Eminent domain abuse: Bristol (VA) Herald Courier, 3/6/05

Letter to the Editor

By Linda Crosswhite Tate, Abingdon VA

I find it a little ironic that the headlines of the Feb. 25 Bristol Herald Courier told about the delinquent taxes in Washington County and surrounding areas.

It might interest people to know that paying your taxes on time doesn’t mean that you will always be able to keep your property, even though you work hard all your life to provide a home for your family.

The eminent domain law is being abused all over America. The Taylor’s Hill project in Abingdon is a perfect example of how this law is being abused.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, eminent domain means: The right of a government to take private property for public use, just compensation usually given to the owner. The key words are public use.

My mother, Naomi Crosswhite, who is 86 years old, and my brother, Kelly Crosswhite, as well as others who live on Taylor’s Hill, have no problem giving up some of their land for road improvements. The objection is having their land taken to build someone else a house. To us, this clearly is not the meaning of public use.

We also wonder why vacant property, owned by a local real estate agent, isn’t included in this project. There is other property that really needs to be cleaned up where no one is living, so use that.

We all need to attend Abingdon Town Council meetings and find out what is going on in our neighborhoods before it happens to us.

Bristol Herald Courier: www.tricities.com