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City Council pays $1 million for Newhall piercing shop

Claims land through eminent domain

Posted: January 28, 2009 9:08 p.m.
Updated: January 29, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The Santa Clarita City Council agreed to pay Thomas Fitterer $1.01 million for the piercing shop he owns in Newhall, seizing the property to move forward with plans for a new multimillion-dollar library.

Last November, the council agreed to use eminent domain to obtain the property that houses Just Passing Thru on Spruce Street, approving up to $800,000 for the property Fitterer purchased 16 years ago.

Fitterer declined to say how much he originally paid for the property, which was built in 1951.

On Tuesday night the council unanimously approved the new amount, which city officials said includes any necessary relocation fees.

"It just doesn't make sense to do something like this," Saugus resident Tony Natoli said. "What would a city library contribute ... especially if there's not a general willingness to go forward?"

Fitterer said last week he can not afford to fight the council's decision.

His was the last parcel of property the city needed to acquire at the intersection of Lyons Avenue and Main Street, to make way for a nearly 30,000-square-foot library.

"There was considerable public participation," City Manager Ken Pulskamp said in response to Natoli. "We've really seen an overwhelming amount of support."

Fitterer runs Professional Practice Sales in Tustin, and his son operates the piercing shop. He said Wednesday the city has given his son until June to remain in the building.

City officials hope to begin construction of the new library within the year, with a projected completion by 2012, according to Paul Brotzman, director of community development.

The new building will be about five times larger than the existing 4,000-square-foot county library branch at the corner of Walnut and 9th streets.


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