The Agenda: Local government briefs for 7.27.20

A map of the proposed enterprise zone changes in Henrico. (Henrico County)

Enterprise zone changes on Henrico agenda

Henrico supervisors meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. Full agenda here. Public hearing items include a proposed amendment to the county’s portion of the City of Richmond North/Henrico County Enterprise Zone.

The amendment, which requires similar action by the city, would remove nearly 273 acres of publicly owned land that is identified for residential development but is unable to be developed; add approximately 219 acres for potential economic development and revitalization; and modify three of the 14 county incentives used to encourage job creation and private investment in areas within the zone.

The full amendment can be viewed here, and a map of the property changes is available here. The agenda states that Richmond City Council is expected to consider the amendment in August.

Mine operator switch, ATP trail segment OK’d in Hanover

Hanover supervisors approved a request from Monarch Mountain Minerals and Aggregates LLC to permit a stone, sand or gravel mine on 250 acres of a 1,200-acre property at the terminus of Bullfield Road. Monarch plans to take over the mine that has operated continuously with a state permit for over 50 years.

The board adopted a resolution supporting construction of a segment of the Ashland to Petersburg Trail (ATP) between Holly Hill Road and the planned Woodman Road extension in Henrico County. The proposed multi-use trail corridor would extend approximately 43 miles and is being planned by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Deadline is today for Hanover small business grant applications

Applications for Hanover County’s Small Business Resiliency Grants are due today before midnight. The county is offering up to $5,000 in recovery funding per applicant for businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The $300,000 grant program is made possible by federal funding under the CARES Act. More information about the program is available here.

Nearly $2M in grants awarded through Chesterfield’s ‘Back In Business’ program

About $1.9 million in grants were awarded to more than 200 businesses in the county through Chesterfield Economic Development’s Back In Business grant program. The program was launched in June through a $5 million CARES Act funding allocation to assist businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, Chesterfield supervisors allocated $50,000 for area residents seeking rent and mortgage assistance due to the pandemic. The funds are likewise part of $30 million in total CARES Act funding that Chesterfield received from the federal government in March. The $50,000 will be allocated to the Area Congregations Together Service RVA, a regional nonprofit.

Chesterfield bond rating reaffirmed

The nation’s top three ratings agencies reaffirmed Chesterfield County’s triple-AAA bond rating, keeping Chesterfield among about 1 percent of counties nationwide that hold the top rating from each of the three agencies: Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch Ratings. The county has earned a triple-AAA rating for the past 23 years.

Petersburg reports fund balance gains

The City of Petersburg reported a positive general fund balance for fiscal year 2019, continuing a three-year trend. The unassigned fund balance increased to just over $8 million, a 10-year high, continuing gains made since 2015, the last time the balance was negative.

By FY17, the city had closed a $7 million deficit to nearly $144,000, and the following fiscal year, the city’s fund balance exceeded $2.8 million, marking the first time since 2015 that revenues exceeded expenditures.

6-story building near Scott’s Addition gets city planning OK, heads to council

The Richmond Planning Commission at its meeting last week endorsed a plan for a six-story cohousing apartment building at 1101 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. D.C.-based Outlier Realty Capital is planning a nearly 65,000-square-foot structure with 29 apartments totaling 148 bedrooms with shared kitchen and living areas. The project goes to City Council for a final vote at its meeting tonight (see below).

The commission deferred until Sept. 8 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 in May.

$22M spent on city road paving over past 12 months

The City of Richmond spent $22 million paving over 320 lane miles in fiscal year 2020, according to an announcement. Of those funds, $15 million came from the capital improvement plan budget, $1 million from state revenue funds and $6 million from various public works and public utilities departmental funding.

Mayor Levar Stoney announced the figures while visiting public works crews paving along Richmond’s segment of Chippenham Parkway. The $1.5 million Chippenham project spans nearly 20 lane miles and is being conducted at night to minimize traffic congestion.

Paving being done on Chippenham Parkway. (Submitted)

Stoney said light traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic has facilitated efficient work. Upcoming paving projects include Broad Street, Ruffin Road, and Fairfield, Fauquier and Patterson Avenues, as well as residential roads in Oakwood, Mosby, Whitcomb, Carytown South and the Fan.

Police reforms, residential infill near Scott’s Addition on City Council agenda

Richmond City Council meets Monday. Agendas available here. The agenda for its 4 p.m. informal meeting includes a homelessness strategy update and an eviction diversion program report.

Business on the 6 p.m. regular meeting agenda includes an ordinance to establish a taskforce for a proposed civilian review board for the police department, as well as a workgroup to develop a plan by October to implement a proposed formal crisis alert system, called the “Marcus Alert,” to address calls about mental and behavioral health crises.

A proposal by councilmembers Stephanie Lynch and Michael Jones would request a report on re-appropriation and transfer of funding from the police department to other city departments and to community mental health, substance abuse and social service programs.

Other business includes a rezoning request from Mark Baker with Baker Development Resources to allow an infill development at 3307 and 3311 Cutshaw Ave. The rezoning would allow two-family dwellings to be added to the alley side of existing four-unit dwellings.

A proposal to rename Route 1 in the city’s Southside from Jefferson Davis Highway is to be continued to Sept. 28. Councilmember Reva Trammel had proposed changing the name to “Richmond Highway,” but council has said it wants more time to consider the name change and receive public input. Councilmember Chris Hilbert and Mayor Stoney have added their names to the proposal.

Chesterfield cuts ribbon on adult care facility

Chesterfield County held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the Pine Forest Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. The five-bedroom facility provides 24-hour intermediate care and is the fourth adult group home completed through the county’s Build-a-House Project.

The new Pine Forest facility. (Submitted)

The facility is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and is managed by the Chesterfield County Community Services Board. The Build-a-House Project is a cooperative effort through which students at the Chesterfield Technical Center construct homes on donated or county-owned land. Construction expenses are funded by nonprofit organization Chesterfield Alternatives Inc.

Construction began in 2017, and residents moved into the facility on July 17. The facility is located at 2519 Pine Forest Drive.

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