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Residents split over new Oregon Hill development

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Some neighbors in the Oregon Hill section of Richmond are not happy about a developer's plans to turn an old building into 18 high-end apartments.

In fact, the site sits across from the Hollywood Cemetery, which is next door to Rosa Finch's home.

"We don't like this and we're going to fight it," said Finch. "He's just going to come, set this up and go."

Finch said what worries her most about the developement is that she believes the building would be a big draw for VCU students.

"The noise, the density, parking," said Finch, who also even wondered where all of the trash from folks in the building would wind up.

Travis Hardy, another Oregon Hill resident, is also concerned about the students, but worries about the possibility of loud parties and other goings on. 

"I'm all for progress, but when you're talking people who can't sleep [and] constantly having to listen to racing vehicles going up and down the street," said Hardy. "Sometimes, you have to say no."

However, others who live and work in neighborhood welcome the idea of change, which would bring more traffic to area businesses.

Kenneth Glenn, who said seven generations of his family have lived in Oregon Hill, owns several homes on nearby. He thinks the project is a good idea and believes revitalization will be good for everyone.

"It's going to be good for the community and good for the economy [and] get some jobs going," said Glenn.

And while that may be true, Finch said she would approve of the project if the developer scaled back the project a bit. She said she sees some commercial spaces on the bottom of the buildiung and residences on the upper floors.

CBS 6 News' Sandra Jones said city records do show the property is zoned for residential use.

Additionally, Guy Blundon, the developer of the project, said the City of Richmond has not made a final decision or signed off on the proposal. After he learned about some of the neighbors' concerns, he plans to resubmit a Special Use Application.

At the same time, Blundon told Jones that he is trying to respond to concerns while keeping the project viable -- and points in that he cannot discriminate against anyone group moving in.

However, Blundon said the development is targeted to young professionals and families.