Chesterfield resident fired up over eminent domain ‘threat’

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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)--William Woodfin is fighting to keep his properly in Chesterfield and he's fired up about it.

He says the county is threatening to take his land through eminent domain in order to build a water line along Route 360 near Grange Hall Elementary.

Woodfin says it all began back in 2005 when his family was approached by an engineer.

He says the county requested an easement from his family farm, one that's been in their family since the 1800s. He says the way the plan was presented to him was that the county wanted the easement as part of the development of nearby Magnolia Green.

"They said the line would run water to the subdivision and the line would extend here along the north side of 360 and then the line would cross my property on the north side and then go under 360 to serve the school" added Woodin. 

He says after several property owners agreed to give the county an easement, he did as well. He sold it to the county for $1 dollar.

Several years went by before Woodfin says he heard from the county again.

He claims last November he got a letter from the county advising him that they were putting the line on the south side of Route 360 and they needed a 36-foot easement on a smaller piece of his property, located at Hull Street Road and Beaver Bridge Road. 

"They wanted a no cost easement again for one dollar, I declined,” he said.

They then offered Woodfin $1,000 and he said after that offer, the next was $6,400.

“When I declined they said this was that last offer and they would take my property through eminent domain,” said Woodfin.

He calls the action severe and says he's upset.

According to the agenda for the Board of Supervisors, one other property owner also declined the county's offer for an easement. That land is in the 18200 block of Hull Street Road.

Woodfin says he doesn't understand why the county didn't stick to it's original plan of running the line north of 360. He says to his knowledge all of the property owners on that side agreed to give the county their easements, so the work could have still been done.

Woodfin says his family has always worked with the county in the past, saying years ago they sacrificed property when 360 needed widening. He says if the county takes a portion of his smaller parcel it would render the property useless.

We contacted the county for a comment, but a spokesperson with public affairs said county leaders declined to give any details about the project until after Wednesday's public hearing on this matter. She did however, say the county is negotiating in good faith with the property owners and hoping to come to an amicable resolution.

Woodfin says there might not be much of a chance of him winning, but he vows to continue the fight to hold on to their property. CBS 6 will follow this story and bring you the latest developments as they happen.