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Orange County Digest

Anaheim : Owner of Condemned Property to Get $800,000

September 20, 1986|Roxana Kopetman

City officials decided this week to pay the landlord of a former Pussycat Theatre, a bar and an adult bookstore $800,000 to settle a lawsuit against the City of Anaheim, which had taken the properties through its power of eminent domain and ordered them demolished.

The city Redevelopment Agency--which is composed of the City Council members--approved the settlement Tuesday. The lawsuit was scheduled for a jury trial this week but was postponed pending a decision on the settlement, City Atty. Jack L. White said.

When the city condemned the 10,637 square feet of property on Lincoln Avenue in 1983, it offered the owner $500,000, White said. Walnut Properties Inc. wanted $1.2 million, he said.

In settling for $800,000, White said, the city saved money by not risking losing the case in the trial, which could have meant Anaheim would have to pay more to the landlord and also to pay attorney fees.

Last year, the city paid $200,000 to settle claims by the owner of the former Pussycat Theatre, which was demolished, for loss of business. The city also settled with at least one other business owner on the site for loss of business, said Thomas Stoever, an attorney for the city.

The attorneys said condemnation lawsuits are commonly settled out of court. White called the $800,000 figure "a good settlement."

Anaheim officials used their power of eminent domain--or condemnation--to take the land to widen the streets and, eventually, to sell part of it to a developer who will build apartments there, said Norm Priest, Anaheim community development executive director.

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