Palo Alto's attorney says he could sue to get HSR maps, if asked
- Published Thursday, February 25, 2010, by the Palo Alto Daily Post
Yeah, he can do that
City attorney says he could sue for rail maps if asked
By Austin Walsh
Daily Post Staff Writer
Palo Alto City Attorney Gary Baum said if the City Council wishes, he could file a lawsuit against the California High-Speed Rail Authority to get maps of the homes and business in jeopardy of being seized to make way for the train tracks.
Baum said Tuesday he has not discussed with the council the idea suggested by civic watchdog Aram James at Monday's council meeting.
Mayor Pat Burt has asked the rail board publicly for the maps and was told he would be provided with them, until the authority said last week that it did not have the maps.
Baum could file a writ of mandamus requesting the maps, which would bring both sides before a judge to decide whether the rail authority is legally justified in withholding the maps from the city.
Maps of the rail line are important because they could identify which homes are in the way of the path of the new rail line, which will likely run alongside Caltrain. Once an exact route for the new train is determined, the rail authority would probably offer to buy the residences. If homeowners refuse, the rail authority could use its power of eminent domain to seize the home and then pay the homeowner.
[BATN: See also:
Peninsula HSR alignment report delayed again until April 1
Editorial: HSRA should not keep eminent domain maps secret
Peninsula NIMBYs push to end HSR in SJ; eminent domain report delay
Peninsula NIMBYs seek HSR eminent domain maps, push SJ terminus
HSRA denies it has eminent domain maps sought by Palo Alto