Judge rules Flight 93 site near Shanksville worth $1.53 million
A three-person commission came up with the correct value for the United Flight 93 crash memorial site, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose rejected arguments by the previous property owner, Michael Svonavec, and the current owner, the federal government, that the commissioners erred in their analysis of the site's value.
The government took the site through eminent domain in 2009, paying Svonavec $610,000 for the 275 acres near Shanksville where the hijacked commercial airliner crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, while passengers and crew members struggled with terrorists intent on striking a target in Washington.
A court-appointed commission in December put the value of the property at $1,535,000.
Svonavec asked Ambrose to call the commission back, have it change several parts of its analysis and come up with a value of at least $5.7 million. The government asked the judge to change the commission's findings and lower the value to the amount it had already paid.
Ambrose said the commission's 72-page report rightly determined that the event gave the property “a national significance and intrinsic value” that couldn't be easily compared to other properties.
“Faced with this unique valuation scenario, the commission fairly and admirably analyzed and weighed the record evidence and correctly applied the relevant law to determine just compensation in this case,” the judge ruled.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.