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Placer County, Bell Garden Apartments tenant attorneys still talking

County considers North Auburn buildings too decrepit to keep renting out
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Talks are continuing between Placer County and legal-aid attorneys for low-income Bell Garden Apartments residents in North Auburn and Placer County. The Placer County Board of Supervisors was told Tuesday by Deputy Director Mark Rideout of the Facility Services Department that negotiations with Legal Services of Northern California have some positive momentum. “We are still making progress with Legal Services of Northern California and confident about a resolution,” Rideout said. Supervisors approved an “indefinite continuation” of consideration of actions related to the county’s proposed Bell Garden resident relocation plan. The resolution also delegates authority to Facility Services Director Jim Durfee to take actions deemed necessary to implement the relocation plan. Located on A Avenue in North Auburn, Bell Garden buildings house about 70 low-income residents and Facility Services is contending the two World War II-era buildings have outlived their useful lives. Legal Services of Northern California has slowed initial county plans to have the buildings emptied as early as next month by questioning whether enough is being done to aid relocation efforts for tenants facing potentially higher rents. The Board of Supervisors vote in support of continuing talks was 5-0. In other board business Tuesday: n Supervisors approved the transfer of the former Colfax court building at 10 Culver St. to the city of Colfax. The building is being bought “as is” for $1 and the city has plans to turn it into a community facility, with uses that could include health, education and recreation. Court functions ceased in 2008 and the building has been empty since then. n Supervisors adopted a “resolution of necessity” to acquire parcels through eminent domain proceedings, if necessary, on parts of the Auburn Folsom Road widening project in the Granite Bay-Roseville area.