HOLMBERG: Henrico County bush hogs resident’s wildlife habitat

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – For years, Jocelyn Senn worried about pesticide and fertilizer runoff into her well and algae-plagued pond overlooking the James River off Osborne Turnpike in far eastern Henrico County.

So when the six acres of longtime farmland just up the lane from her home came up for sale, she jumped on it.

“I bought it to stop the farming and turn it into a habitat because I feel like all of our wildlife is being squeezed out,” she said as she stood on her beloved acreage, much of it recently bush hogged by the county because it violated its tall-grass ordinance.

Her natural wildlife habitat was a long process that involved the state forestry department and the department of Games and Inland Fisheries, where she registered her acres with the Habitat at Home program. That got her a “certified wildlife habitat” sign from the National Wildlife Federation, which stated “this property provides the four basic habitat elements needed for wildlife to thrive: food, water, cover and places to raise young.”

She posted that on Osborne Turnpike, and kept a fairly wide strip of grass mowed between the road and her field orchestrated by Mother Nature.

This is a picturesque section of the county, widely used to bicyclists, sightseers and nature-lovers. Many residents have been fighting mightily planned housing developments that would transform this rural hideaway just 15 or 20 minutes from downtown.

The seasons came and went as Senn’s refuge grew. This summer it had wildflowers and lots of butterflies. It was taller than head high in places, with seedling trees gaining momentum among many species of weeds and other naturally occurring plants that hid wide varieties of birds, small mammals and other critters.

Senn admits it has looked a little raw at times. “I kind of look at it like a haircut. Sometimes when you get your hair cut, you know, it goes through that ugly stage, but then it gets pretty. It’s going to have that place where it’s not beautiful, but it will become a gorgeous forest.”

Not now, she pointed out. Nearly all the naturally occurring seedlings were mowed down.

She had correspondence from the forestry department about how to  “afforest” – establishing a forest – on her particular parcel. The first option listed: “The least expensive way to afforest this site is would be to allow tree species to naturally seed into the open area . . . “

Other quicker and surer options were planting loblolly evergreen seedlings and – much more expensively – hardwoods.

She chose the natural route. “It was the least expensive thing to do, and it was the best thing.”

But this piece of rural real estate isn’t under the control of the state forestry or game departments.

It’s in Henrico County and it was in violation of the 12-inch limit on grass and weeds. You can grow crops and trees, but not just let Mother Nature run wild on your land, explained Mark Strickler, Henrico’s director of Community Revitalization.

“Essentially, everybody would say that (who) doesn’t want to cut their grass –  that they’re just letting it go natural,” Strickler said.  That would effectively kill their ordinance.

He said they had communications with Senn about the property, telling her the best habitat plan that wouldn’t violate the ordinance would be for her to clear the land and plant the trees and shrubs she wanted for her  habitat. Strickler said they had been trying to get her to deal with the problem long before the bush hog arrived.

It’s unclear if Senn will be charged for the cost of the mowing, which was interrupted when she came home and confronted the contractor doing the cutting.

She still has two narrow strips of her habitat standing scarecrow-like above the scalped fields.

Senn is plenty upset. Not only was the property more healthy and attractive before the mowing, she said, it was done on the exact same day – October 30th – that the county hosted its “Henricopolis Soil and Water Conservation District annual landowner’s meeting” about “establishing native grass, shrub and wildflower plots for habitat management.”

“I got home and literally there were animals just running in every direction and just terrified their homes had all been destroyed,” she recalled.

“There was nothing I could do about it but just – literally – sit down on the ground and cry.”

70 comments

  • Copeland Casati

    It’s so sad how easy it is to document Henrico’s missteps in terms of conservation, watershed protection, *anything that is good for its community* regarding encouraging food security (think: backyard hens), proliferation and protection of natural resources… much less basic urban planning.

    When we fled Henrico we never looked back.
    Here, people see strips of leftover crops / piles of brush / meadow and KNOW we’re helping wildlife. (And even if they didn’t, would never think it was THEIR BUSINESS to trespass on OUR property.)

