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Pipeline sues Wintergreen property owners citing eminent domain

Pipeline sues Wintergreen property owners citing eminent domain

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The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC is suing Nelson County property owners to gain land for the 600-mile natural gas pipeline, which is set to emerge from the mountain and pass along a ridge right next to the popular Wintergreen Resort.

The company, which is majority owned by Dominion Energy, sued the Wintergreen Property Owners Association Friday in the United States Court for the Western District of Virginia for seven and a half acres. The suit cites eminent domain, or the governmental power to take private property for public use.

The company has made several efforts to buy the land, but it and the association have never been able to agree about adequate compensation, according to the lawsuit.

In a release on Friday, the association repeated its opposition to the location of the pipeline. The association represents 3,700 property owners in Nelson County, and the proposed pipeline would pass right next to the resort and the association’s front gate.

“However, based on the law of eminent domain and the history of these cases in Federal Court, we expect that a court of law will grant the access necessary for the project to proceed,” the association said in the release.

In the release, the association said it would pursue a mediation process.

Federal court filings show that the pipeline has sued nearly 50 property owners since December in Highland, Bath, Augusta, Buckingham and Nelson counties.

On Jan. 31, the pipeline also sued the owners of the Fenton Inn, a Bavarian-style bed-and-breakfast near the Blue Ridge Parkway and Wintergreen Resort, for less than one acre.

The pipeline has moved closer to construction in recent weeks as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved tree clearing along its route. The West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina environmental quality departments have approved permits. 

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