County supervisors have authorized the condemnation of property to extend Balan Road eastward from Pepperdale Drive in Rowland Heights despite written assurance from the county planning staff nine years ago that the road would not be built.
Mike Lewis, chief deputy to Supervisor Pete Schabarum, said planners simply erred when they wrote a letter nine years ago to a builder saying that there was "no requirement to extend Balan Road eastward." The builder obtained the letter to help him sell a lot at Pepperdale Drive and Balan Road that was encumbered by an easement for the proposed road extension. Terrill Webb, who bought the house, said he relied on the letter in making his purchase.
Webb and several neighbors have been fighting the road extension and Schabarum delayed the project to investigate their claims that the road is unnecessary. But, Lewis said, the supervisor concluded that the county staff is right in arguing now that extending the road eastward to Brea Canyon Cutoff Road will be necessary to handle traffic after homes are built on vacant land in the area.
Webb said the road will take a 16-foot-wide strip off the side of his half-acre lot, come within inches of his greenhouse, patio and garage, and reduce the value of his property. Since the property already has an easement, the county has offered Webb $680 as compensation.