Henrico woman still upset with lights from newly-built fire station

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico woman is still fighting to get the lights turned down at the county's new, multi-million dollar fire station on Quioccasin Road.

The county has made some changes, but the woman living next door to the fire station says it's not enough. Back in October, her yard was lit up like a soccer field. Now the lights aren't burning as brightly, but they're still a problem for Sue Mayes.

Mayes says the county knew, early on, the 'lighting' plan would make her life miserable but says it chose to ignore it's own planners and install the lights using outdated standards.

Back in October, Fire Station 9 at night was clearly causing its next door neighbor grief and stress. Henrico acknowledged it was wrong to allow Daniel and Company Construction to install light fixtures 23 feet high when a county ordinance prohibits posts taller than 20 feet.

County engineers lowered the lights to the legal height, reduced the number of bulbs from 90 to 30 and also changed to a warm light option. Some improvement, but Mayes says they made changes to the lights close to her home and left those on the other side of the parking lot untouched.

"The sad part about this is, through the FOIA documents, I found out that they knew those five lights were going to be a problem in 2010," said Mayes. "The planning department told them that it was a problem and that they should move the five western most lights and shield them, and they didn't."

John Neal, Henrico's Director of General Services, says they are continuing to meet with Mayes to look at her recommendations. The next step is building a fence between the fire station and her property.

"We're going to be there a long time and she's going to be there a long time. We want to be good neighbors," said Neal.

Mayes says it's not enough.

"An eight-foot privacy fence is only gong to block the parking lot and the high activity, but it doesn't do anything for poles that are 20 feet high on a 10 foot rise," said Mayes.

Mayes says she found out the ordinances and standards Henrico is applying are outdated and pre-date LED technology. She also says a recycling center is planned for the other side of the lot - and it will also be built using the antiquated system.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved