Rural folks oppose Short Pump construction project

Posted at 7:24 AM, May 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-01 10:55:56-04

HENRICO, Va. (WTVR) – Some homeowners in Short Pump gave Henrico County leaders an earful Wednesday morning about a design plan to transform their rural neighborhood into more of a suburban community.

"I guess we want to keep this as our own little haven," said one concerned resident. "We can look all around us at all the areas around us, at how they have developed and they are very nice developments but that is not for this little, old country part of the county."

A 420-unit apartment complex and 60-single family residential lots were approved by the planning commission Wednesday.  The area where the multi-million dollar project is slated to get underway is just off Bacova Drive, near the Short Pump Town Center.  An important part of the project includes completing the North Gayton extension, to include an overpass crossing I-64.

Henrico County board member David Kaechele said the planned project is simply a matter of growth and the apartments would be as close to the highway as possible.

But some areas surrounding the planned site is farm land. The rural residents say they are fighting against the new developments, because they are concerned it will destroy wildlife and the country feel of their community.

"I want people to understand that nature has a place and that there are laws to protect them," said one another concerned resident. "Our government is not enforcing the laws. But we need to stand up for the animals because they are defenseless against the huge equipment that comes and clear-cuts the woods."

Wednesday's gathering was not a rezoning meeting, therefore the seven-member planning commission voted on whether the developers met the mandated requirements.  Ultimately the commissioners voted unanimously in favor for the development plan.

A lawyer for the developers said construction for the apartment units could begin as early as late summer.