After months of attempts to negotiate with a property owner of the hillside next to Vasquez Canyon Road, county officials are moving forward with the condemnation process in hopes making repairs.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution Tuesday to condemn the privately owned hillside next to the 600-foot segment of Vasquez Canyon Road that buckled in a mudslide in November 2015.
Over the past 10 months, roadwork has been stalled because the hillside that contributed to the road’s demise is privately owned. The property owner is deceased, and the county’s attempts to reach next of kin, who live in San Diego and San Francisco, have been unsuccessful, said Edel Vizcarra, planning deputy to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
Public Works officials offered $31,580 to the next-of-kin property owners but never received a response, according to a staff report.
Following Tuesday’s decision, the county plans to pursue court approval to condemn the hillside so it can legally gain access to the property “for public road and highway purposes and temporary construction easements,” according to the report.
The court process is expected to be completed before the end of the year, Vizcarra said.
Road construction should cost $4 million, paid for by funds from the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program, according to the report.
While work has already begun on the road, the county will be able to remove mudslide material from the hillside, regrade the slope, and reconstruct the roadway after the court process is complete.