Eminent Domain Issues In The Silicon Valley

“The city and the county’s actions have now put off the closing of the mobile home park for four years at this point and still, there is no real end in sight,” said Joe Jesse, whose father purchased the property back in 1986.

Recently, in the midst of the Silicon Valley, there’s a different spin on an ongoing turf war that is raising eyebrows among some property rights and government officials in the Palo Alto area.  They are now threatening to utilize “eminent domain” to stop the long-time owners of a local mobile home park from building the property into condominiums.

Jesse’s family now wishes to take advantage of the current red-hot California real estate market but repeatedly has declared that it does not want to sell off the property.  Over the summer season, city and county officials have partnered with a local housing authority to attempt to acquire the mobile home park via eminent domain, which is the power that allows governments to seize property in particular circumstances.

Harasz also argues that the public’s intention is to the welfare and wellbeing of about 400 low-income residents, most of whom are older and disabled and say they cannot afford to move out.

They now defend this move as a fair and reasonable compromise. “Eminent domain is an elegant solution,” said Katherine Harasz, executive director of the Santa Clara County Housing Authority. “It does acknowledge the owners’ rights to fair compensation if the public’s purpose is reasonably established to utilize this property for a public benefit.”

“We have nowhere else to reside,” said California low cost auto insurance expert, Gerry Brown, who additionally serves as secretary for the homeowner’s association.  “There is simply no way, for 95% of us, to be able to live in this area, let alone Silicon Valley.”

But Jesse, whose family is now protesting the move in court, say the lack of low-cost housing is no fault of his own, and that he should be able to redevelop his property.

Jesse’s lawyer calls that extortion and does not buy the government’s “public good” argument either.

But to near the park, the city says he must pay tenants moving costs. And in high-priced Palo Alto, an appraisal calculates these costs at approximately $8 million.

“It is certainly one thing to seize property for a school or a road or an essential public building,” said Larry Salzman, with the Pacific Legal Foundation. “In this case, they’re talking that Jesse’s private property is for the benefit of other private individuals. That is just outright  unconstitutional.”

If the government can utilize eminent domain to stop their redevelopment plans, then the reality is that no property owner is safe.

Officials are currently evaluating the park, as well as several lawsuits are now pending, in a situation being observed carefully by property rights groups as well as tenants’ advocates.

Claudia Cowan currently serves as Fox News Channel’s (FNC) San Francisco-based correspondent. She joined the network in 1998.


Temecula California Real Estate Stats

Median real estate property taxes paid for housing units with mortgages in 2005: $3,581 (0.8%)
Median real estate property taxes paid for housing units with no mortgage in 2005: $1,944 (0.4%)

The last years of the 1960s and early 70’s witnessed the beginnings of dramatic change in the Temecula Valley. Engineers, Old_Town_Temecula_Entrancecontractors, heavy-equipment operators and real estate agents quickly edged out the cowboys and Indians as the main customers at the local establishments. Pickup trucks towing horse trailers, trucks hauling cattle and tractors rigged with farm implements were replaced by cement mixers, lumber trucks and industrial grading equipment. Sales activity switched from cattle, hay and grain to subdivided real estate land.

The Kaiser Land Development Company marketed the valley’s attractions actively. Soon, the area became known as Rancho California. Many land sales were accomplished by means of limited partnership syndications, which helped to spread awareness of the area.

One side effect of this high-profile development was a second tier real estate boom in land suitable for avocado groves and grape vineyards on the east side of the valley. The value of plantable land skyrocketd.

The late ’70s brought changes to some of the original Old West sites. The Long Branch Saloon was converted into a meeting house, while the Stables Bar became the site for retail stores. Although the Swing Inn remains, new restaurants began to open.

The I-15 corridor between Los Angeles County and San Diego was completed in the early 1980s and the subdivision land boom began. When Rancho California incorporated in December, 1989, the citizens voted to officially name their city “Temecula”.

How To Find a Good Insurance Agent

As much as there are countless insurance agents out there, it is however one thing to find an agent and another thing to find a good agent altogether.

Here’s our recommended California insurance specialist, but this article will help you know what to look for in a great insurance agent.

But this alone doesn’t imply that there aren’t good insurance agents out there. Neither does it imply that you can’t find the right insurance broker. You can easily find one provided you are conversant with the basics of finding one. Here are some tips for finding a good insurance agent to help you get started with finding the best insurance broker.


Ask for recommendations

Word of mouth can save you plenty of time when it comes to picking a good insurance agent. That is why you should start with getting recommendations from trusted sources such as family members, friends or coworkers. Ask them to recommend a good agent in case they know one. However, strictly ensure you are asking the right people for recommendations, or people who have actually worked with the agent they are recommending to you. Moreover, ensure they aren’t affiliated with the agent in any way. Most importantly, ask them any relevant questions about the agent until you are certain that the agent is equal to the task.

Do your homework

Do a quick online search on some of the insurance agents near you and then compile a list of prospective agents. Research extensively on each agent and then narrow your list to 5 agents that you deem suitable for you. Visit their websites to find out more about them and their clients.

Schedule an interview with suitable candidates

Once you have identified a number of suitable insurance agents, schedule an interview with them so that you get an opportunity to know them better. Explain your needs to them and also ask them any relevant question regarding their experience and availability. Thereafter, you can pick the agent who will offer the best advice based on the interview you had with them.

Check the agent’s background

This is quite imperative because it will help you find out everything about a prospective agent. For instance, find out whether the agent is licensed and whether they have met the state’s insurance requirements. Ask for a copy of the agent’s license just to make sure they are licensed. Also, visit your state’s insurance website to check your agent’s license status. Find out whether there are any complaints against the agent. This is crucial for finding an agent with a proven track record.

Ask for references

A good agent should always have many clients to offer enthusiastic recommendations. After all, you need to find out whether the agent is up to the task based on the past experience that previous clients have had while working with the agent. That said, ask for references so that you can see what other clients have to say about the agent. Avoid the agent if they don’t have any testimonials to show, thanks to the fact that there is no proof to show that that agent is equal to the task ahead. Don’t forget to read reviews of the agent on trusted sites such as Angie’s List and Better Business Bureau. Reviews can also give you an idea as to whether the agent you have in mind is the right person for the job or not.

Finding a good insurance agent can be quite easy as long as you know what to look for in a prospective agent. With these tips for finding good insurance broker, you will definitely get the right agent for the job.