Residents protest plans for a new cancer center near Three Chopt Elementary School

HENRICO COUNTY, Va (WRIC) — On Tuesday, March 8, a vote on the sale of the wooded land behind Three Chopt Elementary School will go before the Henrico Board of Supervisors.

The Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), which owns Henrico Doctors Hospital, wants to build a new 74,000 square-foot cancer center off of Forest Avenue, near Three Chopt Elementary School.

Jeff Grieves, a local resident, doesn’t want the new development in the area.

“There are nine other cancer centers in the area,” Grieves said. “Why do we need another one? Why do we need it here?”

The county is considering selling part of the school’s property for $3.2 million.

If approved, residents say the four-story building will tower over their homes and the school.

The are also concerned that the proposed rezoning and sale are in violation of the zoning rules.

“In their current policy, elementary schools have a minimum acreage requirement of 15 to 20 acres and this is going to bring it down to 11,” Grieves said.

Ralph Axselle, Jr., attorney for HCA, says the company had done everything they can do to make the project $44 million dollar project work for everyone and accommodate reasonable concerns.

“Lighting, buffering and the way we have located the building” Axselle, Jr. said. “We have put fencing around. We have actually prohibited either vehicular or pedestrian access from Woodley Rd.”

Residents say they agree the cancer center will do a lot of good but it shouldn’t be in their back yard.

A petition is circulating to stop that sale.

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