Man arrested at public Henrico meeting - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Man arrested at public Henrico meeting

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

There was high drama in Henrico Wednesday with one man restrained and arrested during a public meeting. Richard Glenn Williams had to be taken into custody after the Henrico Sheriff says Williams interrupted a planning commission meeting. It happened after that same man spoke against a plan the commission approved.

"This is a travesty. This is an ecological disaster," Williams shouted.

At first, a deputy tried to calm Williams by patting him on the back, but the Henrico resident's frustrations only grew.

Minutes later, Williams had to be carried away in handcuffs. He's upset because a developer wants to build two homes in his neighborhood on Libbie Avenue in the Brookland District. One of the new homes would sit next to Williams' childhood home near a creek. The area is protected because it impacts the Chesapeake Bay. Normally, that means no development is allowed, but county leaders say this case is different.

"The intent was not to make lots unbuildable, and in this particular case, by the application of the Resource Protection Area of the Chesapeake Bay Act, it would make this lot unbuildable. Therefore they would need an exception," said Public Works Engineer Jeff Perry.

The county granted that exception during the meeting since the lot was actually designated for a home back in 1952, decades before the county adopted it as a protection area.

"[Don't] tear down the entire wooded lot!" Williams yelled before being taken into custody.

County officials say the Williams family is the only family in the area that has voiced opposition to the plan. Now that leaders have cleared the way for the builder to move forward, they asked the Williams family and the builder to try to work together.

Williams was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and was released from jail shortly after that meeting. Henrico Sheriff Michael Wade says in his 15-year career, this is the first time he's ever had to arrest someone for disorderly conduct during a public meeting.

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