Eminent Domain in the Charlottesville, Take 2

Take 1.

Don’t Say the City doesn’t plan ahead … the City of Charlottesville is going to try eminent domain to get the final piece of land to make the Hillsdale Connector a reality.

I find this funny:

The phrase “eminent domain” was not uttered in the council chambers until resident Colette Hall stood and asked for an explanation.

“Are you saying this is eminent domain?” Hall asked.

“Yes,” Brown answered, saying he uses the terms “condemnation” and “eminent domain” interchangeably.

Call it what it is – eminent domain.

Keep in mind that “the city likely will not begin saving money for the road’s construction until after 2016.

Good at planning. Bad at doing. I’ll be 50 before this road is built. (that’s just less than 15 years)

Curiously, it’s taken nearly two years to get to this point; Rachana Dixit reported in the Daily Progress June 15, 2009:

Charlottesville officials will attempt to exercise eminent domain to acquire the land necessary for Hillsdale Drive Extended’s first section, which is being built as a part of the new Whole Foods grocery store.

The city is trying to get roughly 1.5 acres that are privately owned to start the multimillion-dollar road project, which would begin before the store’s construction. Those behind the new Whole Foods — Meadowbrook Creek, LLC is developing the property at 1801 Hydraulic Road under a 99-year ground lease that began in 1964 — agreed that the first portion of Hillsdale Drive Extended would be built as a condition of the project.

But the road, designed to connect Hydraulic Road through the Seminole Square shopping center to Hillsdale Drive in Albemarle County, cannot be constructed until the land has been designated for public use.

“It is a major public right of way,” Councilor Satyendra Huja said in an interview, referring to the road.
“We would have preferred that it would have been [negotiated]. But the negotiations haven’t been fruitful so far,” he added.

The City Council will take up the matter at tonight’s meeting, because state law requires that the governing body of any locality authorize condemnation proceedings only after a public hearing. If councilors adopt the resolution, the action will be filed in Charlottesville Circuit Court.

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1 Comment

  1. Jay Neale May 4, 2011 at 02:12

    If Kmart’s lease is up in 5 years and Cville won’t even start putting money in the piggie bank until 2016, why even bother to mess with eminent domain? And now that the road is built and traffic is rerouted, why does Kmart even care? Seems to me if the city wants to play the eminent domain game they should go after the movie theater. I’m sure there’s more to this story.

    P.S. have you noticed the LED street lights at the Hillsdale, Hydraulic intersection? Pretty nifty!


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