Council greenlights Coliseum redevelopment commission, Chamberlayne Ave. project

Richmond City Council. (Mike Platania)

Richmond City Council on Monday voted to approve the formation of an advisory committee to study the Coliseum redevelopment proposal, while also giving its blessing to a Northside real estate project.

A rezoning request was approved for part of the 1700 block of Chamberlayne Avenue, which would change about 1.5 acres from M-1 Light Industrial to B-6 Mixed-Use Business District.

Zac Frederick’s Crescent Preservation & Development Co. requested the rezoning, but has not disclosed any details about the project.

Council however delayed granting a special-use permit for another nearby project – a proposed 224-unit apartment development at 2009 Brook Road led by local general contracting firm Loughridge & Co. Construction Services. The group is planning to build two buildings with more than 200 apartments on about 4 acres near Virginia Union University. A former U.S. Postal Service warehouse would be razed to make way for the project.

A new $32 million apartment development s being constructed near VUU. (Courtesy of Cox, Kliewer & Co.)

The SUP request will next be heard at council’s Jan. 14 meeting.

Other action at Monday night’s meeting included a delay on a vote that would allow electric, dockless scooters, such as those operated by West Coast startups Bird and Lime, to operate legally in Richmond.

After Bird unexpectedly dropped a fleet of its scooters around Richmond during the summer, the city promptly impounded them, saying the company was in violation of city code relating to the public right-of-way on sidewalks.

About a month later, Mayor Levar Stoney wrote legislation that would clear the way for such scooters to operate legally. In November, the city’s Land Use, Housing and Transportation Standing Committee sent the mayor’s ordinance to Council, but did not give a recommendation.

Stoney’s press secretary Jim Nolan said the ordinance was continued on Monday because amendments to it are being researched by the city attorney. The matter now is scheduled to be voted on at Council’s Jan. 14 meeting.

A Bird electric scooter parked outside City Hall. (Mike Platania)

Council also delayed voting on an ordinance that would prohibit bike lanes from being built along a 3.5-mile stretch on Brook Road from its intersections with Azalea Avenue and Charity Street. The amendment is now on Council’s Jan. 28 meeting.

Lastly, council voted to create the Navy Hill Development Advisory Commission to review and hold public meetings about NH District Corp.’s redevelopment proposal for the Richmond Coliseum and its surrounding blocks.

The full details of the $1.4 billion project have not yet been introduced to council by Stoney, although he has publicly endorsed the endeavor.

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