HOLMBERG: A passionate plea for the soul of historic eastern Henrico County

Posted at 11:42 PM, Aug 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-18 07:34:56-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va (WTVR) - It’s perhaps the best-kept secret in metro- Richmond. While Chesterfield and western and northern Henrico counties have seen explosive growth in the past generation, southeastern Henrico remains rooted in the past.

The Route 5 corridor contains the second-oldest road in the country, river plantations, even  Pocahontas hung out there. It's five minutes from downtown Richmond and it feels like you’re in the country. Drive another 15 minutes and you’re transported 300 years in the past.

Development has come to the area and much more is on the  way with thousands of dwellings and stores planned.

The Richmond Regional Planning Commission recently came up with two different $70 million road and infrastructure expansion concepts to handle all the traffic that comes with the planned growth.

But there’s a powerful network of people and groups pushing hard for a third concept - roundabouts instead of widened roads; clustered subdivisions nestled into working farms.

Those people would like to build a foundation that tourism and agriculture bring in more revenue to the area than development.

They say it’s a choice between a city nestled between two Short Pumps, or a city with Short Pump to the west and a Tuscany to the east.

Watch our video report and meet the college professor leading the charge for this alternative concept.