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Virginia Supreme Court Fails To Resolve Wales Alley Case

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It borders Wales Alley is the object of an ongoing fight over whether Alexandria can lease the property long used by the Old Dominion Boat Club.
Thomas Cizauskas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cizauskas/5821047209/)
It borders Wales Alley is the object of an ongoing fight over whether Alexandria can lease the property long used by the Old Dominion Boat Club.

A case involving the use of an alley is headed from the Virginia Supreme Court back to the Alexandria Circuit Court.

In a stinging dissent, Chief Justice Cynthia Kinser says remanding this case back to the Alexandria Circuit Court without deciding the key issue at stake is what she calls "a waste of judicial resources." At issue is Wales Alley in Old Town Alexandria, where city officials have leased a public right of way to a restaurant to set up outdoor dining space.

"When the matter goes back before the court, all of the substantive issues that related to what the city can do regarding its ownership of a public way, that is what needs to be decided," says City Attorney James Banks.

Lawyers for the Old Dominion Boat Club argue they have a historic right to use the alley, dating back to a 1789 lease.

"They took it without any kind of due process or any kind compensation. They just took it," says Club President Miles Holtzman.

Lawyers for both sides will be meeting with the judge in the next few weeks to determine how the case should proceed.

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