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Homeowner Says Widening Of Indiana Lowers Land Value

The city of Spokane’s plan to take a chunk of her East Indiana Avenue rental property also will take a bite from Sandee Evarts’ income, the North Side landlord says. “I get $750 a month for this house,” Evarts said, referring to the home she owns at 914 E. Indiana. “This truly is going to be devalued.”

Plans to widen Indiana to four lanes between Standard and Columbus streets mean landowners in the three-block area stand to lose several feet off the front of their properties.

Earlier this week, the council held a public hearing on plans to condemn 7.5 feet of Evarts’ property.

While Real Estate Director Dennis Berringer told the council he repeatedly has tried to negotiate with Evarts, she said the city is moving ahead after making minimal effort to consult her.

“I tell you that there has not been a whole lot of effort to get a hold of me,” said Evarts, who said she wouldn’t have known about the condemnation hearing if another resident hadn’t called her. “You need to give me more time,” she said. “You haven’t showed good faith.”

The council delayed to April 3 acting on the condemnation proposal.

The city has offered Evart $770 for the 7.5-foot strip, leaving her with about 18 feet of property between the house and the curb.

Berringer and Evarts both told stories of missed connections and phone calls to each other that went unreturned.

In November, Indiana Avenue property owners asked the city to reconsider plans for the widening project, but the council voted to go forward.

At that time, Berringer said, Evarts told him she would fight efforts to buy her property.

Evarts said while she realizes the city is going ahead with the project, she wants to be fairly compensated for the loss. She plans to hire a second appraiser because she thinks the city’s offer is far too low.

City Attorney James Sloane said the city will do everything it can to reach an agreeable settlement before taking the case to condemnation court.

Tags: streets

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