Forest Hill neighborhood rock blasting to continue for two weeks

A developer delay now means another two weeks of blasting in the area.
Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 2:50 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Forest Hill resident Aubrey Ford looks over the blasting plans that will pave the way for eight high-end homes just two blocks from his own.

“The grave concern here is that since there was substantial damage from the three months of hoe ramming, was there going to be substantial damage from the use of dynamite in the ground?” said Ford, concerned about nearby blasting.

Neighbors say this is growing evidence the work happening at the nearby construction site is upending their lives.

A developer delay now means another two weeks of blasting in the area. They last about 30 minutes, and Richmond City Hall says those living in the area will get warnings.

“And was causing damages to people’s property. Cracks, chimneys falling, things of that nature,” said Ford.

The project by Riverside Southcliff, LLC will bring those upscale homes to a portion of Riverside Drive near Southcliff.

Last fall, neighbors say workers started to remove the granite by pounding the stone to break it up. But in the last two weeks, they turned to dynamite.

Neighbors say their homes have been suffering damage for months now.

Attorney Hayden Fischer is representing some of those affected. They sued, getting a temporary injunction to stop the work, but the developer ultimately prevailed.

“It’s very nerve-wracking for them and causing them a lot of emotional strain, economic strain obviously,” said Fischer. “And so they can build eight houses? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Fischer says they even have an expert who says the area in question is actually on a fault line, adding to the issue.

“If they’re overtop of a fault, it may be that this project is not feasible,” said Fischer. “I mean, there’s a reason why it’s never been developed.”

The city says at this point, the developer complies with all permits necessary to continue the project.

No comment from the developer about the blasting and alleged damages.