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Firm to give 87 acres to Henrico
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Firm to give 87 acres to Henrico

3 parcels meant for parks would include two Civil War sites

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Henrico County supervisors heard Tuesday that a prominent development company plans to donate 87 acres, including two Civil War sites, to the county for use as parks.

Atack Properties is giving the land in three parcels, carved out from the 616 acres that will become the Ridings at Warner Farm, a development of more than 600 homes planned in the Varina District. The tracts are located about a mile east of Interstate 295 near state Route 5.

"It just seems like this is too good to be true," said Board of Supervisors Chairman David A. Kaechele.

The property slated for development is part of three Civil War battlefields: Deep Bottom, Second Deep Bottom and New Market Heights.

Two of the parcels the developer wants to donate include Civil War ruins. One contains a defense known as Fort Southard. A ruin on a second tract was described by Randy Silber, the deputy county manager for community development, as being "noted by the National Park Service as one of the most pristine examples of Confederate defense earthworks in central Virginia."

The developer was already required, as part of the development, to preserve the sites.

Another tract, along state Route 5, is a commercial property expected to be valued at more than $600,000.

To protect tax benefits the developer hopes to reap, that property is the subject of a number of restrictions, but county officials expect to be able to put in athletic fields there.

The proposal will return to the board later for formal approval.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve the renaming of Brookriver Drive in Short Pump to Tom Leonard Drive.

Tom Leonard's Farmer's Market, which requested the change, secured the agreement of all other property owners on the road and is responsible for all costs.

Because of the various other approvals required, officials don't expect the sign at the road's intersection with Broad Street to actually change for two months or more.

tstrong@timesdispatch.coma (804) 649-6861

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