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Bullet Train Doesn't Own Any Land for Route, But Don't Worry

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Construction is scheduled to begin in July on the first segment of the California high-speed rail, but the state hasn't purchased any land for that 29-mile segment from Madera to Fresno, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bullish rail authority thinks they can still make their summer deadline--though they missed the last one in late 2012--even though farmers, businesses, and homeowners will have opportunities to haggle and sue over buy-out offers (a sticking point may be the soaring value of agricultural land in the Central Valley). The rail authority needs to purchase 400 parcels for the line's first segment and formal offers will start going out in the next few weeks. Those offers will start an eminent domain action, then "the owners have 30 days to consider the offer, and then the state must go through a series of steps that can add 100 more days of appeals and hearings, assuming the state can get on the court calendar." The rail authority could make their deadline on a technicality, according to the project's spokesman, by demolishing a single property in July.
· California still hasn't bought land for bullet train route [LA Times]
· High-Speed Rail Archives [Curbed LA]