    Henrico should be ashamed, and forced to attend national learning workshops on these subjects so they can *do their job* and be up to date like everyone else professionally.

    I hope Henrico is forced to return her property to the state it was before Henrico destroyed it.

  • Tiffany

    This is the problem with cities where their governers and leaders think they know best when in all actuality they really don’t care about their wildlife, they want to expand the city, make it look pretty (hence the grass ordanence) honestly i do not see a problem with grass being too tall, this is just another way our leaders control our lives. I have seen so many horrible things happen dealing with police officers who think they know best, there were 2 police officers who shot a dog multiple times in the head and heres the kicker the dog was restrained and tied he was on his back tail tucked no aggressiveness to be seen and they just shot him and they chief of the department said that it was not a thought out thing when you can clearly see the officer speaking with the other the other officer then proceeded to grab a plastic bag soon after the dog was shot.
    Soon we will have no rights because most people do not see anything wrong with rules that may ruin other peoples lives. We need to stop worrying about already built cities and start worrying about our environment, before its too late.

  • nbradleyjean

    I was so sorry to hear about this (I interned for Jocelyn this past summer). For this to happen to such a kind and giving woman is disgusting. You would think that respect for nature and wildlife could be more valued, but the corruption of our society has once again defeated Mother Nature. I hope that Jocelyn’s story can help change what’s happening to our land and improve the living conditions for the animals.

  • Jake

    We live about 2 miles from Ms. Senn. After hurricane Isabel we lost an acre worth of forest and we have largely allowed it to reforest naturally. Under the county code we are in violation and should clear all of the natrual successional growth and we were technically required to manage the replanting. That would have cost of tens of thousands, not to mention that by their argument we couldn’t allow the understory vegetation to reestablish, instead virtually requiring lawn that has to be maintained. Idiotic.

  • Gale

    A very sad story indeed. County of Henrico apparently has some people on the payroll who are just power hungry. This case should have been investigated fully before such drastic action was taken. The 12″ grass rule should just be for subdivisions and not for country roads. What a shame it was handled this way. It sounds like she was trying to do the right thing and didn’t get any credit for her efforts.

  • VA DGIF

    HENRICO NEEDS TO GET A CLUE and listen to the state!

    “The distinctive “Bob-White!” call of the quail is becoming just a memory for many rural Virginians. Quail populations in Virginia have declined 80% over the last 40 years. Along with the quail, many songbirds and other animals have also disappeared, due to the loss of the early successional habitat these animals need for food, shelter, and raising their young. Early successional habitat consisiting of native grasses, brushy weeds and wildflowers also attract useful pollinators like bees–a benefit to farmers. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is joining other state and federal agencies and groups to educate landowners about how they can get involved to help bring quail back to Virginia.” Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

  • Robbie Rhur

    There is only one thing to do – file a formal complaint to your supervisor and have the ordinance amended to only include subdivisions.Trust me, if enough people complain and support Ms Senn, things will change. Henrico has always been on the side of development rather than the beauty of a natural environment – sadly, this is true of most local governments.

  • Sue

    Henrico County has become too big for their britches. I think we need to bushhog some of these officials out of office. Henrico County’s own property this summer was WAY out of control in multiple locations. At the same time they were submitting notices to residents who were struggling to keep up with cutting grass because of all the rain. Strickler is an idiot as demonstrated by his poor “slippery slope” logic. Wasteful,extravagant, recklessly spending our tax dollar bureaucrats = Henrico County.

  • Trey Irby

    What a bunch of gullible people most of you are. This woman has conned all of you as well as Mark Holmberg. Seems to me the responsible thing would have been for Mr Holmberg to contact her neighbors so they could comment on how her beloved, rat infested, weed plagued “habitat” is effecting them. But then that would have made it an objective story, and thus a non issue. What’s that old saying, …..never let the whole truth get in the way of a good story?

