By Derrick Perkins (File photo)
After initially keeping quiet on the status of negotiations for the Old Dominion Boat Club’s waterfront parking lot, city officials have lifted — ever so slightly — the veil of silence.
A city spokesman has confirmed that talks for the coveted shoreline parcel are underway. After years of on-again, off-again negotiations, Mayor Bill Euille made it clear in the fall that City Hall would use eminent domain to secure the land if an agreement remained elusive much longer.
Following a lengthy November public hearing on the topic, city councilors opted to extend talks for a further 90 days, with the option of eminent domain still on the table if negotiations break down again. Officials want to turn the parking lot into a waterfront plaza and use nearby club property for flood-mitigation efforts.
While neither side will discuss the specifics of the talks, the 90-day clock is ticking: It began December 18 and will end March 17. Though the idea of bringing in an independent mediator has been discussed, the two sides have not yet agreed to add one, officials said.