Neighbors upset by upkeep of Chesterfield County property - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Neighbors upset by upkeep of Chesterfield County property

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

People in one Chesterfield County neighborhood say the property next door is a major problem. It's located in the Ambergate neighborhood on Ambergate Drive, not far from Robious Road.

Residents say they're having a hard time figuring out how tot get the mess cleaned up. That's because the property is owned by Chesterfield County.

the property is technically reserved for a road. But, in decades that road hasn't been built. Since then, neighbors say the property has become a pile of trees and limbs that's leading to even bigger problems. Mike Vandeweghe says rats, moles, and copperhead snakes are moving in next door to his property on the property owned by the county.

"They're just loaded, 10-15 feet high with branches are just that big," said Vandeweghe. "They've made another habitat for God knows what kind of creatures."

Neighbors say the problem keeps getting worse.

 "As things got worse, we'd call them up and say there's more trees falling," said Vandeweghe.  "There's debris, people in the front throw their trash there because they just think it's a vacant lot, which it is."

 "I would like to see them come and clean the brush and the debris out of there and I would be happy," said Michael Slagle who lives on the other side of town.

The homes in the Ambergate neighborhood are all zoned as residential property, but the slice of property in dispute is a little bit different. It's called a stub road property which means if the county wanted to, it could put a road through it.

Here's why that matters. Vandeweghe says he's offered to buy the property, but county leaders say if he did that it could decrease the value of homes behind the property the county owns. That's because, if those homeowners ever decided to subdivide, there would be no access road to the property. So, County leaders say they couldn't consider the purchase because it wouldn't be fair.  

As for keeping the trees cleaned up, county officials say the standards are a little bit different for a stub road property. They say if they removed the all fallen trees on all properties reserved for roads in the counties, it would come at a tremendous cost to taxpayers. And that's why they say this tree is never going to be removed.

A member of the Board of Supervisors says he personally walked the property and found it in keeping with any wooded area, no garbage or threat to homes.

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