Eminent Domain Action over Historic Inn Settled
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Following cooperative discussions, the Town of Hillsborough and the owners of the Colonial Inn have agreed to settle an eminent domain proceeding filed last July by the town to acquire the historic building.
A mediation on April 14 resulted in the proposal to settle, which the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners authorized during a closed session at its April 24 work session. Leaders expressed their appreciation for owner Francis Henry’s help in bringing all involved parties together to come up with a plan to preserve the Colonial Inn, which dates to 1838.
“We agree on many of the important things,” Mayor Tom Stevens said. “Specifically, we all want to see this important structure in Hillsborough restored and put to some use. I greatly appreciate the cooperation from Francis Henry in finding a way forward toward that goal.”
Matthew Suczynski, attorney for the owners, said, “It was good to see Mayor Stevens and Mr. Henry get to sit down and talk about the inn. After all these years, it was encouraging to see how much everyone involved cares for the inn and wants it to be restored.”
Under the agreement, a voluntary dismissal of the eminent domain action will be filed. The settlement is intended to provide the owners with the opportunity to sell the property at 153 W. King St. without interference. It also allows the town to pursue acquisition of the former inn in an expedited manner if the current owners do not select a suitable buyer.
The town initially filed the eminent domain action July 28 in Orange County Superior Court, seeking to acquire the building. The former inn is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is considered a structure contributing to Hillsborough’s historic district.
For more information, see the town’s frequently asked questions webpage on the former Colonial Inn. Included is a timeline of activities related to the property.
Representatives of the town and property owners will discuss the settlement in a radio interview. The time, date and station are still to be determined.