CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield residents are speaking out against two proposed park officials are trying to build.
“We don’t need it,” said Sharon Evitt, a Carter’s Mill resident.
It’s a sentiment echoed by residents off Beach Road, where county planners have proposed “Winterpock Regional Park” a nearly 200-acre facility with sports fields and courts as well as picnic areas and trails.
“Three miles down is Pocahontas Park with all the amenities that you need,” said Evitt.
The county has the money to buy the land thanks to bond funds approved in 2004, but residents at Cater’s Mill and Brandy Oaks don’t want the noise or visitors driving on an already busy beach road.
“I’ve had three or four people come through my fence already because I’m on the back side. They do more than 55. We don’t need any more traffic,” said Evitt.
Ten miles north—the county has been donated land to build a smaller, narrow park along Falling Creek. It would eventually become part of the proposed county-wide trail system.
“There is nobody I have spoken to in this neighborhood who wants the park there,” said
Althea Hayes who heads the Lake Genito neighborhood group.
Its trail would go through the Lake Genito subvision, where residents say they wish to keep their secluded backyards to themselves.
“We just do not want to give opportunity to the general public to just be roaming around that close to our children and our property, our possessions,” said Hayes.
County Parks and Rec. officials hope residents can see the positive impact these parks can have on the county.
“We have 30,000 kids playing youth sports every year, and they want to be close to home, they want to be next to other kids playing, so these are things that are important to the community,” said Director Mike Golden.
Golden says some people are afraid of change, even when change is necessary.
“I just ask that people keep an open mind, and I won’t some people’s minds. But if you keep an open mind and let us know your concerns we’ll see if we can find a middle ground,” he said.
Ultimately the Board of Supervisors will have to approve the plans.
There will be a community meeting to discuss the Winterpock Regional Park plans on August 12 at Spring Run Elementary Schools. Officials say they will announce the date for a meeting on the Falling Creek Park later on.