Chesterfield County supervisors last week unanimously approved an eminent domain action for a property at 15101 Happy Hill Road.
The action will give the county 600 feet of right-of-way access across the triangle-shaped property, which is located west of Jefferson Davis Highway. The access is along a route that was one of several previously considered by the county for an east-west freeway.
“A developer picked it up for something like $40,000 knowing full well there will have to be dedicated road, and then tried to sue us for not letting him build the 17 lots (subdivision),” Bermuda District supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle said after a public hearing at the May 22 supervisors meeting.
County attorney Jeffrey Mincks said that Keck Investment Properties LLC’s subdivision plat did not account for the right-of-way shown on the Comprehensive Plan. He said that approving the eminent domain action would help the county resolve the issue with the property owner. The county offered $57,591 for the right-of-way based on an appraisal, according to a Planning Department document.
During public comment, Lisa Coffee said she lives next to the Keck property. “My property is probably going to be taken for the East-West Road, if it’s ever approved,” she said. “I spoke to this board 12 years ago. We don’t have an alignment, and we need one.”
Also during public comment, Mike Uzel cited county transportation director Jesse Smith’s earlier comments about the Army Corps of Engineers thwarting approval of an east-west freeway because of wetlands in the area.
Johnnie Humphrey, who lives at 15206 Happy Hill Road nearby, said she was shocked to find out about the eminent domain hearing from a friend. “Adjacent property owners were not informed of it,” she said.