PALMDALE — The City Council unanimously agreed to use the power of eminent domain to acquire a 29,558 square-foot roadway easement, and 3,991 square-foot slope easement rights on the southeast corner of Avenue S-8 and 40th Street East for construction of a future roundabout intended to improve traffic safety at the intersection.
The intersection has stop signs for east and westbound traffic on Avenue S-8 as well as for north and southbound traffic on 40th Street East.
It is one of the top crash locations without a traffic signal in the city based on collision data from 2011 to 2015, according to the staff report when the project was approved by the City Council in August 2017.
The Palmdale Planning Commission approved the environmental study for construction of the roundabout in March 2019. The roundabout is expected to reduce the number of collisions at the intersection and improve the flow of traffic.
The proposed roundabout will allow motorists to complete left turns without stopping traffic flow, and would minimize the frequency rear-end or sideswipe type collisions, according to a staff report.
The proposed roundabout will include entrance and exit lanes at the north and south points of 40th Street East, and west and east points on Avenue S-8.
Single one-way lanes will be constructed for traffic turning right along northbound 40th Street East to eastbound Avenue S-8, and from westbound Avenue S-8 to northbound 40th Street East. Sidewalks will be constructed around the roundabout. Pedestrian crossings will be provided at each and exit, according to the report.
The City Council held a public hearing on April 6 prior to adoption of the resolution of necessity. No one offered any testimony during public hearing. The roadway and slope easements are owned by TK Properties LLC.
The City deposited $33,700 with the court on Tuesday to initiate the condemnation proceedings for the property. That is a deposit of the appraised value $33,700. The final settlement is yet to be determined, according to Communications Manager John Mlynar.
In October 2020, the City made an offer to purchase the right-of-way and slope easement at $33.700. TK Properties countered with $120,000, which was later reduced to $90,000 after lengthy negotiations with the owner.
In March, the City Council approved the counter offer of $75,000 for settlement. The owner rejected the City’s counter offer. On April 6, the City Council approved a resolution of necessity to acquire the right-of-way and easement thru eminent domain, Mlynar said.
Also, the City hired Overland, Pacific, and Cutler to provide appraisal and acquisition services the acquisition of 11 parcels for $81,524.
The resolution of necessity required four findings, including whether the public interest and necessity required the project, and the project was planned and located in a manner that will be the most compatible with the greatest public good and the least private injury.