The Loudoun Board of Supervisors has authorized using eminent domain on two properties in Old Ashburn for a sidewalk project that’s been in the works since 2010.
According to a county report, the project began with a unanimous vote to spend local gas tax money to replace sidewalk along Ashburn Road in December 2010. The county had to change it plans over time to keep costs down because of utilities on the road, finally approving its current construction plan in 2016.
But work was still held up because the county could not reach an agreement with two properties along the route. Ave Maria Academy of Ballet and a homeowner along the route balked at the county’s price for giving up land for the sidewalk, and in response the county moved to authorize eminent domain, take the property, and get the project started while the value of the easements was determined in court.
Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure Director Joe Kroboth said during a March 14 public hearing that after those proceedings began the county reached an agreement with both property owners, and described the proceeding as a “friendly condemnation.”
“The properties have mortgages and lending agencies that need to be worked with, and in the event that that creates a problem with completing the project, we would proceed with exercising the process,” Kroboth said.
The county estimates it will cost $65,000 to acquire the land.
The project will construct sidewalk along the east side of Ashburn Road between Partlow Road and Stubble Road, crossing the W&OD Trail and connecting much of Old Ashburn to the trail.
Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize the use of eminent domain.