City Council Meeting Preview- September 8, 2014
The September 8th City Council meeting will be the first formal meeting since July. What a long time! Unsurprisingly, there are a few major items up for debate and discussion.
Condominium Development near Libby Hill (Ord. 2014-71, 2014-78) – These two ordinances on the Regular Agenda concern the construction of a 13-story condominium complex at the end of East Cary Street. Opponents of the project say it will obstruct views of the historic “view that named the city” while proponents say it will only block the unsightly views of the sewage treatment plants across the river. The first ordinance would close a portion of East Cary Street near the project site, while the other would grant the special use authorization for such a condominium complex, currently prohibited by zoning regulations.
City Purchase of Shockoe Development properties (Res. 2014-R156) – This resolution is a proposal by Councilman Baliles for the City to purchase the land in Shockoe Bottom that is also the same site of the proposed baseball stadium. His intent would be for the City to have the ability to further develop its existing historic and cultural resources, and to also create a mixed-use urban neighborhood and commercial district. This purchase would not be for the construction of a baseball stadium. Read more in the Times Dispatch about the proposed resolution, written back in July: Baliles: City should buy key Shockoe Properties
Floyd Ave Bike Boulevard (Ord. 2014-155) – This ordinance accepts funds from VDOT to construct the Bike Boulevard on Floyd Ave running between VCU and the end of Carytown. The Bike Boulevard would still allow cars to pass, but its use of signage and roundabouts would discourage widespread car use; it would be more conducive for bike travel.
Camel Night Club (Ord. 2014-94) – This ordinance gives the Camel Nightclub its special use authorization to remain open until 2:00 a.m.
New Museum in Jackson Ward (Ord. 2014-153) – This ordinance provides special use authorization for the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia to renovate the site, adding a café and gift shop, in the Jackson Ward Old and Historic District. The site is the former Leigh Street Armory.
Stone Brewery Project (Ordinances 2014-168, 2014-169) - These ordinances concern the construction of a major brewery at the end of Tobacco Row. It is estimated that it will bring about 100 jobs to the area and significant revenue. These two ordinances grant special use authorizations for the sites in question. See the post about the special session of City Council back in August to learn more: RVA Gov Special Session Recap.
Emergency Services career development funding (Ord. 2014-148) – The purpose of this ordinance is to equalize the amount of funding for career development of police and fire department employees; as of now, there was a disproportionate amount allocated to the Department of Fire and Emergency services, and this ordinance would bring the Department of Police up to equal levels of funding.
Keep RVA Beautiful! (Res. 2014-R157) – This resolution is to establish an anti-litter campaign in the city, uniting various organizations including the Clean City Commission, Hands on Greater Richmond, and various Neighborhood Associations. A campaign designed by the Chief Administrative Officer would include actions such as the establishment of a Citizen Advisory Committee, providing education and awareness, and determining data and performance measurements.
Item 22, Ord. 2014-165 extends a partial tax exemption for redevelopment or conservation areas or rehabilitation districts, consistent with recommendations from the Maggie Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty.
There are several items on the Consent Agenda that will give special use authorizations for residential development in several areas of the city, specifically by Overbrook Road and the Midlothian Turnpike, and near Lombardy Street, among other areas.
There are six resolutions on the agenda for appointments and reappointments, for either boards and commissions, or for a new Sixth-district Council Liaison.
Get ready for an interesting meeting!