Alexandria Officials Plan to Use Eminent Domain to Acquire Old Town Parking Lot

City of Alexandria officials voted Tuesday to move ahead with plans to use eminent domain to acquire a popular parking lot along Old Town's waterfront.

The land currently belongs to the Old Dominion Boat Club, an establishment with deep roots in Northern Virginia. It was chartered in 1880 and its property along the waterfront is highly desired.

For the past 15 years, the City of Alexandria has looked to acquire part of the land, specifically the club's parking lot, which serves as access to the Potomac River. 

The city wants to acquire the parking lot under eminent domain -- acquiring private property and flipping it for public use. The proposed plans allow the public more access to the desired views of the Potomac River.

Tuesday, the council voted to continue negotiations for another 90 days, while at the same time beginning the process of acquiring the land through eminent domain. Only Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg voted against the move.

More than 200 Alexandria residents attended the city council's meeting Tuesday for a meeting that lasted nearly five hours. Approximately 60 residents testified, most of them against any sort of eminent domain in the city.

Eminent domain may be avoided if a resolution is reached within three months. Otherwise, the case is expected to reach court, according to Old Dominion Boat Club officials.

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