City Attorney: Charlottesville Proceeding to Condemn Water St. Garage
A parking garage in Charlottesville is the focus of some high drama.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - What started as a battle over rates at the Water Street Parking Garage has turned into much more Wednesday. The city of Charlottesville is in a legal battle with the owner of the Charlottesville Parking Center (CPC), which operates the garage.
Tom Wolf, the city’s attorney, says they are in the process of condemning the actual garage. The details leaked during a court hearing Wednesday.
As of Tuesday night, the eminent domain threat was just a threat. Wednesday, the city's attorney told NBC29 they are taking the steps to condemn CPC's parking spots in the garage.
The battle has been over parking rates at the Water Street Garage. The CPC wants to increase rates there.
The city and the CPC are both stakeholders in the garage which further complicates things. A lawsuit is playing out over all that.
Wolf says they have begun the process to invoke eminent domain which will take a few months to complete.
"It entails getting an appraisal done and then making an offer for the spaces in accordance with the appraisal,” Wolf said. “After that, the city could file suit and proceed with eminent domain."
A hearing is tentatively set for June 27 on if a third party will come in and operate the garage while the legal drama plays out.
The CPC wants a third party to take control of the garage for at least 30 days.
"Our management agreement itself ends on June 30. so our thought is lets bring in, so as long as the city and CPC remain at loggerheads, let’s bring in a neutral third party to just kind of maintain the garage's operations as long as this legal dispute continues," said Dave Norris, the general manager of the Charlottesville Parking Center.
The third party would be able to make operational changes, including parking rates, at the Water Street Garage.
That June 27 date is tentative because in Charlottesville Circuit Court Wednesday the judge said he still needs to check his schedule. They want the hearing done before June 30 which is the date the CPC’s operational agreement to run the garage expires.