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Council to review condemnation situation

Owner says taking all of her property not necessary

Christina M. Currie

The Craig City Council passed a resolution in June giving the city the right to obtain four lots on Stout Street by eminent domain.

Since then, council members have not taken any steps to obtain the property.

Passing the resolution gave City Attorney Sherman Romney the ability to file a case in municipal court to condemn the property and then obtain ownership by paying fair market value based on an appraisal paid for by the city.

The resolution states there is a public need to extend Industrial Avenue to provide additional access by the public and emergency services to surrounding commercial and residential properties.

The resolution authorizes the city attorney “to take all necessary legal action to obtain immediate possession of the property through eminent domain or condemnation.”

Craig resident Sandra Baird owns the property.

At its regular meeting Tuesday night, the council will meet in executive session, which is closed to the public, to “review an offer to acquire real property for the extension of Industrial Avenue.”

According to City Manager Jim Ferree, that discussion will be about Baird’s property.

An appraisal of the property has been completed at the expense of the city, and constituted an offer on the property, which owner Sandra Baird refused, saying several factors weren’t taken into account.

Baird has asked for another appraisal on the four lots, which contain a house, but the city refused to pay for it. According to Baird, the city is required by law to pay for up to three appraisals.

Baird has retained an attorney, who, at this point, has not countered the city’s offer, but has offered several options to condemning all four lots.

Baird said all four lots aren’t needed for the proposed extension of Industrial Avenue, which right now dead ends in front of Baird’s house. Baird said one option is for the city to pay her the fair market value for two lots and allow her to retain the two lots on which the house is built. Removing the home’s porch and a small room would make the house well within the setback required by the city, Baird said.

“To take the whole property would be stupid,” she said. “I’m totally amazed that they keep insisting they keep the house. The two north lots are not necessary for the street.”

Baird said approximately 10 years ago when the city first began discussions of extending Industrial Avenue and the need to condemn property to do it, the first offer made to her was for the two south lots.

She wants to return to that agreement.

The property, and other lots acquired by the city, will be used to extend Industrial Avenue, an alternative listed in a 1982 traffic study to help ease traffic on W. Victory Way.

“We found the study, (we) said we paid to do this and we should implement it,” Mayor Dave DeRose said. “I don’t think it’s something we should wait until there is a problem to do.”

In other business, the council is scheduled to:

Award a bid for the windows and doors at the water plant.

Award a bid for Welcome to Craig and The Center of Craig signs.

Consider approval of an out-of-city water agreement for Dirk A. Miller and Lisa A. Donovan for Lot 6, Doe Run Subdivision.

Consider approval of a contract for a recreation center feasibility study.

Consider appointment of a city council member to the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.

Consider Resolution 10, a resolution declaring a public need to acquire an easement by eminent domain for the construction of a portion of the Ridgeview Bicycle/Pedestrian Path.

Consider Resolution 11, a resolution concerning the Yampa Basin Watershed Plan and recommending approval of the plan update for Routt and Moffat counties by the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission.

Hear a finance department report for July.

Hear a report on the Whittle da Wood contest.

Hold an executive session to review an offer to purchase the Cosgriff property and receive legal advice from the city attorney.


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