HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico supervisors voted to move forward with the Gayton Road extension plan. Pieces of property in the Short Pump area could end up condemned to make way for a new road.
It's part of the Gayton Road extension, which is currently under construction between West Broad Street and Pouncey Tract Road. Tonight, the county board is expected to begin the condemnation process.
The neighbors who live on Kain Road say it's the way Short Pump was meant to be: quiet, and wooded. But now, people like Karen Hamilton are finding themselves in the path of progress.
"I don't know anyone who's happy about the Gayton Road extension," Hamilton said.
The Gayton Road extension is coming. At least five homes sit in the direct path. And if the landowners don't sell to the county, then their properties may be condemned.
"For me, it will be a nightmare," Hamilton said.
Not everyone is upset. The county is legally required to offer fair market value when buying land for projects in the public interest. Chris Brown of Old Three Chopt Road was offered $175,000 for a sliver of his land, and he says an agreement is close.
"There's no question that it's something that's necessary and that people in this area have been waiting for a long time," Brown said.
Other cases are more complicated, and more expensive. They involve actual houses in the roadway's path. The county says those people would be re-located to a property of equal or greater value...though it's not easy.
"That is a situation that is hard. We understand that. And as a result that County tries to do everything that it can to have a negotiated settlement," said Jon Tracy, director of real property for Henrico County.
Try as they might - some neighbors are finding it difficult to put a price on the place they call home.
"I don't think you can put a value on anybody's land. And I don't think you can put a value on wildlife, and clean air. And peace and quiet," Hamilton said.
The 5 properties in question tonight are only the beginning. There are more to come. But the county hopes to reach a solution through negotiation and not the courts.