‘It’s not right’: Henrico association reacts to county approving housing development

The ongoing battle to prevent a housing development from being built in northern Henrico County has come to an end.
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 6:11 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The ongoing battle to prevent a housing development from being built in northern Henrico County has come to an end.

The Henrico Board of Supervisors voted to move ahead with a new housing community just north of Chamberlayne Road and Brook Hill Circle during last week’s meeting on Tuesday, April 11, despite receiving pushback from neighbors in the area.

The project will include 186 multi-family housing units along with an office, clubhouse, amenities, as well as a field of solar panels.

The project also states the housing will support the county’s 2026 Comprehensive Plan by increasing housing availability throughout the county and helping address housing affordability.

Over the last month, neighbors have said they don’t need more affordable housing in the area. They also fear the development could increase crime and traffic.

“It’s not about the residents, citizens, or constituents within the area. It’s about the developers and what the county chooses to do,” Northern Henrico Civic Association Delta Bowers said.

The association has represented neighbors in this area for decades and has also been at the forefront of halting this case.

“It says we are one community. That we have a voice, and we should also be one Henrico County, and it should also be that our supervisors who represent us should hear the citizens, the residents, the constituents, in which they serve,” Bowers said.

Association leaders presented a petition that included 169 signatures from concerned neighbors in front of the board last week, but the board approved the case anyway.

“I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in the Board of Supervisors,” Bowers said.

Board Chairman Frank Thornton said during last week’s meeting the case was “complex” and renters deserve access to affordable housing.

In a time when the housing supply is low and prices are high, Thornton says this is what the county needs to address an affordability crisis.

“I think what we need to start to do is look at the big picture,” Thornton said.

Moving forward, the Northern Henrico Civic Association says they hope county leaders give neighbors a say in future projects after they say there’s been a significant lack of transparency about this plan.

“In my opinion, there needs to be more dialogue before these hearings are held. It’s not right that you find out the decisions and votes have already been calculated before the meeting, and that was a little disheartening to us based on the former relationships we’ve had with the county over new projects in our area,” association Vice President Lisa Walker said.

NBC12 reached out to Chairman Thornton for an interview. We also reached out to project developers for when they plan to break ground on this project. We have yet to hear back from either of them.