The Agenda: Local government briefs for 5.18.20

Ashland launches business grant program, allows more outdoor dining space

The Town of Ashland launched two initiatives aimed at supporting local businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

A new business grant program funded by the town’s Economic Development Authority will allocate $35,000 for grants of up to $2,000 to help businesses implement best practices for maintaining a safe and healthy environment for patrons and employees. Any business located within the town’s corporate limits is eligible to apply for the grants, which will be administered by town staff.

Funds from the program, called the Safety Enhancement Grant program, can be used to purchase items needed to reopen a business or reach certain service levels, such as personal protective equipment for staff, easy-to-clean or disposable menus, or additional outdoor furniture for expanded patio seating.

The town also is making temporary changes to regulations that will allow for expanded outdoor patio space at restaurants and retail establishments. Called Parking to Patio initiative, the new measures will permit outdoor seating to encroach on up to 25 percent of required parking while social distance measures are in effect.

The town also will temporarily close portions of public parking and streets in the downtown area to allow adjacent businesses to expand their operations outdoors. Restaurants that want to participate must coordinate with the town’s community development department and seek approval from the Virginia Department of Health and Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

Details on the grants program and Parking to Patio initiative are available from the community development department at [email protected] or (804) 798-1073.

Quarry operator looks to relocate plant in Goochland

A virtual community meeting is scheduled Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on a permit request from Martin Marietta Materials to relocate its existing processing plant and equipment, and construct new office space at 1916 Ashland Road. The permit also would allow for storage of dirt removed from the active Anderson Creek Quarry nearby. The meeting will be held online via Zoom. Details here.

144-home development proposed in Hanover

The Hanover County Planning Commission meets Thursday at 7 p.m. Business on the agenda includes rezoning and permit requests from Presbytery of the James to allow 144 home lots, including 63 townhomes and 81 houses, on 52 acres on the south side of Rural Point Road east of its intersection with Chamberlayne Road. Full agenda here.

Public comment period ends Wednesday on regional transportation plan

Comments on the regional long-range transportation plan, called ConnectRVA 2045, will be accepted through Wednesday via the plan’s website. The Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization is updating the plan, which will guide the region’s transportation investments in the next 20 years and focuses on all modes of travel, including transit, highway, bicycle and pedestrian.

Chesterfield planning board to revisit Courthouse Landing project

Courthouse Landing will include 350,000 square feet of retail space. (Courtesy Cuhaci & Peterson)

The Chesterfield County Planning Commission meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. Public hearing items include the Courthouse Landing project, which was deferred from the commission’s April meeting.

The commission will give a second look at the $165 million development, which it gave a thumbs-down to in December. Supervisors in January gave the developers more time to address concerns about projected traffic and school impacts, and the site’s proximity to Chesterfield County Airport.

Plans call for a hotel, 400,000 square feet of retail and office space, and hundreds of new homes planned for 122 acres southeast of the Route 288-Iron Bridge Road interchange.

Farmers market, 112-foot flagpole proposed

Also on the agenda is a zoning request to allow a farmers market and outdoor vendors on 46 acres northeast of North Woolridge and Coalfield roads, and fronting the west side of Woolridge south of Walton Park Road.

Another request seeks to permit a 62-foot height extension for the Virginia Flaggers group’s flagpole at 2501 Old Bermuda Hundred Road beside Interstate 95. The 50-foot flagpole was erected in 2013 and displays a Confederate flag. The height extension would bring the pole to 112 feet.

The flagpole request is recommended for denial, with county planners noting the site’s agricultural zoning restricts accessory structures to 50 feet. A 212-foot flagpole bearing the U.S. flag is located along 95 about a mile north. That pole was erected in 2018 after county supervisors granted an exception to the industrially zoned site’s 150-foot height restriction.

The full Planning Commission agenda is available here.

A map detailing the proposed changes. (Courtesy City of Richmond)

Pulse Corridor Plan rezonings to be deferred a month

The Richmond Planning Commission meets Monday at 1:30 p.m. Full agenda here. The commission plans to defer review of a third phase of rezonings recommended in the city’s Pulse Corridor Plan, focusing on land primarily north of Broad Street in and around the Carver and Newtowne West neighborhoods.

Stony Point townhome project on agenda

Other business on the agenda includes a final community unit plan amendment and preliminary subdivision review for the Stony Point Community Unit Plan relating to Dominion Diversified Real Estate Group’s 59-unit townhome development planned on about 5 acres at 9230 Forest Hill Ave., just north of Stony Point Shopping Center. Stanley Martin Homes will build the “two-over-two”-style units.

The full Planning Commission agenda is available here.

A conceptual site plan of Stony Point. (Courtesy of Dominion Diversified)

Henrico, Richmond approve budgets

Henrico supervisors adopted the reworked budget plan for fiscal year 2021. The $1.3 billion plan’s general operating fund is about $99 million less than the original plan presented in early March and nearly $45 million less than the current general fund.

Richmond City Council approved Mayor Levar Stoney’s revised budget by a 5-4 vote. The plan for FY21 is based on a general fund totaling $744.1 million, a decrease of about 5 percent from the $782.6 million general fund budget that Stoney initially proposed in March.

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