City Council Meeting Recap- September 8, 2014

Before City Council's first meeting since July could even begin, the agenda underwent some major revisions. Of the 47 items originally on the agenda, only 24 were actually adopted. Remember, you can link to the full text of each ordinance by clicking on the bolded heading.

The controversial Pear Street Condominium project near Libby Hill was withdrawn. Council Woman Cynthia Newbille, who represents the district where the project would have gone, expressed that she would not support it in a district meeting last week. Monday afternoon, the project planners withdrew it. Read more in the Times Dispatch: Developer to withdraw Pear Street condo project

The following major items were continued until future meetings, sometimes due to new amendments, or to give more time for discussion:

  • Shockoe Redevelopment Properties Purchase (Resolution 2014-R156): John Baliles introduced this resolution with the intent of allowing the city to actually purchase the property for historical preservation and economic development. Council decided to vote on it at a later date in order to amend its text.

  • Camel Nightclub Special Use (Ord. 2014-94): This ordinance is an application for a special use authorization for the venue to remain open until 2 a.m. It has been moving through Council since April. Some of the language in the ordinance needed amending relating to the violations of the special use permit before it can be passed.

  • Stone Brewery Special Use (Ord. 2014-168, 2014-169): to allow the brewery to make unlimited amounts of beer on the site; certain language in the text of Ordinance 2014-168 needed to be amended

  • Police and Fire Career Development Fund (Ord. 2014-148): The ordinance was intended to amend the budget to equalize career development bonus pay for the Department of Police and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services;

  • Representatives of the Richmond Coalition of Police and the Richmond Firefighters Association spoke against the ordinance

  • They stated it was a one-time bonus that neither increases salaries to be competitive with other localities, nor emphasizes career development

  • Council members put further action on this ordinance off until November 10th, by which time there should be more information on the city’s surplus; with extra money, they would be looking into reinstating the STEP program and a more comprehensive career development program for the next budget

The following items were adopted:

  • Affordable Housing Trust Fund annual contribution (Ord. 2014-125): Vice President Robertson spoke of this ordinance as an annual commitment to affordable housing development; over the next several years, it was determined that $5 million was needed in the fund to address the city’s needs; such a commitment from this ordinance would ensure that this is met;

  • Floyd Avenue Bike Boulevard (Ord. 2014-155): This ordinance accepts funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation to go towards the Floyd Avenue Bike Boulevard; it is not tied to any specific plan, but is simply the money to pay for its construction

  • MetroCare Water Assistance Program (Ord. 2014-152): provides lower water and sewer fees to low-income customers, and also financial assistance to certain customers that repair plumbing or replace water-inefficient appliances; at least one person spoke highly in favor of such an ordinance at the July 14th meeting, when this was first introduced

  • Keep RVA Beautiful Campaign (Res. 2014-R157): This establishes an anti-litter campaign, especially inclusive of education and joint action amongst the Clean City Commission and the non-profit sector; such a campaign was noted as critical in preparation for the 2015 UCI World Championship Bike Race

The next formal meeting will take place on Monday, October 13th. With all of the items continued from this meeting, in addition to the new items introduced, it should hopefully be a very productive session! Stay tuned for our next meeting preview when the information comes available.

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