Property Rights Under Assult

Do you believe in private property? Certainly the founders of our country did.

Do you realize that Fairfax Delegate David Bulova is trying to destroy the property rights of Virginians?

Delegate Bulova is trying to change the the current definition of "public use" to include "or any other use as reasonably determined by the locality to be in the public interest.” Such a loophole will allow any and all property to be confiscated by local governments for any reason they can think up.

If you value your property rights, contact your delegate today and let them know to vote against Bulova's HB 387, the destruction of property rights act of 2008

[ See Comments link below to read Delegate Bulova's response ]


  1. I appreciate your concern regarding HB387 and thank you for giving me an opportunity to respond. I understand that this was the subject of an article by Senator Cuccinelli in his Cuccinelli Compass. Given that the Senator's office is only one floor below mine, I am sad that he didn't take the time to visit me before hand so that he could get a better understanding of what my bill was intended to accomplish.

    I want to assure you that in no way is it my intent to overturn or diminish what we did last year to tighten the laws regarding eminent domain. I whole heartedly supported that measure and voted for it. The issue that I am trying to fix is an unintended consequence of the legislation last year caused by the fact that the definition of public use for eminent domain is the same as the definition of public use dealing with a local government's ability to simply purchase property from a willing seller without condemnation. Other folks here in Richmond expressed your same concern when looking at the bill summary. However, once I explained what the change actually did, they were comfortable with the bill.

    Even before the Senator's newsletter, I was working with the Institute for Justice and other private property rights organizations, as well as the Virginia Farm Bureau, to work out some clearer language. It appears that we have done so successfully.

    I hope that I have aleviated your concern since it was not my intent to affect our landmark eminent domain reforms. Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can answer any questions.

    -- Delegate David Bulova

  2. I thank Delegate David Bulova for responding with the intent of HB387. It seems to me that if the language of NH387 remains the same as that in the original post, then it can (and if it can, it will) be used to define almost any desired confiscation of property to be in the "public interest." I would be interested in seeing language which accomplishes Delegate Bulova's intent while at the same time does not provide a huge loophole that will in fact diminish property rights.

  3. I am more than happy to share the language that we have developed. As of now (we may continue to refine this and have sent it out to other experts in property rights law to review), the new language is proposed to be:

    "Public use as used in this section shall have the same meaning as the definition of public use in § 1-219.1, or, except where the real property interest is to be acquired by condemnation or eminent domain, any other use as reasonably determined by the locality to be in the public interest."

    The section of the Code that I am trying to amend already has a clause saying that the provisions don't apply if the property is to be taken by eminent domain. However, I think all of us agree and would be much more comfortable with having the amended language for the reasons you cite in your comments. Hope this helps, and again, thanks for letting me comment.


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