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UPDATE: County nixes plans for eminent domain in Aldie Fire Station search

Loudoun's Board of Supervisors Wednesday night opposed using eminent domain to secure property along Route 50 in southern Loudoun for the new Aldie Fire Station.

Supervisors discussed the issue in closed session Wednesday, after which they voted publicly 7-0 to no longer pursue the eminent domain, or condemnation, option. Supervisor Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian) and Vice Chairman Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) were absent for the vote.

County officials have been negotiating the purchase of nearly 10 acres at 39573 John Mosby Highway since late 2012, but landowners David N. Senty and Laura P. Senty have repeatedly declined their offers, according to a staff report.

In 2013, the board directed staff to attempt to acquire the Senty's property through a negotiated sale, according to county documents. In July and August, staff made written offers to the Sentys in the amounts of $875,000 and $1 million, respectively. Those offers were rejected by the Sentys, who stated on both occasions that they would agree to sell the property only if the board accepted their price of $2.5 million. In November 2013, staff made an additional offer to the Sentys in the amount of $1.1 million, which the Sentys again rejected. The board then directed staff to pursue condemnation of the property.

With the decision to no longer pursue the Senty's property, the county will resume its years-long search for an appropriate site for the new Aldie fire and rescue station, which will service Middleburg, Arcola, Philomont, Kirkpatrick Farms and Leesburg.

Click here to read the county report.

-Trevor Baratko


Eminent domain is a foul excuse for a law. Leave it to the English to come up with it. Since I think my property is worth 50k can I pay less. They found out the property was not worth the 2.5 so their move upward and onward was cancelled. I know let us ask Todd Kaufman what he thinks the value is. Eminent domain is something that the democrats would as they feel they know what’s best for everyone and they know how to spend our money better than I do.

Didn’t Loudoun overpay for the new HS site in Lansdowne, near conference center? Who decides what’s a fair value? With only one entrance and a MS near, that was a horrible site. My assessment had my land valued at $300K for about 3/4 of an acre. It jumped $60k from previous year, house part went down $20k. More of our govt’s voo doo math.

$1,100,000 for 10/acres is a reasonable price. I’m sure the county can find 10/acres for that amount elsewhere without issue.

Actually one might note that out country was founded on confiscating land that belongs to other people and claiming for our us…  the trail of tears and black hills come to mind.  just sayin.

Also the fifth amendment states that property can’t be confiscated without providing just compensation.  The supreme court ruled long ago that it is consistent with the constitution that land can be taken through eminent domain for public use so long as the government compensates the owner fair market value.  In this case, the government offered greater than fair market value and the owner still said no.

Since the owners think their property is worth $2.5M, will their tax assessment rise to meet their expectation? The owners are currently paying taxes on only about one quarter of that value.

This is a slippery slope. Our country was founded on the right to own property and our government shouldn’t be confiscating it, no matter the reason.  Loudoun County can find a better solution.  Vince in Leesburg.

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