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Should worshipers at Henrico mosque be allowed to use ‘private’ driveway?

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A jury is scheduled for September 28 to decide if members of the Islamic Center of Richmond can continue to use a driveway that runs next to the Center.

Yunu Vohra, who is a member at the Islamic Center, filed a civil lawsuit against Sylvia Wright to maintain access to the driveway, but Wright, who lives behind the Center, said the driveway is private and belongs to her family.

The dispute is part of an ongoing legal battle between Wright, Vohra, and Henrico County regarding the Islamic Center.

Wright’s family has owned land off of Hungary Road in Henrico County’s West End since the 1800s.

“One of my grandfather’s founded the initial farm in 1838,” Wright said.

But, Wright said the tranquility of that land is being disrupted by a man who she said is bullying her through a lawsuit to try to gain access for himself and other members of the Islamic Center of Richmond to park in the private driveway that runs to her home.

map of driveway

She said she is one of the family heirs to the driveway.

“It was set aside exclusively for my dad and his heirs,” Wright said.

The part of the private driveway Vohra is laying claim to sits between two pieces of property he purchased that sit next to the Islamic Center. But Wright said the driveway is separate from his property.

“We have literally never been offered restitution, compensation for our rights. They are just supposed to be taken from us,” Wright said.

private road sign 2

But, Vohra said he does own that part of the driveway, and he filed the lawsuit to “claim the property” and stop Wright from harassing him and other Muslims.

Yet, Wright said Vohra is the one doing the harassing.

She said members of the Islamic Center often block the driveway which prevents her and the other families that live along the road from getting to and from their homes.

“We’re very concerned about the fact that we would have issues with getting in and out safely,” Wright said.