The Agenda: Local government briefs for 2.24.20

Goochland presents $92M budget proposal for FY21

Goochland County Administrator John Budesky presented a $92.2 million budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 to the Board of Supervisors last week. The proposal includes a general fund budget of $59.8 million, representing an increase from the current year of $3.6 million, or 6.5 percent.

The budget would fund enhanced services for public safety, education and community health, with 10 new full-time fire and sheriff’s office positions and one part-time assistant fire marshal. Schools funding would increase 4.1 percent, or $950,000, over the current budget. All county employees would receive a 2 percent merit compensation increase.

Supervisors will hold budget work sessions at 2 p.m. on Feb. 25, and March 4 and 10. Town hall meetings will be held at 7 p.m. on March 11, 16 and 26. A public hearing will be held April 7 at 6 p.m., and a vote on the budget and tax rates is scheduled April 21 at 2 p.m. Details and the budget document can be viewed here.

12-story tower, Hardywood-area project on City Council agenda

Richmond City Council meets Monday at 6 p.m. Full agenda available here. Business on the consent agenda includes The Opus Group’s request to permit a 12-story, 168-unit residential tower at the northwest corner of Broad and Lombardy streets. The project received support from the Planning Commission last week.

Other business includes requests relating to a likewise-endorsed mixed-use project near the intersection of Ownby Lane and Overbrook Road that would involve Hardywood consolidating its flagship brewery. Spy Rock Real Estate Group and Crescent Preservation & Development Co. are behind the project.

Richmond credit rating improves with Moody’s upgrade

Moody’s Investors Services upgraded Richmond’s outstanding general obligation debt rating to Aa1, the next-to-highest rating possible and the first such upgrade the city has received since 2014. The city holds similar ratings from fellow “Big Three” credit rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Group.

In an announcement last week, Mayor Levar Stoney said the Moody’s upgrade brings the city’s credit to its highest standing in half a century. The upgrade follows Moody’s July 2018 promotion of the city’s credit outlook from “stable” to “positive,” with the agency citing Richmond’s continued growth, diversified tax base, enhanced reserves and conservative budget assumptions.

Credit ratings determine how much a locality can borrow to build capital projects, with higher ratings providing for lower interest rates. The full release from Moody’s can be viewed here.

Hanover board meets this week; Wegmans project endorsed

Site plan for the Wegmans distribution center. (Submitted)

Hanover supervisors meet Wednesday at 6 p.m. Business includes a closed session to discuss recruitment for a county administrator to succeed Cecil “Rhu” Harris Jr., who is retiring in May. Full agenda here.

The Hanover County Planning Commission last week voted to recommend approval of Air Park Associates LP’s rezoning request for the proposed Wegmans Food Markets distribution facility on 220 acres just east of the county airport. The $175 million project now goes to county supervisors for a deciding vote.

Appointments related to Belmont Golf Course on Henrico agenda

Henrico supervisors meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. Full agenda here. Business includes appointments of a member of The First Tee of Greater Richmond Board of Directors, and to establish the Belmont Advisory Committee and set its duties.

The appointments follow Henrico’s recent contract award to The First Tee to take over management of the county-owned Belmont Golf Course. Supervisor Dan Schmitt would be appointed to the First Tee board for a two-year term.

Short-term home rental regs up for a vote in Henrico; Richmond defers

Henrico supervisors also will hold a public hearing on proposed rules for short-term residential rentals in the county. The rules would create a registry for short-term rental properties and impose a transient occupancy tax on them.

Registrants would be charged a $200 annual fee, and the tax would be 8 percent of the rental charge. The ordinance would take effect July 1, and operators would be able to register before then.

Earlier this month, Richmond City Council deferred a vote on its proposed rules to its March 9 meeting. The city’s policy would require anyone looking to rent out a property for less than 30 days at a time to obtain a biennial permit, at a cost of $300.

Unlike Henrico, the city’s policy would not impose a transient occupancy tax on rentals, though the latest version of the proposal notes that transient occupancy and other local taxes will be considered at a later date, potentially taking effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Henrico planning board meets Wednesday

The Henrico County Planning Commission meets Wednesday to review subdivisions and plans of development. Projects on the agenda include a 30-home subdivision called Woodson Hills at Bacova on 12 acres along Liesfield Farm Drive, and a 10,000-square-foot addition to the Encompass Health RVA facility at 5700 Fitzugh Ave. Full agenda here.