    I wonder how many of you would be spouting off such nonsense if her property was right next door to you? It doesn’t just front a “country road”, it also fronts our private road (used by 5 houses) and a public subdivision road. There was also no mention that some of us can hardly get down “our” road because of all the crap hanging over it from her property.

    Before you continue to berate the County over something they have bent over backwards to resolve with Ms Senns, over nearly the last two years, I suggest you contact the county/state and ask them how many times Ms Senns has called them on her own neighbors for their grass being too tall. And don’t stop there, while you’re at it ask them how many times she (or a friend/associate/whatever) have called in to complain about most anything she can dream up. I know first hand, as I am one of them.

    If Ms Senns is such a “do-gooder” and so into creating “habitat” and a “wildlife refuse” for all these poor creatures and to better our world and community, etc., etc., why not ask her why she doesn’t allow the same to naturally occur over the 4 ac +/- field (manicured yard) between her house and the river? Now that would make me a believer.

    A bit hypocritical if you ask me and also causes me to pause and wonder what the real purpose of her creating such eye sore and potential health issue for her neighbors might be. I won’t go into it here, but there could very possibly be an ulterior motive.

    Ms Senns, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Please stop trying to hurt your neighbors while continuing to believe you don’t have to live by the same rules as you wish the rest of us to.

    Never ceases to amaze me how the media is so easily able to draw in the bleeding hearts of people too lazy to look into the facts before they open their mouths or hit their keyboards.

    Have a wonderful evening everyone.

    • mathias

      But, Trey–weren’t you the one who called the county on her in the first place?! As retaliation for her informing the county of all the illegal dumping into the James river that you did?! Talk about telling only what’s convenient for your narrative. We’re not naive–we all know what a jerk you are. Are the rats disturbing the condemned building you own adjacent to her property? You make it sound like you live there–you don’t. So hey, why don’t you shut up and stop using Strickler as your attack dog.

    • Voice of Reason

      Mr Irby sounds like a Grand Puba preaching in a gospel church. I don’t know this person but it seems that he harbors bad feelings toward Ms Senn. Mr Irby should step back and read what he wrote on Nov 6, he might understand that his arguments and comments are not smart and makes him look bad. Perhaps Mr Irby needs to get a clue about what is going on here; there was a natural grown habitat that was mowed down by a government employee who did it without permission or just cause. That is wrong!!!!! The government is invading the citizen it works for. If Mr Irby believes that there is some underlying plot afoot, then perhaps he needs therapy to work out his phobia.

  • Laura

    This story parallels another Henrico debacle–the 12 On Your Side story a few weeks ago about a Quioccasin Road resident coping with a fire station constructed feet from her property on an elevated site so that the blazingly bright and glaring LED parking lot lights (all on all night regardless of activity) are even with her rooftop and flood her property and interior of her home. And that after the runoff from the construction site repeatedly flooded her backyard because the construction completely razed a natural, wooded area.

    I guess it is the Henrico County Way to show no regard or respect for what remains of its natural environment or for its residents and to recklessly apply absurd ordinances without any discernment.

  • Greg

    County government against it’s own legal citizens. Both lose, therefore government wins. Welcome to new Virginia. So sad.

  • Lane

    Is this yet another case of government overstepping its bounds? What in the world have we come to when a property owner can not control how her property is used? How have we come to a state where it is illegal to let property return to a NATURAL condition?
    Henrico’s government is beginning to resemble the sloppy inefficient and bungling example set by the City of Richmond. Surely there could have been one clear thinker in that maze of confusion, just one person who might have asked if the planned course of actions were merited or even warranted. But no, there was not even one such person.
    One wonders how this whole misadventure came to be. What government employee started his day by wondering how he might displace thousands of animals and lay ruin to an incredibly promising natural habitat which would have reduced ground poisons and helped preserve our natural aquifer.

