Chesapeake denies homeowners’ demands for change

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake City officials say they have no plans for changes along a new stretch of Dominion Boulevard that residents say has impacted their lives and lowered their property values.

Two lanes of the Veterans Bridge opened up to traffic in January. Since then, mearby homeowners say the bright lights, loud noise and lack of privacy has impacted their lives in a negative way.

“No one is real happy about it. No one is,” Kathie Crum said. “From the bedroom window, you can see right in, especially at night.”

Trees on the city’s property behind their homes were chopped down to make room for the four-lane road, which is scheduled to be complete by spring 2017.

“If I polled the people throughout the city, they want Dominion Boulevard,” Chesapeake City Manager James Baker said. “They want the advantages. Even [nearby residents] would say, ‘we’re not against progress, but it impacts people that are next to the road.'”

The Dominion Lakes Homeowners’ Association asked the city to help them out by rerouting traffic, installing a brick sound barrier, plating large trees to shield the roadway and fixing the bright lights that shine into neighbors homes.

The city says they understand the neighbors frustrations, but say, “We gave everyone notice of what we were doing. The land is the city’s, and we had the plans in place at the time you made the decision [to move to the Dominion Lakes subdivision.]”

Baker said that while they have no plans to change anything, there’s still room for discussion. He said the homeowners’ willingness to give up more of their property would help in possibly finding and implementing solutions.

“If they would say, ‘we will give you the land, if you would be willing to put the trees in,’ we could have that discussion,” Baker said. “I don’t know if that would result in a solution … As it stands right now, I can’t build the sound wall unless I would get additional right-of-way.”

Neighbors that spoke with said that would be more property to give away after already loosing so much of what they originally bought into when the moved into their homes.

The city of Chesapeake confirms it has filed two condemnation lawsuits against two homeowners living in Dominion Lakes. The city offered those homeowners an amount of money for their property. The homeowners believed they should be paid more, and now that issue will be settled by a judge or jury. One neighbor told he is continuing to fight the city for more money and more progress because his property value, he said, has dropped by as much as $70,000.

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