City Council Recap - October 14, 2019

Awards and Presentations

The meeting began with a celebration of our 10 year shared sister city relationship with Segue. Sister cities allow partnerships and new dialogues, allowing a mutual understanding of each others' views and values. The City Council recognized and honored members of the Segou delegation for their service, leadership, and dedication to the community. Richmond’s Sister City Commission has also written a book on Richmond’s ten year relationship, along with their 400 year shared history. The City Council along with Mayor Stoney recognizes and honors the city of Segue Republic of Mali, and welcomes them to our city with open arms.

Citizens Comments

Erica Masseri proposes that the presence of recycling receptacles be mandatory at festivals and other public events held by Richmond that hold alcoholic beverage permits.

Barbara Starkey Goud spoke on the speeding problem on Gordon Avenue in South Richmond, and argued that the issue will not be resolved with new speed limits. The posted speed limit on Gordon Avenue is already 25 mph, but people continue to disregard this and speed constantly.

Despite the community being filled with the elderly and children, the speed limits are still not enforced. Thus she believes that even if the city drops the speed limits nothing will change. Speeding will only be stopped through enforcement and deterrence. Councilwoman Trammell agreed and said that she wants to use the money for these things like speed tables, whereas Councilman Addison believes there is a behavioral issue that can only be solved through enforcement. He also acknowledges that it can be a court issue because tickets are often fought when they get to the courts, so that might not be enough. As of now when they try to post a police officer, people are warned there is a police officer and avoid the area rather than just driving slower and allowing the officer to serve his purpose.

Dominique Crutchfield announced his support toward the Navy Hill Project because he thinks it will give more money to our schools and offer better and more plentiful job opportunities.

He argued that without this we will get no money for schools, no jobs, and therefore have no room for growth. When kids graduate they need good paying jobs and training programs, and through this program they could create a pipeline to be recruited and trained in our downtown area. Robert Winfrey alson spoke on behalf of supporting the Navy Hill Project, and he too believes it has the potential to create jobs for people who have been disenfranchised. It includes a training program that equips them to have a job for 5 years, and they have private sectors willing to contribute money. He also believes this program has the potential to draw a lot of attention to the city.

William Spencer requests the City Council to declare a Climate Emergency in Richmond. He argued “If global warming temperatures rise above 1.5 degrees celsius relative to preindustrial levels we face the danger of flooding major coastal cities, breakdown of agricultural systems, mass migrations, and dangerous weather events.” He also believes we need to achieve net 0 CO2 emissions in less than 15 years, and the many constituents there on his behalf believe the same as well.


Mia Mimms opposes Ordinance 2019-257 because it negatively affects the Mimms funeral home which has been in the community for over 80 years. The Ordinance plans to “To rezone the properties known as 13, 17, 19, 21, and a portion of 9 West 20th Street; 16, 18, 20, and 22 West 19th Street; 1900, 1906, 1920, and 1922 Bainbridge Street; and a portion of 2005 Hull Street from the M-1 Light Industrial District to the B-7 Mixed-Use Business District; the property known as 12 West 19th Street and a portion of 9 West 20th Street from the M-1 Light Industrial District to the TOD-1 Transit-Oriented Nodal District; and the properties known as 1901, 1917, and a portion of 2005 Hull Street from the B-3 General Business District to the TOD-1

Transit-Oriented Nodal District.” This Funeral home is being affected because it is adjacent to the new zoning (#14) They were given no notice other than sign on the street, and calling the number does not give them information. There is one registered agent for the 3 companies, Laura Hills, and which makes it spot zoning because their lot is carved out. With this application they are requested they will be approved to 12 stories, and there are no buildings around like this other than 10 blocks away. Mimms wants this taken off the consent agenda to allow businesses who have been there for years to have a public conversation. Parker C Agelasto requested a continuance to Tuesday November 12 council meeting for ordinance 257 so they can bring the minns funeral home into the conversation a little bit better, and it was granted a continuance.

Burkes is representing 15-20 neighbors opposing Ordinance 2019-259. This ordinance plans to “To amend and reordain Ord. No. 2000-319-326, adopted Nov. 13, 2000, as amended by Ord. No. 2007-222-194, adopted Sept. 10, 2007, which authorized the special use of the property known as 214 North Lombardy Street for the purpose of modifying the exterior and interior of the building and adding new signage to the facade, to authorize a restaurant, tearoom, café, delicatessen, ice cream parlor, or similar food and beverage service establishment and up to three dwelling units, upon certain terms and conditions.” He believes that the building is unsuitable for proposed special use permit, and he proposes three changes to ordinance: A moratorium on the sale of any kind of alcoholic beverage for 5 years (they said they would not be seeking an ABC permit of any kind and this should be reflected in the ordinance), continuation of requirement that all trash be screened on premises, and no live performances at any time (considering the building is really just a garage.

Greg Lusek announces his support for Ordinance 2019- R052, which serves to “express the Council’s support for the passage of voter redistricting reform legislation by the General Assembly of Virginia.” This organization has sought to reform the process of redistricting to prohibit gerrymandering and this body passed a nearly identical resolution 5 years ago. He acknowledges that the Supreme Court Will not prevent gerrymandering, and it must be reformed in the legislative branches. Anti-gerrymandering efforts have the support of both parties.