  • Natalie Clark

    I lived next door to this property for about a year. To hear that the county bush hogged what was a beautiful piece of land filled with wildlife outrages me to the extreme. I remember seeing numerous wildlife on that property both in the day and at night. Who in in there right mind can say they have seen a baby dear with there mother up close and in the flesh, i have and it was the most amazing thing to see. So much wildlife has lost what they made a home because the county disapproved in what was being done. Yet they are the ones who hold meetings to improve the habitats for the wildlife that is running out of homes due to development but when someone takes it in their hands and tries to make a home for these animals they are met with constant bickering and hypocrisy. The county can not say they are all for helping the environment and wildlife when they can not even support a private citizen of the county who was doing their part in helping. It is outrages to think that the county could just come on someones property and bush hog there land without any notification that they are doing it. How could you dare fine someone for the mowing cost when you are the ones who sent the person out to do it, if anyone should be held responsible for any payments it should be the county of Henrico. I am sad and outraged to see that this happened to such a wonderful and kind hearted person who was putting the environment and nature before anything. Instead of building on the property, Jocelyn decided to leave it as be and let the wildlife have that property to build a home one. I support this 100 percent and i know that me and the rest of the people who see this will support Jocelyn and in hope to make things right where she can build that property up again for the wildlife to have it! Don’t stop the fight, keep fighting for all those animals and nature in general to have a home that is not taken up by housing developments or cooperate buildings! I raise my glass to people like Jocelyn Senn, those who want to make a difference and better the environment!

  • claudia thompson-deahl

    When are people going to get it? We have to bring nature back into our lives and it’s up to us to provide habitat for natures diversity.

  • Jenn

    It would seem to be that an official conservation easent on this property would certainly help furthe protect it. But the County is definitely mistaken. You can’t define a weed as a weed. A weed is a plant growin where it is not desired. In this case, it appears the field supervisor was the only one that didn’t desire them to be there because he wanted it landscaped. Of course he’s clearly not aware that community revitalization also means accommodating for storm meter run-off regulation. And other county departments will likely disagree with him when they have to deal with storm water run-off and water quality regulation compliance, among other things. A huge waste of tax-payer dollars indeed.

  • Mike Harrell

    To Mr. Irby’s post on Nov. 6 @5:25 I would say at least one other neighbor HAS voiced their opinion here. And it’s in support of Ms. Senn. “Rat infested?” “Health issues?” Let’s see the evidence. Until then I’ll continue to be one of the “gullible” ones who suspects, as you intimate, that what’s really behind your displeasure is not the unmowed field, but rather personal issues with Ms. Senn.

    • Dede Harper

      To Mike Harrell, your comments to Mr. Irby echoe my thoughts exactly! Rats tend to live where there is garbage to feed on….so where are his rats truly coming from? I agree he seems to have an issue with Ms Senn, not a natural habitat. Why would you live in a rural area if you want manicured properties? Henrico was totally out of line on this one.

    • Trey Irby

      Dear Mr. Harrell,

      You would be partly correct Sir. You see, I feel the same way as most of you. I don’t want the county, or anyone else for that matter, telling me what I can or can’t do with my own property. However, Ms Senns has a VERY LONG history of trying to tell me what I can and can’t do with my property. And how does she do that, in person, by phone? No, by complaining every chance she gets to the county, the state and whoever else she can get to listen. Then, if she doesn’t get the response she wants, I’m told she threatens to go to the media. So I guess what I’m doing here is giving her a little taste of her own medicine. Thing is, I’m not the hypocrite she appears to be.

      Her trivial complaints such as grass too tall, brush piles on my farm (great habitat btw), renovation debris, paint chipping, trying to keep me from building a new house on my property a mile up river from her, trying to keep me from protecting my river frontage and the James River from erosion (yeah, a true conservationist) and on and on have cost me thousands and thousands of dollars my family does not have.

      Why don’t you ask Ms Senns if she still plans on speaking against me rip rapping my shore line to protect the river from erosion, just as she has done on her property, at the hearing in a week or two? Because of her that is going to cost us a minimum of $1000.00 on top of the thousands she’s already cost us.

      Money that is being taken away from caring for our daughter that’s at home in a vegetative state, and has been for many years.

      Do I have a problem with this meddling, IMO, nutcase? You’re darn tootin’ I do.

