Movement on Shirley subdivision next to Bryan Park

Long dormant site showing signs of activity again.

The Shirley subdivision has largely been under our radar for nearly 2 years. To recap, the subdivision will be next to Bryan Park and originally was 40 modular homes on 7.1 acres are planned for Henrico county. In the picture above the area in blue marks the footprint of the subdivision and the highlighter yellow marks the park boundary.

As I mentioned there hasn’t been any word of activity taking place on the site until now. The following update was posted to the Friends of Bryan Park page.

Mark Motley is again working with Henrico County officials to build a very high density neighborhood (c. 40 modular houses on 7 acres) on the western edge of our beloved 104-year-old Joseph Bryan Park. This neighborhood will be a short walk from the Park’s Nature Center which opens this spring. Everyone, including under-served Richmond City youth, will have opportunities to learn about our natural world in what is now a peaceful part of the park.

When the trees are removed to build the development, an extension of the park’s wildlife habitat will be lost forever. With the loss of trees, the buffer zone will be gone and loud sounds from Interstate 64, the Acca train yards, Cadmus Communications’s 24/7 trailer truck dock and the company’s generator may infiltrate the park and nearby neighborhoods to a greater degree.

Having only one road in and out of the development, emergency responses to the subdivision, such as for a forest fire, will be limited.

How will water quality truly be protected when this subdivision will sit on a hill between Jordan’s Branch and Upham Brook? Note: Henrico County officials have a recent record of allowing construction on land that would normally be protected by the Chesapeake Bay Act. The reason? Per an NBC 12 report, a house was planned for the property in 1952. Henrico’s override of the Chesapeake Bay Act affects land that is very close to a tributary of Bryan Park’s Upham Brook, an already imperiled waterway. Mr. Motley’s development is grand-fathered in to similar old standards because it was plotted out in the 1920’s.

A different Friends of Bryan Park page is an excellent source to get you up to date on the history of this project.

Photo: Friends of Bryan Park

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Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

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