County plans to proceed with
widening of 20th Street
Well, if you think it can’t happen, you’d better think again, it’s called imminent domain.
Imminent domain allows Federal, state, and local governments to take private property as long as they follow the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which requires the government to pay a fair market value of the property in need to the land owner.
However, the property owner does have his or her right to due process if there is any doubt during the condemnation proceedings to acquire the private piece of land.
With all the progress in Lake Stevens, there is change, and with change there can most assuredly be obstacles to overcome.
In the case of James and Elaine Schroedl, his brother Jeff and his family and other families living along 20th St. S.E., there is a dilemma of sorts. There will be a change in their landscape taking away some of their property to make way for the widening of 20th street.
Traffic has been an issue to commuters for years for those crossing the trestle onto 20th St. SE heading towards Hwy 9. Residential build-up and a new school in the area has increasingly added to the congestion and traffic in and around the area.
It’s not that anyone wants to get in the way of progress, especially if it can help relieve some of the congestion that is already being felt with the 14,000 plus cars that travel the roads from East to West into Everett, and home, and onto I-5 everyday.
“They assessed my brother’s property and said the house has no value,” said Jeff.
However, looking at the County Assessor’s land and tax information, it shows a three bedroom, one bath home built in 1940 with a total market assessed value of $234,500 for the 2009 tax year.
James Schroedl owns a little bit more than one acre which he has paid taxes on for many years, but the letter he received in late April from the Snohomish County Public Works, Engineering Services Department puts the appraised value of their needed piece of land (3,895 square feet) at zero.
This piece of land is needed to further the progress of widening the street to allow for a smoother commute.
Jeff says that he has done as much as possible for himself on his part, but it’s now time to let lawyers handle it.
“I have an attorney that’s going to handle things now,” he said.