Subject: Eminent Domain Bill Clarification

    Volume VIII, Number 3  February 3, 2006





Late Wednesday a subcommittee of the House of Delegates’ Courts of Justice Committee reported HB94 to the full House. HB 94 was patroned by Delegate Terrie Suit. The bill was selected from 13 eminent domain bills in the House designed to address the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo decision, allowing local governments to condemn private property for economic development and tax enhancement purposes. The full committee will consider the bill on Friday, February 3, 2006. Assuming the bill passes through the General Assembly, in Virginia a locality will not be able to condemn a farm for a Wal-Mart. Such a taking would not be considered a “public use,” as required by Virginia’s Constitution. HBAV was an active participant in a work group appointed by Delegate Suit, as the Chair of the Virginia Housing Commission. The work group and the Commission met several times during the summer and fall to come up with the best bill to protect the rights of private property owners while at the same time preserving the tools often used by the home building industry to provide the infrastructure, such as sanitary sewer, water, and storm water management facilities, necessary to obtain land use approval from local governments. Several of the house bills were “rolled into” HB 94 and others merely passed by l.





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