An eyesore in their path, 8News investigates after Richmonders reach out for help

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Update: The city mowed the property on Tuesday.

There’s been lots of improvements along Dock Street to connect the Virginia Capital Trail ahead of the UCI Road World Cycling Championships.

Still, some say there’s an eyesore in their path and they reached out to 8News for help.

“It looks rough, it doesn’t, look very safe, I think just mowing the grass a bit would help a great deal,” says Kelly Rapkins as she walks by the fenced-in four acre lot.

Both pedestrians and cyclists say the lot with its overgrown with weeds and tall grass is an eyesore and it’s unsafe.

Tall Grass 4
Tall Grass

One person walking by told 8News a snake slithered out of the lot onto the sidewalk as they walked by.

“I would think after 6 at night even during the summer I would feel a little bit unsafe walking past the high grass and sketchy fencing,” says Rapkins.

The grassy jungle borders to the newly improved Shiplock Park.

“I think they should maintain it and try to do something about it because this is a beautiful park, beautiful landscape it sort of brings it down,” Tiffany Sanders said as she walked through Shiplock Park.

According to property records, the land is owned by Echo Harbour LLC. The group was trying to build a condo development here but residents in Church Hill fought against it fearing it would block their view of the James River.

Neighbors say the lot has been a mess ever since yet a City ordinance clearly prohibits grass or weeds in the excess of 12 inches.

“It’s definitely higher than 12 inches visibly, say Sanders.”

Tall Grass 2

8News checked with code enforcement and was told the property owners have never been cited for the high grass because they never had a complaint about it until now.

“They need to cut it,” says Alfred Smith who was fishing nearby.

8News got a hold of one of the Echo Harbour partners, George Ross.

He was out of town but told us the lot was last mowed in June. We told him by the looks of it, he might want to talk with his landscaper. Ross did tell us the lot is scheduled to be mowed again next week. He says they had been holding off because they’re working with the city to spray and treat the land and make way for a promenade along the back of the property leading to the River.

That maybe so, but late Friday 8News got word the property owner has just been issued a notice of violation.

8News will be checking to see if the lot gets mowed next week.

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