The Agenda: Local government briefs for 6.15.20

Chesterfield accepting applications for $5M ‘Back in Business’ grant program

Chesterfield County is accepting applications for its $5 million “Back in Business” grant program. The $10,000 grants are designed to provide relief to businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications will be accepted beginning at noon Monday through noon this Thursday, June 18. Businesses can apply via a link to be posted here.

The program is a partnership between the county and the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce. County supervisors in March earmarked $5 million in federal CARES Act funding for the program.

E-commerce grant program available to businesses in Goochland

Goochland County’s Economic Development Authority has adopted an e-commerce grant program directed to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The goal of the program is to provide financial assistance to local businesses that have had to shift their business models to a digital platform to accommodate closures or limited business hours.

The grant program operates on a reimbursement basis and has a maximum award amount of $500 or 50 percent of the total project costs, whichever is less. Project costs that can be reimbursed include digital marketing, website redesign and e-commerce website improvement. Applicants may apply for completed or proposed projects.

Seven businesses have been approved for the grants so far. Applications will continue to be accepted while Virginia is in a state of emergency for COVID-19. Applications are available here and can be e-mailed or dropped off at the Goochland Business Center building at 2931 River Road West.

Goochland appoints interim county administrator

Derek Stamey

Goochland County supervisors named Deputy County Administrator Derek Stamey as interim county administrator effective July 1. Stamey will serve as interim administrator and clerk to the board until the county hires a replacement for John Budesky, who is leaving June 30 to become Hanover County’s administrator.

Henrico renames Confederate Hills Recreation Center

Henrico County renamed its Confederate Hills Recreation Center to The Springs Recreation Center. Varina Supervisor Tyrone Nelson recommended changing the name of the facility, which is located on Lee Avenue in the Highland Springs area.

The name change takes place amid ongoing national and Richmond-area protests regarding police violence, systemic and historical racism and the recent killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other African Americans. Lettering for the new name was installed June 10 on a large brick sign in the building’s front lawn.

New signage reflects the recreation center’s name change. (Henrico County)

The building was constructed in 1925 by the Locomotive Club of Richmond and later served as a clubhouse for employees of the American Locomotive Company. The property was purchased in 1977 by the Confederate Hills Civic and Recreation Association and was used as a private swim and racket club. Henrico County acquired the facility in 1994 and opened it as a recreation center in 1997.

The facility’s meeting rooms, which formerly had been labeled to reflect the building’s original use as a locomotive club, are being renamed as well. The new names are Empowerment Room, Justice Room and Terrace, Equity Room and Progress Pavilion.

Lee Bridge renaming, Commerce Road redevelopment study on city agenda

Richmond City Council’s Land Use, Housing and Transportation Standing Committee meets Tuesday at 1 p.m. Full agenda available here.

Business on the agenda includes a resolution proposed by council member Ellen Robertson requesting a redevelopment study of properties along and in the area of Commerce Road. The study would identify potential opportunities for redevelopment of certain properties in the area generally between Semmes Avenue and Bellemeade Road.

Council member Andreas Addison is proposing an amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance to eliminate or reduce parking minimums and restrictions in areas zoned for commercial use and areas within the TOD-1 Transit Oriented Nodal District. Addison is requesting a study to determine whether and, if so, how the zoning ordinance may be amended to permit changes as may be necessary.

Council member Stephanie Lynch is requesting that a process be developed for renaming the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge.

112-foot flagpole proposal back on Chesterfield planning agenda

The Chesterfield County Planning Commission meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. The full agenda for the meeting, which will be held in-person, is available here.

Business includes a request from Emerson Cos. to rezone 37 acres on the west side of Ramblewood Road south of Rebel Ridge Road to allow a seven-lot subdivision.

Also on the agenda is a request deferred from the commission’s May meeting that 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 has previously displayed 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 I-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.

City planning board meets Monday; Pulse Corridor Plan rezonings to be deferred another month

The Richmond Planning Commission meets Monday at 1:30 p.m. Full agenda here. Business includes a presentation of the draft Richmond 300 master land use plan.

The commission plans to defer for another month its 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. The review was initially deferred from the commission’s meeting last month and is now scheduled July 20.

Chesterfield reopening some county facilities

Chesterfield County is reopening several offices and facilities to the public including three library branches, several athletics fields and recreation centers, and the Community Development and Utilities buildings.

Athletic fields and courts managed by the parks and recreation department opened Friday for recreational sports practices and training only. The Bensley, Ettrick and Stonebridge recreation centers reopen Monday and will operate 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The Rockwood Nature Center will reopen Tuesday and operate noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.

Central Library, Meadowdale Library and North Courthouse Road Library reopen Monday, June 15. Each location will operate 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The first-floor customer service centers of the Community Development Building and the Utilities Building on Government Center Parkway reopens Monday.

Cell phone use while driving now illegal in Richmond

A new law that took effect June 9 makes it illegal to use a handheld communications device such as a cell phone while driving in city limits. Violations are considered a traffic infraction punishable by a civil fine of $125 for the first offense and $250 for any subsequent offenses.

The law applies to talking and texting on a phone while driving, as well as manipulating a device or screen to view a map, listen to music, open an email or browse social media. It does not apply to drivers lawfully parked or stopped, meaning drivers can use a handheld communications device in their vehicle as long as they are not actively driving. Emergency vehicle drivers and civilians reporting an emergency are exempted from the ordinance.

