City Council Agenda, July 14th, Preview

The upcoming City Council Meeting on July 14 will mark the first formal meeting in a non-special session since last month. The Consent Agenda and Regular Agenda are both filled with items that have been moved around and postponed until today, with an additional nine ordinances that were first read at a special meeting on July 7. Many of these new ordinances pertain to the budget and appropriations. The remainder of the agenda includes its usual mix of zoning ordinances and the works. Read on to learn about the various ordinances:

Sale RPS land- Ord. 2013-175: The City seeks to sell a piece of land currently owned by the School Board and used for storage and a Driver’s Ed program to McKinnon and Harris, who will use it for private investment and development; RPS does not need the facilities anymore, as it plans on relocating these functions elsewhere

South Richmond Economic Revitalization Task Force- Ord. 2014-93: This ordinance, proposed by Councilwoman Reva Trammell, seeks to create an Advisory Task Force for Economic Revitalization of South Richmond; this will be continued to the July 24 Governmental Operations Committee meeting, and continued to the City Council meeting on September 8.

The Camel as a Night Club- Ord. 2014-94: This is the ordinance that is generating a lot of buzz - The Camel is trying to get its permit changed to stay open until 2 a.m. The Planning Commission recommended its approval with an amendment, and the final decision will be made on September 8.

New Affordable Housing Trust Fund Revenues- Ord. 2014-125: This ordinance is specifically targeted at creating a new source of revenue for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund through the expiration of rehabilitation tax credits; will generate about $20 million over ten years.

  • There are several zoning ordinances authorizing special use for properties to either build multi-family dwelling units or even parking lots

  • One rezoning ordinance would change an entire zone from an M-1 Light Industrial Zone to a B-5 Central Business District; the property historically was a cigarette and cigar manufacturing site, but now seeks to be turned into residential units with the additional option of building restaurants or offices

  • 2014-118 seeks to upgrade the City’s Burn Building in order to help the Fire Department conduct better and safer live-fire training.

  • Several ordinances all deal with accepting funds from the Virginia Department of Transportation; two of them accept funds from the Department of Rail and Public Transportation in order to continue the City of Richmond Employee Trip Reduction Program, while another accepts $10 million to go towards various projects, all surrounding street improvements, especially sidewalk paving for example

  • The Management Agreement for Main Street Station will also be extended between the City of Richmond and the Richmond Metropolitan Authority until 2016

  • In another ordinance, the City will accept funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to give rapid re-housing assistance to people with mental illnesses or to those with co-occurring disorders who experience chronic incarceration and homelessness;

City Council’s special meeting on July 7 brought a great number of new ordinances relating to the budget and appropriation of money:

Several directly impact the Richmond Public Schools:

New Funding for RPS Programs- Ord. 2014-142: deals with an increase in local contributions to the Richmond Public Schools budget by about $700,000 to pay for additional projects, most importantly school building repairs (such as roof replacements and door locks, the little things) and the City’s Truancy Reduction and Prevention Program

Funding for Middle School Renaissance and Promise Scholarship Study- Ord. 2014-143: deals with the creation, funding, and training of the Middle School Renaissance 2020 program for after school activities for students, in addition to funding the Promise Scholarship Feasibility Study

  • The Promise Scholarship is a program that would give certain college tuition incentives to both retain students in RPS as well as make college more accessible financially for all students

Two ordinances increase funding for and authorize the placement of additional police coverage in public housing communities

Lastly, the Regular Agenda:

Libby Hill Development- Ord. 2014-71: seeks to close a portion of East Cary Street near Rockett’s Landing to create a space for property development; the applicant for any such project would assume all costs associated with the closing and realignment of the street

Libby Hill Development, Building Height- Ord. 2014-78: This is the proposed project on East Main Street in Church Hill that is generating much buzz; the ordinance would allow the building to only be 15 stories, rather than 16 as originally planned.

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