Eminent domain issue to appear on Virginia ballots

WASHINGTON – While many people are focused on the presidential race this November, there are other issues on the ballot that Virginians might not know about.

In addition to the president, vice president and senate elections, two Virginia constitutional amendments are also on the ballot statewide, including the issue of eminent domain and when the Virginia General Assembly can meet.

Corey Stewart, chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, supports the constitutional amendment limiting the use of eminent domain.

“The amendment, in essence, prohibits local governments or the state government from taking your private land and giving it to another private property owner,” Stewart says. “It’s not as high profile but it sure is important to ensuring private property rights in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

But land still could be taken for public use such as building a road or sewer.

“Fundamentally, it’s about [whether] a private land owner has the right to not have his property seized by a government and given to another private person,” Stewart says.

Opponents to the eminent domain amendment say it would drive up costs for public projects for state and local governments.

There are a number of local elections that may be on the ballot as well, depending on where voters are registered.

WTOP’s Kathy Stewart contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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