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Letter: Value Private Property Rights

— To the Editor:

I am a member of the Old Dominion Boat Club. I am speaking as a boater and as a riverfront enthusiast. I’m aware that The City of Alexandria is considering taking The Old Dominion Boat Club’s parking lot and boat storage facilities by the process of eminent domain. I would like to register my strong objections to the taking of private waterfront property by the city.

It would seem that the city would be better served letting the Old Dominion Boat Club spend the Boat Club’s private money (as the Boat Club has repeatedly offered to do) improving its property and integrating into the waterfront plan — just like any new-to-the-city private developers plan to. Instead, the city is considering spending huge sums of Alexandria taxpayer dollars to condemn and purchase the property, then spend more taxpayer dollars to improve the property and spend even more taxpayer dollars to maintain the property in perpetuity. And, just as disturbing, private property will be removed from the city tax rolls, decreasing city revenue. Adding expense and shrinking revenue doesn’t seem like a sound fiscal strategy to me.

Finally, I live in Virginia because I admire the state’s respect for individual rights and private property rights. I lived in Old Town Alexandria for 10 years and plan to move back to Old Town to live out my remaining years. It sure would be nice if my boat club, the Old Dominion Boat Club, was still here, a vibrant part of the city and the waterfront.

Bill Gard