Sidewalk project updated

Published 1:07 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) Executive Director Melody Foster recently spoke about updates to the Evergreen Sidewalk Project, located in Charlotte Court House and stretching approximately 2,183 linear feet of 5-foot wide sidewalk along Evergreen Road, ending at Randolph-Henry High School.

Foster said the deadline to get the easements approved for the project was June 30. She said the property owners for the easements along the sidewalk project site have been contacted. Foster said that the property owners are in the process of either signing the easement agreement or accepting the compensation.

There are eight total parcels within the Evergreen Sidewalk project and six property owners.

“Each property owner has to be made aware of their rights of compensation for the property easement and is provided a packet of information that is reviewed with them by a town official,” a memorandum from the CRC cited.

The Town of Charlotte Court House passed a resolution in relation to a portion of the property referenced by Tax Map 038-A- 71 during a special called meeting on June 24.

According to the resolution from the town, “the Town Attorney or his designee is authorized and directed to acquire the property interests for public use by condemnation or other means, and to institute and conduct condemnation proceedings to acquire the property interests from the landowner named herein in the manner authorized and provided by Chapter 19 of Title 15.2 (Sections 15.2-1900 et seq.) and Chapters 2 and 3 of Title 25.1 (Sections 25.1-200 et seq. and 25.1-300 et seq.) of the Code of Virginia (1950) as amended.”

Typically, Foster said the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) does not encourage eminent domain.

Eminent domain is another term for condemnation.

Foster said VDOT provided federal funding for the project and is responsible for approving each step in the project.

Foster said the piece of property that was given the permanent easement is located at a central part of the project and cannot be avoided. She also said the property is an heir property, meaning it would be nearly impossible to determine the owners of the property. When using federal funds, Foster said it’s required to get a sign-off for an easement by the property owner.