12 ON YOUR SIDE: More problems for neighbors near Henrico fire station

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico woman says overly bright lights from a new fire station are disrupting her sleep and invading her privacy. She turned to 12 for help.

She's desperate for Henrico to do more about the fire station lighting than a few changes. Turns out those lights are too tall and violate a county ordinance. Henrico says it knows this now, and is working to be a good neighbor.

Susan Mayes says Henrico waived rules twice to build Fire Station 9 and she's angry.

The station's driveway is lit up for fire fighters and people seeking help.

But, those LED lights are also lighting up Susan's Quioccasin Road home, causing her grief and stress.

"My front yard, my back yard is like a soccer field. It's really bright." said Mayes. "I've got white light shining in my bedroom window. It's horrible. It's really horrible."

A county ordinance prohibits posts taller than 20 feet. These completed light fixtures are 23 feet high. Daniel and Company construction has never talked to me about other problems Sue has had. So, once again, Henrico's Director of General Services John Neal met me on site.

Walker: "How did the construction company get passed the county on its own rules?"

Neal: "The way the original plan was designed, it ended up with a three-foot base and a 20-foot pole."

Walker: "Had she not complained, the 23-foot light poles would be there?

Neal: "They would, but we appreciate her reaching out to us expressing her concerns."

How that got passed county planners it won't say, except that it was in the design plan. The plan now is to fix the light pole violations.

"We are committed to lowering the poles. That is a definite," said Neal.

They will also plant trees eight-feet tall, with the expectation they will double in height in five years.

"I want an immediate barrier," said Mayes. "I don't think it's fair to make the neighborhood wait five years for the trees to block the light."

Back in July, Mayes fought for a construction fence to block debris until all the work is done. We helped her keep the fence. She says the lights are the last straw.

"Here again, they've waived another rule to do as they please. They waived the boundary ordinance and they are 18 feet from my property in the front and 30 feet from my property in the back."

Henrico says that was public information. It wants consistent lighting at all new stations.

"I just want my life back," said Mayes.

I asked Neal about putting hoods on the lights, which would re-direct the light. He says the county is evaluating that. Henrico, the construction company and Mayes are meeting next week to work out a plan.

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