June 19, 2014
Now that the Western Bypass is completely off the table residents in the Squirrel Ridge Neighborhood want to know what’s next for the vacant homes owned by VDOT.
The squirrel ridge neighborhood in Albemarle County has nine homes owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
They were bought by VDOT years ago with hopes that a bypass could be built through those properties.
Since then they have been rented out or left vacant...but now that a bypass is completely off the table residents living near these homes say they want something to be done.
“The neighborhood has really gone downhill, knowing that there is disrepair in those houses that haven't been rented out,” says Nancy Gercke, long time Squirrel Ridge resident. “So we hope to get our neighborhood, those of us who stayed here through all of this, hope to get those houses raised.”
Gercke has lived in the squirrel ridge neighborhood for nearly 30 years and says the homes have become dilapidated and many of them are an eyesore.
“The grass has been cut, but that's all,” says Gercke. “The insides have problems with mildew, flooding, you can't leave a house idle that long and not have internal problems.”
A spokesperson for VDOT explained that as of right now they haven't made a final decision on what to do with these properties.
They could sell the homes back to previous owners or put them on the market, but many residents in the squirrel ridge neighborhood want to see them go.
“I think we want them demolished,” says Gercke. “Yes, we want them demolished.”
Homeowners say they are still concerned about the value of their property with many of these vacant homes beside them.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board could discuss what’s next for these properties during their next meeting in July.