Henrico County has lost an eminent domain case brought by a developer who had a chunk of her land acquired/seized by the county. A jury unanimously awarded the the (former) property owner an additional $236,750 for the land, which had been taken as part of a road-extension project.
Emily Sterling owned a half-acre plot — acquired by her father in 1997 — at what is now a rapidly growing section of western Henrico.
The county offered Sterling $126,000 for the 1/5th of an acre it needed for the project.
Sterling declined, but offered the full half acre to Henrico for $253,000.
The county said no and took its 1/5th acre via eminent domain.
Sterling sued, contending that not only was the price too low, but by taking only part of the parcel, what’s left couldn’t be developed.
The jury agreed, awarding her $236,750. So Henrico ended up paying $362,750, not counting legal fees.
And another case is pending.