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Orange County Focus

YORBA LINDA : City Wants Property Access for Project

September 28, 1993|DANIELLE A. FOUQUETTE

The city has begun legal proceedings to acquire a portion of four homeowners' properties on Rolling Hills Lane, a strip of property needed so that crews can install a storm drain for five other homes farther up the street.

The four homeowners have refused to cooperate with the city's plan to build the storm drain in an arroyo behind five homes farther up the hill on Rolling Hills Lane.

The city's efforts to build the drain were prompted by a lawsuit filed by the five homeowners who live at the top the street, on the north side. The lawsuit alleges that the city allowed the developer of those hillside homes to install inadequate drainage, which led to landslides on their lots after heavy rainfall earlier this year.

As part of an effort to settle the lawsuit, the city has agreed to repair the slope failure and install a concrete pipe that would drain water away from the hillside. Last week, the city offered between $250 and $8,100 to each of the other eight property owners on the north side of Rolling Hills Lane for access rights to their property.

Four of the eight property owners accepted the city's offer, but the remaining four have refused to grant the city access. A judge will now determine if the city can acquire the strip of property behind those four homes by eminent domain.

Several of the reluctant homeowners said they do not oppose the installation of a storm drain through the arroyo, but are upset that the drain will stop before it gets to their lots.

In fact, said Mike Johnson, who has refused the city access to his property, the plan ignores his property's drainage problem and will worsen it.

But City Engineer Roy Stephenson said the pipe would not have an effect on the amount of water flowing to Johnson's property.

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