Constitutional amendment; prohibits taking of private property by eminent domain powers. (HJ722)

Introduced By

Del. Johnny Joannou (D-Portsmouth) with support from 10 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Clay Athey (R-Front Royal), Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), Del. Anne Crockett-Stark (R-Wytheville), Del. Jeff Frederick (R-Woodbridge), Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville), Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk), Del. John O'Bannon (R-Richmond), Del. Beverly Sherwood (R-Winchester), Del. John Welch (R-Virginia Beach), Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Mount Solon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate


Constitutional amendment (first resolution); taking of private property for public uses. Establishes limitations on takings of private property. Private property may not be taken under the power of eminent domain unless it is (ii) taken for the ownership, possession, occupation, and enjoyment by the public at large, or by public agencies; (ii) to be used for the creation or functioning of a public utility or railroad company that possesses the power of eminent domain; or (iii) is blighted and the taking eliminates a direct threat to public health or safety caused by the property. An increase in tax base, tax revenues, employment, or general economic health and welfare shall not constitute public uses. Property shall not be taken for private commercial enterprise, for economic development, or for any other private use, except with the consent of the owner from whom the property is taken. Property shall not be taken from one owner and transferred to another, whether the transfer is by sale, lease, or otherwise. Any taking of private property must be necessary to achieve the alleged public use. The public interest must dominate the private gain, and any taking under the pretext of an alleged public use shall be impermissible. Any taking for the purpose of conferring a private benefit on a particular private party is impermissible. Whenever an attempt is made to take property for a use alleged to be public, the question of whether the contemplated use is truly public shall be a judicial question and determined without regard to any legislative assertion. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2007Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/07 070115352
01/10/2007Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/18/2007Assigned P & E sub: #1 (Marshall, R.G.)
01/25/2007Assigned P & E sub: #1 (Marshall, R.G.)


Frank Ottofaro writes:

This bill is needed. We are the victims of Eminent Domain abuse first hand in the state of Virginia whereas written laws governing this granted power are not adhered to by the courts. A person would think that when you work hard in your life to have a home or to get ahead, that your individual rights of property ownership would be protected. In Virginia, our thieves do not wear masks or carry a gun when they take what is yours. They just alter maps and wording within the "condemnation" paperwork to mask the real reasons why they take your property. Please support this bill for all of us who work hard to have a home in this commonwealth. No one should have the right to "take" it from you, but to pay for it just like any other transaction should you desire to sell it. Thanks

Frank Ottofaro and Family
Victims of Virginia Justice Thievery