Court House property owner concerned about possibility of eminent domain

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Oct 09, 2013 - 01:20 PM

J.A. Faulkner of Mathews isn’t happy about the new stormwater drainage plan for Main Street, especially with the threat of eminent domain proceedings hanging over his head.

The plan calls for replacing two round drainage pipes that his family installed under the parking lot between Foster-Faulkner Funeral Home and Mathews Insurance Agency with three elliptical pipes to be provided by VDOT. The pipes would run from a new storm drain that would be placed in front of Food Lion to a ditch behind the funeral home.

A triangular piece of the parking lot belongs to Faulkner’s mother, Audrey R. Faulkner, and he said she was very upset when she was told in a meeting with VDOT on July 31 that the agency would pursue an easement to tear up the parking lot and install new drain lines.

"She was told she could hire a lawyer and do whatever she wanted to do," said Faulkner, "but they were going to take her land."

Faulkner had a copy of a Sept. 12 e-mail he received from Scott Mersiowsky of VDOT in which the right-of-way agent said that if he runs out of time he might have to "file a Certificate of Take using VDOT’s power of Eminent Domain" to keep the project on schedule.