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May 13th, 2010 — By — In News & Events

Virginia business battles blight and eminent domain to keep its property

Attorney Joe Waldo and the Central Radio Vice President Bob Wilson discuss on Fox & Friends how the neighboring university and housing authority have used a 12-year old study to determine that the property at which Central Radio, a defense contractor, currently operates its business is blighted and, therefore, should be redeveloped to spur economic development. Mr. Waldo explains that the laws in Virginia regarding eminent domain and blight allow for the taking of blighted property for the public purpose of redevelopment. However, Mr. Waldo points out in this case blight is simply a pretext cloaking the real intention of the taking – to give private property to a private developer who wishes to build a shopping center.

Central Radio employs 75-100 employees, has been in business for 75+ years and has maintained its business at this specific location for over 50 years. At a time of economic need, an increasing trade deficit and with two ongoing wars to require a business that employs educated and skilled workers in support of our military relocate so that people can flock to the same location to rack up their credit card bills in favor of imported goods can simply not be considered a public purpose. Once again, lets remember New London where the promise of economic development has become itself a blighted, barren wasteland that promises only good bird watching.

There may some good news in this story, as Mr. Waldo mentions that Virginia’s Governor & Attorney General are moving for a constitutional amendment to prevent the taking of private property for economic development in the State of Virginia.

Disclosure: Joseph Waldo (featured in the video and mentioned above) is the OCA Member attorney in Virginia.