Preston Lloyd is representing the applicant for the Lombardi Street application referred to in Ordinance 2019-259. He mentions that no mixed beverage license could be issued, could be issued for beer or wine provided that the cafe must shut down at 9pm. All commercial trash would need to be enclosed and not visible from the road and picked up by a private vendor, following regulations. Also since they only want to allow two acoustic guitars, music would not be audible from off the property. Kim B Gray mentions that it’s hard to get them to enforce zoning rules that are in place, but she would make it her personal mission to ensure its closed by 9pm. She also believes that acoustic instruments are a healthy balance, because nothing is amplified or outside, making it the perfect compromise with the residents.

It has been proposed to amend Ordinance 2019-260 (To authorize the special use of the property known as 1836 Park Avenue for the purpose of office space and occasional events, upon certain terms and conditions.) through striking the text 11 pm Monday-Friday and insert 10 pm Sunday-Wednesday and not later than 11pm Thursday-Saturday. No event shall occur Saturday or Sunday after 11pm.The amendment was read and will be continued to the next council meeting. Angelesto mentions it’s a bit strange to mend the special use permit to be used on a Sunday, even though it was formerly a church.

Ordinance 2019-264 (To amend ch. 2, art. V of the City Code by adding therein a new div. 10 (§§ 2-1002-2-1006) for the purpose of establishing an Ethics Reform Commission.) was requested amendmending to be broadly rep of each city district, and they will continue paper to the next council meeting.

Expedited Consideration

There was a resolution to approve issuance for construction of 125 unit rental housing project (Shockoe Hill one apartments). Kim Gray, vice chair of public safety, asks what circumstances qualify it for expedition, and their justification is that it is an existing section 8 property serving low income people and they are receiving 80k improvement for residents, so expedition would be helpful. Ellen F Robertson, chair of land use, housing, and transportation notes that they don’t want to expedite papers without great reason, but Kim Gray is moving forward in supporting this expedition because the residents are in desperate need of better quality housing. Parker C Agelasto says some people were in opposition, but the people who want expedition did not record any details, the number of people in opposition, the reason for their opposition, and overall undervalued and disregarded their attendance and opinions. They have not noted any of the public that they want to expedite this, which shows they are not being transparent, and they are not working with public interest. He argues there is no reason for it to be expedited, however the paper was adopted.

The resolution to support desire for ZP41LLC and ZP143LLC will be expedited.

The resolution to support the counsels desire for ZP 341LLC 343LLC has been adopted. ZAC LLC not registered to do business in Virginia, and their counsel expressed firms intent to transfer interest in property to these two businesses after they rezone the properties. The tenants have not changed, only the entities have.

Ordinance 2019 -272 To “create a new reservation of fund balance called the 2019 Cost of Living Adjustment for City Retirees Reserve, intended to be categorized as an assigned fund balance and used to provide a one-time, one-percent cost of living adjustment for each member of the Richmond Retirement System who receives a retirement allowance” will be heard on Monday, October 28.

Ordinance 2019-273 to “authorize the Chief Administrative Officer, for and on behalf of the City of Richmond, to execute a Commonwealth’s Development Opportunity Fund Performance Agreement between the City of Richmond, Thomson Reuters Holdings Inc., the Economic Development Authority of the City of Richmond, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority for the purpose of providing Thomson Reuters Holdings Inc. with incentives to establish a cybersecurity operations office and to improve, equip, and

operate a new facility in the city of Richmond” will be heard on monday, October 28.

Ordinance 2019-277 to “declare surplus and direct the conveyance of a portion of City-owned real estate on Brown’s Island, located at the south end of the South 5th Street footbridge and consisting of 1,256± square feet in the form of a circle with a diameter of 40 feet, for nominal consideration to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the purpose of facilitating the installation and maintenance of the Emancipation Proclamation and Freedom Monument by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and to repeal Ord. No. 2017-005, adopted Feb. 13, 2017” will be heard on Monday, October 21.

Ordinance 2019-281 to “authorize the Chief Administrative Officer, for and on behalf of the City of Richmond, to execute a Standard Project Administration Agreement between the City of Richmond and the Virginia Department of Transportation to provide funding for the resurfacing of Chippenham Parkway from its intersection with Archdale Road to its intersection with the

Forest Hill Avenue exit ramp,” will be heard on Tuesday, October 22.

Ordinance 2019-282 to “authorize the Chief Administrative Officer, for and on behalf of the City of Richmond, to execute a Standard Project Administration Agreement between the City of Richmond and the Virginia Department of Transportation to provide funding for the resurfacing of Chippenham Parkway from its intersection with Archdale Road to its intersection with the Forest Hill Avenue exit ramp” will be heard on Tuesday, October 22.

District Announcements

Join us tomorrow on October 15 at 6 pm for district office hours about Navy Hill Development at 4 North Thompson Street. Come, ask questions, and have one on one conversations about the development.

First annual southside Stop the Violence Community Day is held October 9 at Broad Rock Sports complex with activities for all ages, food, and music.

Southside community center is hosting a Halloween costume party on Saturday from 6pm-8pm.

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