Chesterfield accepting applications for $5M ‘Back in Business’ grant program

Chesterfield County is accepting applications for its $5 million “Back in Business” grant program. The $10,000 grants are designed to provide relief to businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications will be accepted beginning at noon Monday through noon this Thursday, June 18. Businesses can apply via a link to be posted here.

The program is a partnership between the county and the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce. County supervisors in March earmarked $5 million in federal CARES Act funding for the program.

E-commerce grant program available to businesses in Goochland

Goochland County’s Economic Development Authority has adopted an e-commerce grant program directed to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The goal of the program is to provide financial assistance to local businesses that have had to shift their business models to a digital platform to accommodate closures or limited business hours.

The grant program operates on a reimbursement basis and has a maximum award amount of $500 or 50 percent of the total project costs, whichever is less. Project costs that can be reimbursed include digital marketing, website redesign and e-commerce website improvement. Applicants may apply for completed or proposed projects.

Seven businesses have been approved for the grants so far. Applications will continue to be accepted while Virginia is in a state of emergency for COVID-19. Applications are available here and can be e-mailed or dropped off at the Goochland Business Center building at 2931 River Road West.

Goochland appoints interim county administrator

Derek Stamey

Goochland County supervisors named Deputy County Administrator Derek Stamey as interim county administrator effective July 1. Stamey will serve as interim administrator and clerk to the board until the county hires a replacement for John Budesky, who is leaving June 30 to become Hanover County’s administrator.

Henrico renames Confederate Hills Recreation Center

Henrico County renamed its Confederate Hills Recreation Center to The Springs Recreation Center. Varina Supervisor Tyrone Nelson recommended changing the name of the facility, which is located on Lee Avenue in the Highland Springs area.

The name change takes place amid ongoing national and Richmond-area protests regarding police violence, systemic and historical racism and the recent killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other African Americans. Lettering for the new name was installed June 10 on a large brick sign in the building’s front lawn.

New signage reflects the recreation center’s name change. (Henrico County)

The building was constructed in 1925 by the Locomotive Club of Richmond and later served as a clubhouse for employees of the American Locomotive Company. The property was purchased in 1977 by the Confederate Hills Civic and Recreation Association and was used as a private swim and racket club. Henrico County acquired the facility in 1994 and opened it as a recreation center in 1997.

The facility’s meeting rooms, which formerly had been labeled to reflect the building’s original use as a locomotive club, are being renamed as well. The new names are Empowerment Room, Justice Room and Terrace, Equity Room and Progress Pavilion.

Lee Bridge renaming, Commerce Road redevelopment study on city agenda

Richmond City Council’s Land Use, Housing and Transportation Standing Committee meets Tuesday at 1 p.m. Full agenda available here.

Business on the agenda includes a resolution proposed by council member Ellen Robertson requesting a redevelopment study of properties along and in the area of Commerce Road. The study would identify potential opportunities for redevelopment of certain properties in the area generally between Semmes Avenue and Bellemeade Road.

Council member Andreas Addison is proposing an amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance to eliminate or reduce parking minimums and restrictions in areas zoned for commercial use and areas within the TOD-1 Transit Oriented Nodal District. Addison is requesting a study to determine whether and, if so, how the zoning ordinance may be amended to permit changes as may be necessary.

Council member Stephanie Lynch is requesting that a process be developed for renaming the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge.

112-foot flagpole proposal back on Chesterfield planning agenda

The Chesterfield County Planning Commission meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. The full agenda for the meeting, which will be held in-person, is available here.

Business includes a request from Emerson Cos. to rezone 37 acres on the west side of Ramblewood Road south of Rebel Ridge Road to allow a seven-lot subdivision.

Also on the agenda is a request deferred from the commission’s May meeting that 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 has previously displayed 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 I-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.

City planning board meets Monday; Pulse Corridor Plan rezonings to be deferred another month

The Richmond Planning Commission meets Monday at 1:30 p.m. Full agenda here. Business includes a presentation of the draft Richmond 300 master land use plan.

The commission plans to defer for another month its 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. The review was initially deferred from the commission’s meeting last month and is now scheduled July 20.

Chesterfield reopening some county facilities

Chesterfield County is reopening several offices and facilities to the public including three library branches, several athletics fields and recreation centers, and the Community Development and Utilities buildings.

Athletic fields and courts managed by the parks and recreation department opened Friday for recreational sports practices and training only. The Bensley, Ettrick and Stonebridge recreation centers reopen Monday and will operate 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The Rockwood Nature Center will reopen Tuesday and operate noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.

Central Library, Meadowdale Library and North Courthouse Road Library reopen Monday, June 15. Each location will operate 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The first-floor customer service centers of the Community Development Building and the Utilities Building on Government Center Parkway reopens Monday.

Cell phone use while driving now illegal in Richmond

A new law that took effect June 9 makes it illegal to use a handheld communications device such as a cell phone while driving in city limits. Violations are considered a traffic infraction punishable by a civil fine of $125 for the first offense and $250 for any subsequent offenses.

The law applies to talking and texting on a phone while driving, as well as manipulating a device or screen to view a map, listen to music, open an email or browse social media. It does not apply to drivers lawfully parked or stopped, meaning drivers can use a handheld communications device in their vehicle as long as they are not actively driving. Emergency vehicle drivers and civilians reporting an emergency are exempted from the ordinance.

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