Residents in Richmond’s North Side may not have any clear legal recourse to stop development on a high-profile green space, but they intend to try.
It’s not clear exactly what Union Presbyterian Seminary has planned for the so-called Westwood tract, a 34-acre parcel at the corner of Westwood Avenue and Brook Road. The prospect of hundreds of apartment units going up drew more than 100 people to the sanctuary of the nearby Ginter Park Baptist Church on Tuesday evening (April 8) to hear a neighborhood update and plan for what to do next.
“The only tool we really have is to kind of be a pest,” said Stephen Weisensale, who leads the Ginter Park Residents Association’s zoning and planning committee.
The property is owned by the seminary and is zoned to allow apartments. It currently functions almost as a neighborhood park with tennis courts, a fitness trail and open space, which was being used Tuesday for Frisbee throwing and dog walking.
The seminary has been tight-lipped about its plans.
“There is nothing to report at this time regarding the land as no decisions have been made,” Andrea Wright, a seminary spokeswoman, said in an email late last month when asked for an update on plans for the property.