(a)If proceedings to acquire the same property are consolidated, the court shall first determine whether the public uses for which the property is sought are compatible within the meaning of Article 6 (commencing with Section 1240.510) of Chapter 3. If the court determines that the uses are compatible, it shall permit the proceeding to continue with the plaintiffs acting jointly. The court shall apportion the obligation to pay any award in the proceeding in proportion to the use, damage, and benefits attributable to each plaintiff.
(b)If the court determines pursuant to subdivision (a) that the uses are not all compatible, it shall further determine which of the uses is the more necessary public use within the meaning of Article 7 (commencing with Section 1240.610) of Chapter 3. The court shall permit the plaintiff alleging the more necessary public use, along with any other plaintiffs alleging compatible public uses under subdivision (a), to continue the proceeding. The court shall dismiss the proceeding as to the other plaintiffs.