

    Gorman said the property owner has been willing to sell the piece of property the entire time.

    “The issue has been the price,” Gorman said.

    Engineering Director Terry Lauritsen said the Silver Lake Road extension — between Frank Phillips Boulevard and Tuxedo Boulevard — was a designated project in the 2008 General Obligation Bond Issue.

    Lauritsen said several studies were performed prior to recommending the project. On Robin and on Beck — both residential streets — there are on average, 1,500 vehicles a day utilizing the streets.

    “Those streets aren’t designed for that type of traffic,” Lauritsen said. “The other thing is, we want to provide a north/south corridor to give local traffic an alternate to Highway 75.”

    There are a lot of benefits to having an arterial roadway that is not a residential street from Tuxedo all the way to Price, including cutting the time on emergency runs, Lauritsen said.

    In other business, Lauritsen updated the council on projects currently under way.

    The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is working on Hensley Boulevard, Lauritsen said.

    Work continues at Robinwood Park. Lauritsen said the city is reshaping the fields and re-working the irrigation system. He said the project is being funded through the half-cent sales tax and it is expected to be completed later this month or in early April.

    The field will not be able to be used until this fall, to allow for the fields to get established.

    Frank Phillips Boulevard between Madison Boulevard and Highway 75, is nearly complete. Lauritsen said striping and cleanup is still needed. He said striping will take place in the next week or two, dependant upon weather.

    On Tuxedo Boulevard, the detour on the roadway will be flipped next week. Lauritsen said that the westbound direction is currently open to traffic and the eastbound direction is currently closed.

    According to Lauritsen, when the eastbound direction opens, asphalt is not yet down and traffic will be run on gravel.

  2. Sandra Crosnoe Says:

    Thanks to all who communicated with their council representatives on this matter!

  3. Sandra Crosnoe Says:

    part of an email received from Vicki Evans on March 14, 2012:

    I think we have come to an understanding on our part of the road. We are to meet with them tomorrow to see what thay will put in writing.

    Thanks to all who have called and questioned on our behalf.

    Vicki Evans,
    Evans Nursery


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