Eminent Domain Battle: Statement From City of Rancho Cordova

It's private property that's been in his family for over 40 years, but California property owner Sam Fong says he may lose the land that his father originally developed under eminent domain.

In response to Fong's claims that the City of Rancho Cordova plans to cut him out of a multi-million dollar deal — selling the property he owns at nearly half the price he's asked for it — the city issued this statement:

"Simply, as background, the case is in litigation and, among other things, the value of the property will be determined by the court. There is, at this point, nothing new over the past several months, and there likely won't be until the parties hear from the court. The only new development is the involvement of the California Alliance organization.

"As to Mr. Fong's assertion that the City of Rancho Cordova 'interfered' with his negotiations with Los Rios College, that is incorrect. It is our understanding that the deal fell out of escrow over issues concerning clean-up of contamination on the property.

"In eminent domain, the entity (in this case the City) is required to obtain independent property appraisals based upon current market value. That is how the City arrived at the amount offered to Mr. Fong for his property.

"This property has been neglected for many years and the Redevelopment Agency's responsibility is to remove blight. When the citizens of this community voted for cityhood in 2002, it was to improve the quality of the community. Removing blight and improving the quality of life and livelihood was, and continues to be, a primary concern. Mr. Fong has not brought any plans to the City in an effort to obtain permits for any building on this property."

Nancy J. Pearl
Communications Director
City of Rancho Cordova