      Should she have to live by the same rules she expects me to?

      Should the county enforce the exact same ordinances they have forced me to because of her complaints?

      Should she have to pay the county (actually, us as tax paying citizens) back for cutting her field after she refused to, the same as I have had to pay them back for work they did on my property, without my consent, because of her complaints?

      Whoever mentioned the county is poor and should be spending their resources on much more important things. I couldn’t agree more, but with county residents, such as Ms Senns, filing what appear to most of us as trivial complaints all the time, this is what you get. You can thank her and others for this. I’m simply trying to put a stop to it.

      In response to the proof you requested, I will supply that when Ms Senns supplies proof that the farming once associated with the property at issue here, could have EVER poisoned her well OR caused one strand of algae to grow in the pond referred to in this story. Total hogwash, Every bit of the runoff from her property runs onto my and another neighbors property, which is in the exact opposite direction of said well and pond. That’s a fact.

      Ms Senns could have probably easily supplied that proof by filming all the rats and snakes that were likely a heavy part of the population scurrying away half scared to death of what had just happened to their newly adopted home.

      Please, until y’all know ALL the facts, I would stop digging.

      I would much prefer Ms Senns come on here to dispute any of what I’ve said instead of having one of her friends, she may or may not have put up to it, “try” and state her case for her. It simply makes you look foolish.

      If Ms Senns TRULY wanted this property set aside permanently for the betterment of the world and all it’s little creatures, all she has to do is turn it into a conservation easement and I’m told she can let it go “natural” forever. But then that would mean she, nor anyone else, could ever develop it. Apparently she is not willing to do that, wonder why?

      And finally, yes, I actually hated the way that property looked before they cut it, which I still contend is the main reason she did it, to hurt her neighbors. My family and I used to love seeing the many families of dear out there eating soy beans. That is no more, and anyone claiming to have seen one out in the middle of that field recently either saw the tallest dear in the world or was hallucinating.

      Oh, and which property do you own on our road, Mr. Harrell? I’d love to meet you some time.

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  • Jocelyn Senn

    I would like to take a moment to respond to Trey Irby’s comments dated November 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm.

    Mr. Irby has it completely wrong on all counts and is no friend of Varina or the environment. Please see the short list:

    1. Many of my neighbors did weigh in on this issue – in favor of the habitat

    2. There are 5 houses on our private road. The one he owns, he has never lived in and has been condemned in the past and has been boarded up for years. A complete eye soar.

    3. The neighbor, who’s property adjoins mine, looks just like my meadow did. I have never called on a neighbors lawn for being over grown.

    4. The neighbors have a road maintenance agreement. When we fixed the road, Mr. Irby refused to contribute.

    5. He suggests you contact the state, please do. I talked to Virginia Forestry about growing a forest, and they recommend letting it grow naturally.

    6. Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries also advocate creating habitats for our dwindling quail population.

    7. Again, while the County of Henrico was destroying my property and my habitat, they were holding a meeting in Dory Park, minutes from my property, encouraging landowners to establish grass, shrub and wildflower plots for habitat management.

    8. If you are interested in attending a public hearing concerning Mr. Irby illegally dumping construction waste into the James River. The wetlands hearing is Nov 14 and is a public hearing.
    For more information:
    Contact – Habitat Management Division
    Virginia Marine Resources Commission
    2600 Washington Ave., 3rd Floor
    Newport News, VA 23607

    9. If you check the public record, Mr. Irby is currently “WANTED” by the Henrico Police Department for two counts of building code violations.

    10. Mr. Irby has a property up river from me, that is literally falling into the James River, creating an environmental and public safety issue, which he refuses to do anything about.

    11. I have no “ulterior motive” other than to protect the watershed.

    • Trey Irby

      Ms Senns, why did you “destroy” the “natural habitat” that existed on the property in which you built your new house and now your illegal “barn”. It was all natural habitat BEFORE you bought it. How do I know? Because I was there long before you and tried to buy it before you did but was told by the county it wasn’t buildable because it required a variance, it had no road public frontage, wouldn’t be able to get a septic permit OR a building permit because it was TOO CLOSE to the WATERSHED. IE, RPA, Chesapeake Bay Act, all that good stuff, ring a bell???

