Months later, Richmond woman still lacks vehicle access to her home

Published: Dec. 22, 2017 at 5:40 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 28, 2018 at 3:48 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Church Hill woman called 12 On Your Side for help, saying a new fence blocked the back of her home.

Mimi Getachew lives in Church Hill and says her situation months later is not much different than it was when NBC12's Eric Philips first met with her back in December.

"I think it's beyond ridiculous," Getachew said.  "A few weeks, understood. Now it's about to be half a year."

Her problem is when a neighboring church fenced off their property, it blocked vehicular access to her home from an alley that she always used. It stymied renovations she wants to make on her property.

"It's depreciating my value. I can't get to the back of my yard," Getachew said.

There is another city-owned alley that she could use to get to her home, but a large tree was there. She tried with no success to get the city to take it down. Frustrated, she called 12 On Your Side.

Eric Philips called the city, and officials said they would remove the tree. It took a couple months, but workers did take it down leaving a stump behind. Weeks after that, the stump was taken away.

Now the problem is the entrance to the alley way is too steep for any vehicle to get through.

"They would just pack it up so that a little bit further down, it would probably be packed up - I'd say four feet down that way - so that when you do drive, you're not driving to your death," Getachew said.

"They have taken their time," Getachew said. "They have canceled, they've rescheduled just the removal of the tree, and okay, we were patient with that. And once they did that, they took their time with even grinding down the stump. We were patient with that. And now the last step is to make the alley actually usable, because that was the whole intent."

Once again, she and others are forced to be patient. The problem of not being able to access her property is still not resolved.

"We want the city of Richmond to grow, and we want young professionals to be here," Getachew said. "I'm a young professional. I'm helping it grow. I'm investing in the city. How are you treating me? I'm not asking for much, I'm just asking to actually fully access my home."

NBC12 is working to find out when work on the alley will be fully complete.

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