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Eminent domain could be used to acquire property for new Lynchburg high school

By Tim Saunders, tsaunders@wdbj7.com
Published On: Oct 23 2013 02:10:28 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 23 2013 06:37:11 PM EDT

A Lynchburg landowner says city leaders aren't offering him a fair price for his property.

LYNCHBURG, Va. -

A Lynchburg landowner says city leaders aren't offering him a fair price for his property.

Wayne Henson owns a two-acre lot on Wards Ferry Road.  City council needs the space for construction of a new Heritage High School.

City officials have offered Henson $186,000, but he believes that's too low.

Henson, who works a realtor, believes his property is worth more than $400,000.

A city assessor has estimated the value to be $139,000, which is slightly less than the $140,000 Henson paid for the property in 2006.

"It's not an issue of trying to seek a premium," said Henson's attorney, Joey Sanzone.  "We just want a fair value for our property.  We just want to be treated the way everyone else has been treated."

Henson argues that nearby properties on Wards Ferry Road have been purchased by the city for greater than market value.  He believes a price greater than $400,000 for his property would be more in-line with recent sale prices.

City Council has approved the use of eminent domain to acquire the property, if necessary.