      You got a variance through loopholes yet fought me getting the exact same thing up the road and I don’t have close to the issues you did. Nor will I be destroying a “natural habitat”.

      Please, give us a break with your hypocrisy!

  • Scott Price

    Ms. Senn is trying to do the right thing for local wildlife and the general environment. I think it is outrageous that Henrico would spend our tax dollars to ruin her good works for no real reason. What a shame.

  • Frick Wagger

    I know MS. Senn to be an intelligent person. What the idiots in Henrico County understand about environmental issues never get’s past campaign contributions.

  • Dean Houghton

    I think Jocelyn’s efforts to protect a piece of our planet from the destructive results that many of it’s citizens inflict upon it is brilliant and worth noting. I only hope that there is someone in the local government that is smart enough to realize this and make changes so as to stop the harassment. My thoughts are with you Jocelyn and I hope you don’t get discouraged.

  • Trey Irby

    Dear Ms Senns,

    I’m sorry it took so long to respond but I was out of town at my youngest Daughter’s softball tournament.

    I am amazed at how your response showed up “time stamped” before my Nov 8th reply to Mr. Harrell but somehow didn’t show up in the list of comments before mine….oh well, nothing surprises me with you or the media these days.

    It is quite obvious, from your comments, you had read that post before your off topic reply yet you failed to respond to them, why is that? You say I am wrong on all counts yet you fail to provide even ONE example? What you do is redirect the subject at hand. This story isn’t about me, it’s about you and how you suffered the exact same consequences as those you’ve filed similar trivial complaints on. I never said contact the State about your neglected property, I said contact them about your previous complaints against neighbors. Get your facts straight. But do feel free to contact any of them for their 1st recommendations to you listed BEFORE just letting your property go to hell.

    Anyone ever suggest you run for office? You’d make an excellent politician ….in this day of not being accountable, BS, “it’s all about me” and screw the rest of you. I can see you now, “none of you will lose your current insurance if you want to keep it, I promise”. “My plan will save the average family $2500.00 per year on premiums, trust me”. You are a joke, one minute you are fighting big government to get your way and the next you are wanting more government to further your cause. Which is it Ms Senns? You can’t have it both ways.

    I wish you had responded directly to my accusations, as you know full well NONE of them are inaccurate. But unlike you, I will respond directly to you. You might want to quit digging afterwards as well, but feel free to continue, you’ll just need to borrow a pair of full waders and a tall ladder before it’s over.

    As you well know, my family actually owns TWO houses on our road and a total of approximately 26 acs of farm land. The one you mentioned (the eye sore) can only be seen if you come across your next door neighbor’s property to the left, then across the road and then across the 2 ac rental property next to us that’s inhabited by one of your complaining friends. Then you would have to peek through the trees/bushes to see it, as has been noticed on numerous occasions by my contractor doing the renovations on it before we move in. Oh, and it has never been condemned, so you lied once again.

    Why did you neglect to mention the one owned by my daughter that is handicapped and STILL in a vegetative state? Or are you just confused and stretching truths like you are well known for? You know the one I’m speaking of, the house and 4.5 ac pond front that’s for sale so we can raise funds for her care? The one you want to own but would prefer to steal by any means possible? You know, the one we purchased years ago when it was literally a JUNK YARD and CRACK HOUSE with no power, heat, water,or plumbing that we cleaned up so we could protect the value of our river front farm and as an investment for her. You mean the one that was already condemned and put up for a tax sale, that one? The one right next door to your “bad haircut” looking, rat and snake infested eyesore that anyone coming to look at her property or your next door neighbor’s house for sale has to pass right before they get there? You know, the one directly between and adjoining the subject property and your manicured riverfront estate? The one that, if you were able to acquire it, would make a nice development property because it would then run from Osborne to the River? That one?

