Oxnard Union High School District trustees, seeking a location for a second new high school, has approved condemnation of 53 acres of farmland in east Oxnard after owners of the property refused to sell it for $9.8 million.
The school board authorized a special counsel Wednesday night to begin eminent domain proceedings for the Hartman Ranch, east of Oxnard Boulevard. The district wants to build a $25-million to $30-million east side high school there to accommodate enrollment increases expected over the next two decades.
An attorney for Carl Grant--one of more than a dozen relatives who own the land in the Hartman family trust--argued that the district cannot move for condemnation until a lawsuit that the trust filed against the district has been resolved. The suit contends that the district failed to conduct an adequate environmental analysis of the site, lawyer Tom Dankert said.
He said the district did not consider alternative sites or study a year-round school schedule, which would increase capacity of existing schools by 33%. Also, Grant was never informed of the district's $9.8-million offer, Dankert said.