The Agenda: Local government briefs for 6.22.20

Richmond police chief resigns at mayor’s request

Richmond Police Chief William Smith resigned last week at the request of Mayor Levar Stoney. Major William Jody Blackwell was named interim chief.

The move came in the wake of recent protests that in some instances resulted in officers using tear gas on protestors, in one case before a city-enforced curfew took effect. Stoney said in a statement that Blackwell “is willing and able to focus on necessary public safety reform, healing and trust building within the community.”

Stoney said he plans to submit a letter to Richmond City Council outlining a request to work with his administration, Blackwell and the community to develop legislation to create a citizen review board. Council is scheduled to discuss the letter in an informal meeting Monday at 3 p.m.

Short-term home rental rules, surplus property designation on City Council agenda

City Council meets in regular session at 6 p.m. Monday Full agenda available here.

Business includes a vote on proposed rules for short-term home rentals in the city. The vote was deferred from council’s May 26 meeting after several members questioned the latest version of the proposal, which would have prohibited rental properties that were not an operator’s primary residence. Members asked for more time to consider other localities’ policies, contending that the primary residency requirement would prohibit a significant number of rentals in the city.

Another item deferred from that meeting is a surplus property designation related to land once eyed for the Navy Hill project. The amended proposal removes other properties so that only the Public Safety Building property at 500 N. 10th St. would be declared surplus. That property is the focus of one of the two unsolicited offers that the city has received since Navy Hill was voted down.

A rendering of the proposed office tower and complex that would replace the Public Safety Building. (Courtesy Capital City Partners)

Other business includes a vote to change the effective date of the city’s C-PACE program from July 1 to March 1, 2021. The change is prompted by a statewide clean energy financing program that was approved in the General Assembly session this spring and is planned to roll out next fiscal year.

Council will consider a request from Stephanie Lynch that a process be developed for renaming the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge. It also will consider a resolution proposed by 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.

Also on the agenda is a vote deferred from council’s previous meeting on Kemp Enterprises’ request to modify its plans for a hybrid residential-and-storage development along Hull Street Road just east of Warwick Road. The project, which was approved last year, now calls for an initial phase consisting of a minimum of 240 age-restricted apartments, 157,000 square feet of self-storage space and four-story building heights.

Short-term home rental fee, ASGN agreement on Henrico agenda

Henrico supervisors meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. Full agenda here.

Business includes an amendment to the county’s fee schedule to add a $300 application fee for short-term residential rental permits. The fee is expected to defray some of the costs of processing and advertising applications.

The fee adds to other costs to operate short-term rentals in the county. In February, supervisors introduced a policy that requires operators to register short-term rentals in the county, pay a $200 annual registration fee and pay the county’s transient occupancy tax, at the same 8 percent rate charged for hotel and motel room stays. The policy takes effect July 1.

Also on the agenda is a performance agreement relating to ASGN Inc. moving its corporate headquarters from California to 4400 Cox Road in Innsbrook. In return for a $900,000 state grant and $400,000 in annual grants from the Henrico EDA over a four-year period, ASGN is required to make a capital investment of at least $5 million in the facility and create at least 121 jobs in the county.

Courthouse Landing project returns to Chesterfield supervisors

An earlier site plan of Courthouse Landing. The project has since been revised, with retention ponds removed. (Submitted file)

Chesterfield supervisors meet Wednesday at 6 p.m. Business on the agenda include a vote on the Courthouse Landing development proposed for 122 acres southeast of the Route 288-Iron Bridge Road interchange.

The $265 million project has been modified since supervisors first reviewed it in January, when it was sent back to the Planning Commission to give the developers more time to address concerns. The commission unanimously endorsed the revised plan last month.

Modifications include the removal of retention ponds and limits on water detention facilities to prevent waterfowl from congregating in proximity to the airport. Building heights are restricted to 60 feet, and the project calls for a phased development to balance out residential and commercial construction.

Other changes include the addition of a sound suppression system for residential properties, and traffic improvements including additional turn lanes at the intersection of Iron Bridge and Courthouse roads. Plans call for a 120-room hotel, 365,000 square feet of retail and office space, 115,000 square feet of self-storage space, and 600 multifamily units split between apartments and condos.

Other business on the agenda includes a request from Carthan Currin to rezone 4 acres off West Booker Road south of Iron Bridge Road to allow a 50-unit senior housing development. Full agenda here.

144-home development, airport hangar lease on Hanover agenda

Hanover supervisors meet Wednesday at 3 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.

Other business includes a 25-year ground lease with Heart of Virginia Aviation for a hangar at Hanover County Municipal Airport. Rent would start at $9,980 per six-month period and escalate at 3 percent annually, and the lease calls for HOVA to construct a 100-by-150-foot hanger and associated parking. Full agenda here.

Rogers-Chenault planning 51-acre development near Ashland

The Hanover County Planning Commission last week deferred a request from Hickory Hill II LLC to rezone 51 acres on the north side of East Patrick Henry Road at Providence Church Road to allow a multiuse development by Rogers-Chenault Inc., which also is developing the nearby Hickory Hill subdivision.

Called Hickory Grove, the projects calls for 42 of the acres to be developed with 100 age-restricted townhomes and a mix of commercial uses including retail, office and restaurant. The remaining 9 acres would be developed with commercial uses that could include a convenience store and fast-food restaurant. The property is just east of Ashland town limits.

The commission deferred the case for 30 days to allow the developer to address concerns including traffic impacts and architecture designs.

Goochland opens new animal shelter

Goochland County opened its new animal shelter and adoption center June 15. The nearly 14,000-square-foot facility at 1900 Hidden Rock Lane includes an in-house spay/neuter clinic and a larger footprint than the previous shelter it replaced.

The county broke ground on the new facility in August 2017. Two years later, the original general contractor was fired for lack of performance, and Richmond-based Hourigan was hired to complete the project. Construction wrapped up earlier this year. A virtual tour of the facility can be viewed here.

Firm selected to expand broadband in Goochland

Goochland is working with Central Virginia Electric Cooperative and subsidiary Central Virginia Services Inc. to expand broadband service in the county. CVSI, which operates Firefly Fiber BroadbandSM, will expand fiber optic lines for nearly 2,700 locations including 300 businesses in western Goochland.

The Goochland Economic Development Authority last year executed an initial broadband incentive agreement with CVEC and CVSI to provide financial assistance through tax rebates to improve the availability of broadband throughout their service territory. FCC and USDA grants will be used to help finance the fiber buildout, which is expected to be complete within five years.

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