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Town of Front Royal and Lockhart Construction at Odds over Criser Road Bridge Easement

24 July 2017 News


The Town of Front Royal is seeking an eminent domain condemnation of an approximate 2,000-square-foot swath at the edge of the Lockhart Construction property at the intersection of Criser and Remount Roads.

The hostile temporary construction easement is being sought to facilitate construction of a new Criser Road bridge over Happy Creek on the town’s south side. A motion to move toward a public hearing on the eminent domain seizure passed by a 5-0 vote of the Front Royal Town Council in early July.

The impetus of the town’s legal move on a temporary access to the strip of Lockhart property is an impasse over purchase versus easement, and price. Informed Lockhart was not interested in granting a temporary easement, Front Royal offered $25,000 it says was based on Lockhart’s own “comparables” for purchase. The builder is seeking $100,000 for the strip of his property.

Of that price, a staff summary states it is “a sum of money which, if paid by the town, would be a gross waste of taxpayer money.”

The justification for a temporary eminent domain seizure of the property is that maintaining an east-west access across Happy Creek on Front Royal’s south side is in the general public interest.


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