Park access and road projects are topics of Chesterfield meeting this week

Chesterfield County will hold a public meeting Tuesday to provide an update on the proposed Henricus Park Public Access project and West Hundred Road/Route 10 project. The meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. in Room N102B of the Talley Workforce Center at John Tyler Community College Chester Campus.

The Henricus project includes a new 1.7-mile local road from the park to Corporate Village Parkway in Meadowville Technology Park. The two-lane road will include multispan bridges; various bicycle, boating and pedestrian facilities; and a new river access.

The Route 10 project construction is underway, and includes road widening and safety improvements from Route 1 to Interstate 95, and from Bermuda Triangle Road to Meadowville Road. Additional project information is available here.
chesterfield.gov/roadprojects

Chesterfield marks arts center progress with topping-out ceremony

The Perkinson Arts Center is scheduled to open in November. (Jonathan Spiers)

Chesterfield County and the Chesterfield Cultural Arts Foundation held a topping-out ceremony to mark the completion of building framework for the Baxter Perkinson Center for the Arts and Education. The $17 million center is under construction beside the Chester Library at Chester Village Green.

Scheduled to open in November, the center will include a 352-seat theater, an art gallery, classroom, multipurpose room, performance patio and 117 parking spaces. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. is constructing the facility, which was designed by Nebraska-based architecture firm DLR Group. Timmons Group is the engineer.

Airport commission meets Tuesday

The Capital Region Airport Commission meets Tuesday at 8 a.m. Business on the agenda includes the regular monthly aviation activity report. Passenger traffic in January totaled 320,991, an 8.2 percent increase over the same month last year and the 28th consecutive monthly increase recorded. The commission meets in the first-floor conference room at Richmond International Airport.

Public design sessions scheduled for Virginia Center Commons area

Henrico County will hold a charrette March 2-6 for residents to share ideas for the future of Virginia Center Commons and the nearby area. The daily sessions will be held at the mall’s food court entrance at 10101 Brook Road.

The intensive planning session encourages public participation and facilitates collaboration between residents, designers and planners on a vision for development. Participants can share ideas and will have an opportunity to provide immediate feedback to staff.

The charrette kicks off March 2 with a hands-on design session from 6-9 p.m., followed by an open design studio March 3-5 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. A work-in-progress presentation will close out the series March 6 at 6 p.m. More information is available here.

Goochland presents $92M budget proposal for FY21

Goochland County Administrator John Budesky presented a $92.2 million budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 to the Board of Supervisors last week. The proposal includes a general fund budget of $59.8 million, representing an increase from the current year of $3.6 million, or 6.5 percent.

The budget would fund enhanced services for public safety, education and community health, with 10 new full-time fire and sheriff’s office positions and one part-time assistant fire marshal. Schools funding would increase 4.1 percent, or $950,000, over the current budget. All county employees would receive a 2 percent merit compensation increase.

Supervisors will hold budget work sessions at 2 p.m. on Feb. 25, and March 4 and 10. Town hall meetings will be held at 7 p.m. on March 11, 16 and 26. A public hearing will be held April 7 at 6 p.m., and a vote on the budget and tax rates is scheduled April 21 at 2 p.m. Details and the budget document can be viewed here.

12-story tower, Hardywood-area project on City Council agenda

Richmond City Council meets Monday at 6 p.m. Full agenda available here. Business on the consent agenda includes The Opus Group’s request to permit a 12-story, 168-unit residential tower at the northwest corner of Broad and Lombardy streets. The project received support from the Planning Commission last week.

Other business includes requests relating to a likewise-endorsed mixed-use project near the intersection of Ownby Lane and Overbrook Road that would involve Hardywood consolidating its flagship brewery. Spy Rock Real Estate Group and Crescent Preservation & Development Co. are behind the project.

Richmond credit rating improves with Moody’s upgrade

Moody’s Investors Services upgraded Richmond’s outstanding general obligation debt rating to Aa1, the next-to-highest rating possible and the first such upgrade the city has received since 2014. The city holds similar ratings from fellow “Big Three” credit rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Group.

In an announcement last week, Mayor Levar Stoney said the Moody’s upgrade brings the city’s credit to its highest standing in half a century. The upgrade follows Moody’s July 2018 promotion of the city’s credit outlook from “stable” to “positive,” with the agency citing Richmond’s continued growth, diversified tax base, enhanced reserves and conservative budget assumptions.

Credit ratings determine how much a locality can borrow to build capital projects, with higher ratings providing for lower interest rates. The full release from Moody’s can be viewed here.