    Yeah, Ms Senns is such a sweet, caring woman. Makes me want to puke!

    IMO, you are nothing more than a snake in the grass willing to do whatever it takes for your own personal gain. If you hurt a defenseless child that’s unable to look after or defend herself, even better apparently.

    If you are such an environmentalist and your only interest is making the world a better place for us and God’s creatures, why in the world did you/your pals call every agency known to man trying to stop it when I had already had our pond approved that will be an absolute haven for all wildlife and waterfowl? You, Ms Senns are the biggest hypocrite I have ever seen.

    Oh, and I hope you and all your friends do show up at the hearing so you can make a fool of yourselves again, just like you did at the last one where you wanted the county to tear down our Henrico, Co. “Historic” River Front Cottage and then not allow my wife and I to rebuild anywhere else on OUR property if it was torn down. For those interested, this would have effectively turned our prime riverfront property we had invested our life savings in, into a picnic area if she/they would have succeeded.

    YES!… let’s all come out and fight Mr. Irby wanting to protect the James River and his families property from erosion! He wants to rip rap his property with “construction waste” (in truth, broken up recycled concrete that’s used legally EVERY DAY for this exact same purpose, but “construction waste” sounds much better for her purposes). This is prosperous! He should have to remove it all (read, create more erosion) and then cut down and remove 25 or more BEAUTIFUL, LARGE, MATURE trees lining the park like river bank so he can do it the way the GOVERNMENT and I originally said it should be done so he doesn’t encroach on property he once owned before my river and air polluting POWER BOAT washed it into the river. Who cares that after a SEAS engineer and other environmentally sensitive, common sense, government employes agree the way Mr. Irby wants to do it makes the most sense. Who cares that VMRC has accepted Mr Irby’s plans. LETS FIGHT IT ANYWAY PEOPLE!

    If we win we can either force their daughter to be put in a home so I might be able to steal her property because it will cost a fortune to cut down and remove all those trees, not to mention the absurd cost of construction the way the government and I originally wanted him to do it,…. OR, if he chooses his daughter’s well being over spending all that money to protect the river and his property, at least he’ll have to remove the proven protection he already has in place and we can get back to ruining the James with all the erosion coming off his property every time I zoom by it IN MY MOTOR BOAT…..YAY, I win either way!

    Protect the watershed my @ss, (see above and my response to Mr Harrell).

    You, Ms Senns, are one real piece of work. I’m sure it will be a real pleasure once we finally move into our beloved farm and have to deal with you and your meddling pals on a daily basis.

    I just love how people move into an area/neighborhood, like you and your buds next door and up the street have, and then want to tell the long time residents/property owners how they should live and what they should and shouldn’t be doing with their own properties.

    Believe me when I say, you and your associates are NO friends of the,”mind your own business and I’ll mind mine” good people of Varina.

  • Marci LaBrie

    Mr. Irby…I travel that road you speak of in a tanker truck all the time. This truck requires 12′ vertical clearance and 11″ width clearance and I have no issues getting in and out of there. I’m not quite sure why you would have any in a standard sized vehicle. There most certainly isn’t any such overgrowth from Ms. Senn’s property into that road. Secondly, many people do choose to rip rap their shorelines to protect against erosion. They do so with natural rock of a prescribed size trucked in from local quarries. I know this because I have hauled tons of it for just that purpose to various waterfront locations around VA. Broken chunks of re-bar filled concrete laden with numerous chemicals and possibly mixed with fiberglass for durability are hardly the same thing. And finally while I’m sorry for your daughter’s condition…why on earth do you keep bringing it up in this conversation? Are you somehow implying Ms. Senn was the cause her situation as well…or were you going for the pity vote?

  • Mike Harrell

    I think Mr. Irby has clearly demonstrated by his comments that his issue in not with the habitat, but rather with Ms. “Senns,” as he calls her, (intentionally misspelling her name.) My impression is that he is more concerned with getting back at his neighbor than he is with the health of the environment. I hope this issue has mobilized people to lobby for a saner approach to land management in Henrico County.

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