Fight over Northside development headed for court

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)  — The battle over a proposed development near Ginter Park is headed for court.

On Wednesday, nearly 100 people packed the Richmond’s Board of Zoning Appeals meeting hoping to convince members to shut down the Westwood Tract project.

But ultimately, the board ruled it did not have the authority to do that.

The controversy centers on 36 acres owned by Union Presbyterian Seminary.

The seminary wants to build hundreds of apartments on the property at Brook Road and Westwood Avenue.

“We are open to all sorts of development,” says neighbor Sarah Driggs. “We just think this is the wrong one.”

Residents contend the seminary agreed back in the 1950’s, that it would only use the land for institutional purposes.

They believe the city’s zoning administrator made a mistake when he classified the property for multi-family housing.

“We are open to all sorts of development. We just think this is the wrong one.” — resident Sarah Driggs

That’s why a group of opponents filed a civil lawsuit in Richmond Circuit Court. They are asking a judge to intervene.

“We’re going to go to Circuit Court and we’re going to see if we can talk to some people who have not such narrow parameters,” adds Driggs.

The hearing is slated for June 14th.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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