Although the legislature passed a 2007 bill restricting eminent domain actions, the Hampton Boulevard redevelopment project was excluded by the legislature. This raises a number of questions about whether there can be different treatment of different properties. The retroactive nature of the legislation creates its own issues under the Virginia constitutional framework.
When a First Amendment issue of freedom of speech is raised, there is always an additional challenge to the community.
Eminent domain abuse occurs when a condemning authority takes private property and gives it to another entity for economic development. The General Assembly passed a bill to curtail this in Virginia in 2007; unfortunately, the Hampton Boulevard Redevelopment Project was grandfathered in.
In America, when governments exercise power wrongly, the First Amendment right to free speech allows the little guy to fight back. Except in Norfolk, where the city fathers know how to play hardball.