Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tribune: Red Line south extension draws property value concerns

Red Line Extension
And there are those who are still talking about the coming extension of the L into the far south side of
Pastors from the Greater Roseland area and representatives of the Developing Communities Project, a civic group advocating for the 5 1/2-mile extension to the city’s southern border and the economic benefits that the project could produce, appeared before the CTA board Wednesday.

They raised concerns about possible declines in property value due to the project, sought information about relocating families and asked for a commitment to allow public participation in creating a compensation “formula” for property owners whose homes will need to be bulldozed.

The Rev. Elena Calloway testified that the extension would run behind her five-bedroom house on 114th Place. Her family already puts up with freight train noise, but the clatter from CTA trains running minutes apart would be too much, she said.

“Suddenly I am faced with the thought of screeching trains … (and) the possibility of elevated tracks allowing full view of my property and a total loss of peace,’’ said Calloway, 64, who is a pastor at New Day Ministries International.
If you're like Rev. Calloway and would like compensation for your property if it's to be in the way of the extension here's something to consider:

But CTA officials said it’s far too early to talk about land condemnations because a preliminary environmental impact study is still underway.

Also, the rules for transit agencies acquiring property for projects are strictly spelled out by the Federal Transit Administration, so there will be no negotiations about creating a formula, said Michael Connelly, CTA vice president of planning.

Under the rules, affected homeowners are asked to choose an appraiser to determine the fair-market value of their property at the time of the appraisal. It is not based on future plans for the property, Connelly said. A second appraiser will then review the initial appraisal and recommend a value to the transit agency. It will lead to a written offer to purchase the property, officials said.

“The federal rules are the federal rules and they apply uniformly to everybody,’’ CTA president Forrest Claypool told reporters after the board meeting. “We’d be happy to share those with (Calloway) when the time comes, obviously.”
Of course that didn't sit well:
The Rev. Mitchell Johnson, a transportation consultant with the Developing Communities Project, called that unacceptable.

“The unfortunate reality with public service entities is that they parse out accurate information when they think it’s appropriate, rather than when they actually have it,’’ said Johnson, who also attended Wednesday’s meeting.

As many as about 250 properties, including about 100 residential parcels, could be acquired during the project, CTA officials have said, although the analysis is still preliminary.
So far though we can only speculate as while the project has been approved there has been no funding for it. This is a great and necessary project to connect the far south side communities but there are obviously a lot of questions and concerns. Hopefully when the funding comes in and when it's time to start construction there will be more answers.

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