Developers are behind City Hall’s interest in boat club’s parking lot

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By Dino Drudi, Alexandria
(Photo/File Photo) 

To the editor:

To Virginia’s credit, its Legislature and voters limited eminent domain last year. Even in liberal Alexandria, nearly three-fifths voted to restrict eminent domain.

But across the river, in ultra-liberal Washington, the city government is preparing to take land by eminent domain for a public-private project — a soccer stadium — something that Virginia does not allow.

To stay competitive, today’s Democrats can’t afford to be seen as anti-business, so they lavish favored companies with government benefits to compete with the Republicans’ laissez-faire approach to business regulations. As your editorial (“Waterfront lot is boat club’s domain,” October 10) stated, “Taking the boat club lot and building a plaza will directly benefit four companies that … want to develop land along the waterfront.”

For the Alexandria Times, that is a reason not to use eminent domain, but for City Hall, it is a reason for using eminent domain. The city has been dickering with the Old Dominion Boat Club for a long time, but the four companies’ eagerness to develop most likely is what has tipped City Hall toward eminent domain. The timing is no mere coincidence.