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She’s unhappy Lathrop tore out sidewalk

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POSTED December 5, 2017 12:46 a.m.

Irene Torres’ parents poured a sidewalk in front of their Lathrop Road home before the City of Lathrop was ever incorporated.
And now that the sidewalk has been torn out and replaced with one maintained by the city – the first extensive sidewalk on both sides of Lathrop Road – she wants to know when her family will be compensated for the loss.
At Monday’s meeting of the Lathrop City Council, Torres utilized the public comment portion of the meeting to ask the question about what will come of the work that her family put into the private walkway years before the idea of Lathrop as a city would even be introduced.
City Attorney Salvador Navarrete, however, didn’t agree with her that compensation was necessarily justified in this particular case.
According to Navarrete, the sidewalk in question was part of the City of Lathrop’s right-of-way, which has been revised over the years since Lathrop’s incorporation, and therefore the city doesn’t have to compensate private homeowners for making upgrades onto land that is ostensibly property of all residents.
“There is no ownership interest on which the city is encroaching,” Navarrete said in his response when prompted by Vice Mayor Paul Akinjo, who was stepping in for an absent Sonny Dhaliwal.
But that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have any recourse in the matter.
According to Navarrete, Torres is welcome to submit a claim to the city for formal review, and a legal decision based on evidence provided in that claim will be made and she will be notified.
The request was a twist in what has become a long and bitter fight between the City of Lathrop, which maintains it has long planned to widen Lathrop Road and even made concessions to lessen the impact on residents affected, and homeowners who are upset that they’re losing things like on-street parking and the ability to safely back out of their own driveways.
And while the roadway is open to traffic at the moment – periodic closures of lanes are expected over the next month as additional work on landscaping, striping, lighting and signaling is taking place – there’s at least one part of the project that is confusing residents.
Margaret Luevano, who was vocal about not wanting the reconfigured roadway, asked the council on Monday whether it was okay to continue to make a U-Turn on Avon Street as it intersects with Lathrop Road rather than going down to 5th Street and making a legal U-Turn since there is no sign telling her that she can’t do that.
That is something that the city, according to Senior Civil Engineer Michael King, will have to review with the contractor if they’re unable to locate a no U-Turn sign in their corporation yard.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.

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