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Alexandria Sets Hearing To Consider Eminent Domain For Boat Club Parking Lot

The Old Dominion Boat Club owns and leases parking spaces sought by the city of Alexandria.
Michael Pope
The Old Dominion Boat Club owns and leases parking spaces sought by the city of Alexandria.

Alexandria city leaders are threatening to use eminent domain against the Old Dominion Boat Club.

For years, city leaders have tried to acquire a waterfront parking lot owned by the Old Dominion Boat Club to build a park. Now City Manager Rashad Young has scheduled a public hearing to formally consider the use of eminent domain.

"In our view, the goalpost has moved and we have been unable to reach anything that looks like, on balance, a compromise position," Young says.

When city officials started talking about using eminent domain, Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille said he would never support the use of eminent domain — not while he was mayor. Now, Euille says he's changing his position.

"Time has come where, you know, after 10 years I must change my approach, and we'll have to do what's in the best interest of citizens of this great historic city," Euille says. "And the citizens are crying out and saying to us, 'Move on. Enough is enough.'"

Former Republican Councilman Frank Fannon, a member of the Boat Club, says he believes the announcement is only a threat, but that it would be a mistake.

"Eminent domain is not the answer. Two sides need to work together," Fannon says. "We see what's going on up at Capitol Hill. That's not the way you do business, and that's not the way you do things here in Alexandria."

The public hearing where the proposal will be formally considered has been scheduled for Nov. 19.

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