Hanover board meets this week; Wegmans project endorsed

Site plan for the Wegmans distribution center. (Submitted)

Hanover supervisors meet Wednesday at 6 p.m. Business includes a closed session to discuss recruitment for a county administrator to succeed Cecil “Rhu” Harris Jr., who is retiring in May. Full agenda here.

The Hanover County Planning Commission last week voted to recommend approval of Air Park Associates LP’s rezoning request for the proposed Wegmans Food Markets distribution facility on 220 acres just east of the county airport. The $175 million project now goes to county supervisors for a deciding vote.

Appointments related to Belmont Golf Course on Henrico agenda

Henrico supervisors meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. Full agenda here. Business includes appointments of a member of The First Tee of Greater Richmond Board of Directors, and to establish the Belmont Advisory Committee and set its duties.

The appointments follow Henrico’s recent contract award to The First Tee to take over management of the county-owned Belmont Golf Course. Supervisor Dan Schmitt would be appointed to the First Tee board for a two-year term.

Short-term home rental regs up for a vote in Henrico; Richmond defers

Henrico supervisors also will hold a public hearing on proposed rules for short-term residential rentals in the county. The rules would create a registry for short-term rental properties and impose a transient occupancy tax on them.

Registrants would be charged a $200 annual fee, and the tax would be 8 percent of the rental charge. The ordinance would take effect July 1, and operators would be able to register before then.

Earlier this month, Richmond City Council deferred a vote on its proposed rules to its March 9 meeting. The city’s policy would require anyone looking to rent out a property for less than 30 days at a time to obtain a biennial permit, at a cost of $300.

Unlike Henrico, the city’s policy would not impose a transient occupancy tax on rentals, though the latest version of the proposal notes that transient occupancy and other local taxes will be considered at a later date, potentially taking effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Henrico planning board meets Wednesday

The Henrico County Planning Commission meets Wednesday to review subdivisions and plans of development. Projects on the agenda include a 30-home subdivision called Woodson Hills at Bacova on 12 acres along Liesfield Farm Drive, and a 10,000-square-foot addition to the Encompass Health RVA facility at 5700 Fitzugh Ave. Full agenda here.

Park access and road projects are topics of Chesterfield meeting this week

Chesterfield County will hold a public meeting Tuesday to provide an update on the proposed Henricus Park Public Access project and West Hundred Road/Route 10 project. The meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. in Room N102B of the Talley Workforce Center at John Tyler Community College Chester Campus.

The Henricus project includes a new 1.7-mile local road from the park to Corporate Village Parkway in Meadowville Technology Park. The two-lane road will include multispan bridges; various bicycle, boating and pedestrian facilities; and a new river access.

The Route 10 project construction is underway, and includes road widening and safety improvements from Route 1 to Interstate 95, and from Bermuda Triangle Road to Meadowville Road. Additional project information is available here.
chesterfield.gov/roadprojects

Chesterfield marks arts center progress with topping-out ceremony

The Perkinson Arts Center is scheduled to open in November. (Jonathan Spiers)

Chesterfield County and the Chesterfield Cultural Arts Foundation held a topping-out ceremony to mark the completion of building framework for the Baxter Perkinson Center for the Arts and Education. The $17 million center is under construction beside the Chester Library at Chester Village Green.

Scheduled to open in November, the center will include a 352-seat theater, an art gallery, classroom, multipurpose room, performance patio and 117 parking spaces. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. is constructing the facility, which was designed by Nebraska-based architecture firm DLR Group. Timmons Group is the engineer.

Airport commission meets Tuesday

The Capital Region Airport Commission meets Tuesday at 8 a.m. Business on the agenda includes the regular monthly aviation activity report. Passenger traffic in January totaled 320,991, an 8.2 percent increase over the same month last year and the 28th consecutive monthly increase recorded. The commission meets in the first-floor conference room at Richmond International Airport.

Public design sessions scheduled for Virginia Center Commons area

Henrico County will hold a charrette March 2-6 for residents to share ideas for the future of Virginia Center Commons and the nearby area. The daily sessions will be held at the mall’s food court entrance at 10101 Brook Road.

The intensive planning session encourages public participation and facilitates collaboration between residents, designers and planners on a vision for development. Participants can share ideas and will have an opportunity to provide immediate feedback to staff.

The charrette kicks off March 2 with a hands-on design session from 6-9 p.m., followed by an open design studio March 3-5 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. A work-in-progress presentation will close out the series March 6 at 6 p.m. More information is available here.

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