School expansion may evict KB man
KINGS BEACH – As the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District works to build a new student activity center at Kings Beach Elementary School, a neighboring property owner fears the progress will leave him without a place of business.
“I dare any of you to put yourself in my place,” said Patrick Malley at a special school board meeting Monday. “Think about that before you vote.”
The school board voted to pass a resolution that allows them to proceed with eminent domain proceedings if necessary.
Two parcels owned by Malley stand in the way of plans to build a student activity center at Kings Beach Elementary School using funds from the $24 million Measure R bond. The school’s master plan also calls for closing Wolf Street to expand the playground area and offer more room for the students.
The district has been able to purchase all of the property on Wolf Street, except for Malley’s.
Malley, who owns property at 543 and 551 Wolf Street, has been in discussions with the district over the properties for more than three years.
According to Malley, the school board has not made an acceptable offer for his property, the site of his business, High Sierra Plumbing.
Malley said that he has also had trouble finding any available and affordable commercial properties in the North Shore area where his business could relocate.
“I want to work with the school board,” Malley said. “I want to pass my property on, but I need a place to go.”
Board member Karen Van Epps said that although she hoped negotiations could continue, the process had gone on too long and that if an agreement was not met soon the properties would be taken by way of eminent domain.
Eminent domain allows for the government to condemn private property for public use.
“We’re still here to help,” Van Epps said, supplying Malley with several names of people who she thought might be able to help locate commercial property.
Malley told the board that he hoped negotiations would prove fruitful, but that he would now be working with them through his lawyer.
He explained that he did not think private property should be vulnerable to government seizure.
“I want to continue this on a personal level, but I’ve got to protect myself,” he said.
The board said they understood his position, but that his property was needed for the project. Gemma said that the board will continue negotiations with Malley, but that eminent domain is a possibility if an agreement is not reached.
“If we don’t see some results within 30 days we’ll be concerned,” he said.
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