The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted 7-1 on Tuesday to support a proposed constitutional amendment that would strictly limit authorizing eminent domain. So far, Prince William County is the largest locality to support the amendment and is the only county in Northern Virginia to do so.
Chairman Corey Stewart, who introduced the resolution, argued supporting the amendment was vital to protect property rights:
“This will strengthen property rights protections in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This has been controversial. I personally believe that principle comes first. One of the things that distinguishes America and one of the reasons we’ve had such economic growth over the past 200-plus years is our commitment to property rights.”
Stewart also invoked IJ client Bob Wilson’s current struggle against eminent domain abuse in Norfolk: “While I trust this Board that we would not do something similar, we cannot be certain that a future Board wouldn’t abuse its authority.”
As noted in September, the amendment is winning 43-19, with a wide margin of support among Democrats, Republicans, and independents. The proposed ban on eminent domain abuse also won a high-profile endorsement from Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli: “We’re all for economic development, but not politically favored economic development…Crony capitalism is going to take a hit on Nov. 6 when the people of the Virginia pass this amendment.”