Letters to the Editor: F.C. Has Stated No Need or Plan for Fellows Property

January 4, 2018 11:13 AM0 comments

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Letters to the Editor: January 4 – 10, 2018

 

F.C. Has Stated No Need or Plan for Fellows Property

Editor,

I have written an open letter to the Falls Church City Council:

Falls Church City has not posted an agenda for the City Council meeting on Jan. 8, but I have heard that one item on the agenda is the taking by eminent domain of land that is the property of the Fellows family. Taking personal property is a serious action, and it is justified only if it is necessary (i.e. there is no reasonable alternative) to serve the greater good of the community.

The City has not stated a need. Apparently, there is none.

The City has not revealed a plan. Apparently, there is none.

The City has not informed the citizens that the serious matter of using eminent domain is being considered.

The City took steps a few months ago to designate this private property as park land, possibly for use by the school. I have not heard of any plan for the school system to use the land, and this land would seem to be ill suited for school use — being across busy S. Oak Street from Thomas Jefferson Elementary and being sloping terrain. It appeared to me at the time that the unrequested re-designation of the land was a transparent attempt to degrade the value of the land so that it could be taken by eminent domain at a price below normal market value. At the time, I told the City Council this, but the Council followed the recommendation of the City Manager and approved the re-designation by a near unanimous vote, Mr. Sze casting the only vote against the action.

This is a serious matter. The citizens should be informed of the proposal and should have an opportunity to express their approval or disapproval. Under the current conditions — no use, no plan, no need — the taking by eminent domain might even be illegal.

John Transue

Falls Church

 


Letters to the Editor may be submitted to letters@fcnp.com or via our online form here. Letters should be limited to 350 words and may be edited for content, clarity and length. To view the FCNP’s letter and submission policy, please click here.

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