The city of Alexandria wants to transform a parking lot owned by the Old Dominion Boat Club into a public park, shown here, by eminent domain.
"It appears to the Old Dominion Boat Club that the city of Alexandria is moving toward an eminent domain action to take some of the club's properties,” says Ely.
"Eminent domain is only going to be something of a last resort," says city attorney James Banks. If all settlement discussions with the boat club break down, only then would the city council even consider eminent domain."
One thing is clear. Eminent domain is on the table – a drastic departure from discussions that have taken place in the past.
"The $150,000 dollar opening offer was certainly far too low," says Boat Club member Bert Ely.
But Banks disagrees.
"I certainly think it was a fair offer."