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Feds Settle With Alexandria Boat Club After 40-Year Dispute

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A federal suit going back 40 years was settled in favor of the Old Dominion Boat Club.
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A federal suit going back 40 years was settled in favor of the Old Dominion Boat Club.

The Old Dominion Boat Club has reached a settlement with the federal government after a legal dispute that dragged on for 40 years.

In the early 1970s, the Nixon administration filed a series of lawsuits against property owners along the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. The vast majority of those cases settled, opening up formerly industrial spaces for public use. One holdout was the Old Dominion Boat Club, which continued to challenge well into this year. And won. Now, the federal government has agreed to pay for four decades' worth of legal fees.

"I won't say the exact figure, but it was in the high six figures," said Boat Club President Miles Holtzman. "You know, it was pretty good. And it was a vindication for us."

Although the Boat Club won its case against the feds, it's still trying to fend of Alexandria City Hall. The waterfront plan calls for the creation of a new public plaza where the Old Dominion Club parking lot now exists.

"What the plan calls for is that, in the long run, the city's plan hopes that that area will become a park," said City Attorney James Banks.

Banks describes the recommendation as a long-range vision, one that is silent on how or when it will happen.

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