Neighborhood meeting to fight expansion

By Ben Garbarek - bio | email
Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Some Goochland residents say Short Pump is getting too close to their neighborhood.

They live right off of Route 288 and Broad Street just over the border from Henrico County.

A new thrift store is in the works there and neighbors are speaking out against the rash of businesses coming to their neighborhood.

County leaders say it's prime commercial real estate and right now it's zoned to allow either residential or commercial uses. People here are afraid the development of this area is going to come at their expense.

Bellview Gardens is a forested, rural community on the eastern edge of Goochland County, only a few minutes away from the bustling commercial growth of Short Pump.

About 50 residents met Sunday night because of a proposed Goodwill store, scheduled to be built on a lot at the entrance to their community. Lisa Pumphrey hosted Sunday night's meeting. She says Goodwill is welcome to move to Goochland, just not in her backyard.

"I'd like to see business in Goochland, I'd like to see economic development, but done well and retain the rural character of our community and to take care of the residents."

Residents say they feel betrayed. After investing money in their homes, the county is paving the way for businesses to move in and take advantage of nearby retail while hurting the value of their homes.

"I haven't spoken to one person that's said, 'oh you have a 16,000 square foot Goodwill in your neighborhood, what's the price? I want to buy your home.'"

County officials say Broad Street has been historically commercial so it's only natural that businesses continue to expand farther down the road. County leaders admit hindsight is twenty-twenty and some residents feel the county needs to stand behind its decision years ago to allow a neighborhood to be built there.

"If the county looked at this a few years ago and decided to make it a community, they shouldn't now be trying to pick it apart for commercial use."

These residents are scheduled to meet with Goodwill and the Board of Supervisors coming up Wednesday night. The residents hope the county will consider rezoning the area as strictly residential to prevent any businesses from moving in.

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