Fight for Waterfront Rights

In a clash between the privatization and public access of waterfront property, Old Dominion Boat Club in Alexandria, Virginia, is battling the city’s attempt to acquire half an acre of its historic waterfront and turn it into a park.
Author:
Publish date:
 An aerial view of Old Dominion Boat Club’s parking lot

An aerial view of Old Dominion Boat Club’s parking lot

In a clash between the privatization and public access of waterfront property, Old Dominion Boat Club in Alexandria, Virginia, is battling the city’s attempt to acquire half an acre of its historic waterfront and turn it into a park. The proposed park is part of the city’s Old Town Waterfront Redevelopment plan, geared toward making the Potomac River more accessible to the public.

But the Old Dominion Boat Club, which was chartered in 1880 and has deep roots in Alexandria, has long fought for its property, which currently includes a fenced-in parking lot that allows for boat storage off-season and a boat launch for the club’s members.

 The boat club fighting the fight

The boat club fighting the fight

Club members are willing to negotiate with the city, but argue that the lot was awarded to the club in a federal lawsuit settled over 30 years ago.

At press time, city mayor William Euille was calling for a public hearing to discuss possibly seizing the property via eminent domain. Drastic? Perhaps, but this also sheds light on the larger issue at hand. On one hand, shoreline property is regarded as an important public asset. On the other, it can also be a coveted private possession. The outcome will undoubtedly set a number of precedents for how situations like this are resolved in the future.

Photo by Dan Sehal (bottom); courtesy of Digital Globe (top)

Related

IslandPacket349

Boat Review: Island Packet 349

After years of quiescence in the wake of the Great Recession, iconic Island Packet is back with its new 349, a re-boot of the old Estero that not only looks great, but takes the Island Packet style of sailing performance to a new level. Design & Construction First among the many ...read more

190219NEEL51

Video Tour: Neel 51 Trimaran

At this past fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, SAIL magazine had a chance to corner Neel Trimarans founder Eric Bruneel and have him give us a tour of the accommodations aboard the new Neel 51, winner of the “Multihull over 50ft” category in the 2019 Best Boats contest. For a complete ...read more

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more

shutterstock_349918991

Successful Surf Landings with Wheels

“Ready to take the dink ashore?” Never had those words invoked as much anxiety as when my husband, Jeff, and I first moved to the Pacific Coast. Why? Because we had exactly zero experience with dinghy surf landings, and the possibility of being flipped upside down along with our ...read more