Palm Springs Mall Eminent Domain Case Heads To Trial. College of the Desert Seeks Land For New Campus

Details

Publish Date:
December 30, 2017
Author(s):
  • Newkirk, Barrett
Source:
The Desert Sun
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Summary

A Coachella Valley community college’s legal fight to seize the largely vacant Palm Springs Mall through eminent domain is set to go to trial soon.

College of the Desert wants the 29-acre site for a new satellite campus, but after negotiations with the property owner failed, the college went to court last year hoping to force the ownership transfer.

California law further points to blight reduction and educational needs as reasons to use eminent domain, said Stanford law professor Greg Ablavsky. Courts generally take “fair compensation” to mean a property’s fair market value, he said.

“In this circumstance, it seems pretty hard to argue that taking a blighted shopping mall to use for a community college does not constitute public use,” Ablavsky said.

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