(A)   The court shall fix a date, not less than 5 days after the filing of the motion, for the hearing thereon, and shall require due notice to be given to each party to the proceedings whose interest would be affected by the taking requested, except that any party who has been or is being served by publication and who has not entered his appearance in the proceeding need not be given notice unless the court so requires, in its discretion and in the interests of justice.
   (B)   At the hearing, if the court has not previously, in the same proceeding, determined that the petitioner has the authority to exercise the right of eminent domain, that the property sought to be taken is subject to the exercise of such right, and that such right is not being improperly exercised in the particular proceeding, then the court shall hear and determine such matters. The court's order thereon is appealable, and an appeal may be taken therefrom by either party within 30 days after the entry of the order, but not thereafter unless the court, on good cause shown, shall extend the time for taking an appeal. However, no appeal shall stay the further proceedings herein prescribed unless the appeal is taken by the petitioner, or unless an order staying further proceedings shall be entered by the trial court or by the court to which the appeal is taken.
   (C)   If the foregoing matters are determined in favor of the petitioner and further proceedings are not stayed, or if further proceedings are stayed and the appeal results in a determination in favor of the petitioner, then the court shall hear the issues raised by the petitioner's motion for taking. If the court finds that reasonable necessity exists for taking the property in the manner requested in the motion, the court then shall hear such evidence as it may consider necessary and proper for a preliminary finding of just compensation; and in its discretion, the court may appoint 3 competent and disinterested appraisers as agents of the court to evaluate the property to which the motion relates and to report their conclusions to the court; and their fees shall be paid by the petitioner. The court then shall make the preliminary finding of the amount constituting just compensation.
   (D)   The preliminary finding of just compensation, and any deposit made for security pursuant thereto, shall not be evidence in the further proceedings to ascertain finally the just compensation to be paid, and shall not be disclosed in any manner to a jury impaneled in such proceedings. If appraisers have been appointed as herein authorized, their reports shall not be evidence in further proceedings, but the appraisers may be called as witnesses by the parties to the proceedings.
(Ord. 6685, passed 8-14-79)