RANCHO CUCAMONGA - Before the city can move forward on its project to widen Base Line Road and improve access to the 15 Freeway interchange, it must obtain certain property rights from some of the residents who live near the freeway.

The city has obtained appraised compensation figures for the property owner's so-called abutter's rights, which when given up or sold, prevent the property owner from putting a driveway in their backyard and gaining access to the freeway, according to an attorney for the city.

Several homeowners on Acorn Place and Falling Oak Drive, near the southbound 15 offramp at Base Line, are expected to receive compensation offers from the city for their abutter's rights after council members this week unanimously gave the go-ahead for the city to make the offers.

City officials are not moving to purchase any physical property from the residents, said Kirsten Bowman, an attorney representing the city.

"The status is, we've appraised the abutter's rights, and we are now asking permission from the City Council to make offers for those abutter's rights," Bowman said.

Debra Gamero, who owns one of the homes, said the offer will be based on a certain percentage of the appraised current market value of her property.

Gamero said she hopes the calculation for the offer will be based on the value of her home when she bought it and not its current market value.

"The homes were built when the real estate was still good," Gamero said. "They just said that, more than likely, it was going to be based on the current market value."

If an agreement between the parties is not reached, the city may initiate eminent domain proceedings for the abutter's rights.

The new offramp will be moved west, closer to the properties, while a new onramp from Base Line to the 15 would be built where the offramp exists northwest of the intersection of East Avenue and Base Line.

A 14-foot-high soundwall would be built along the western side of the offramp, facing four of the houses.

According to a map, the distance of how much closer the proposed new offramp would be to homes varies from the freeway to Base Line, although it gets closer to the first two homes closest to Base Line.

If everything is approved, city officials said they hope to begin construction next summer, completing it 18 months later, Assistant City Engineer Ken Fung said.

The Base Line and I-15 interchange improvement project had been a redevelopment agency project.

Officials had been concerned earlier this year with the potential loss of funding due to the elimination of redevelopment agencies in the state.

New legislation - Assembly Bill 1484 - allows cities to apply for bond proceeds they would otherwise have been denied after the dissolution of redevelopment agencies.

Earlier this year, the City Council approved plans to move forward with capital- improvement spending for unfinished redevelopment projects. The city would be reimbursed after the redevelopment bond proceeds became available, officials said.

Assistant City Manager Linda Daniels said the city could lose $8 million in matching federal funds if it doesn't move forward soon on the interchange project.


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