The Agenda: Local government briefs for 11.21.22

The Genito/288 Special Focus Area Plan was approved by the Board of Supervisors. (Image courtesy of Chesterfield County)

Richmond floats 5-cent real estate tax rebate

The City Council last week introduced an ordinance to provide a onetime, 5-cent real estate tax rebate as an alternative to previously proposed reductions to the tax rate, which stands at $1.20 per $100 of assessed value.

The ordinance would assign up to $18 million, or more than 10 percent, of a general fund surplus from last fiscal year to provide the rebate, which city administrators favor to maintain the city’s financial reserves and bond ratings.

Taxpayers who paid real estate property tax in the second half of the fiscal year, which ended June 30, would be eligible to receive the rebate either in full or a prorated amount. Eligible property owners would receive their rebates via mailed check in February 2023. The cost to the city to administer the rebate program is estimated at $100,000.

A public hearing on the proposal, called the “Five Back Initiative,” is scheduled for the council’s Dec. 12 meeting.

RFP in the works for Richmond zoning ordinance rewrite

The City Council’s Land Use, Housing and Transportation Standing Committee meets Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Business on the agenda includes a staff presentation on a request for proposals from consultants for a planned rewrite of the city’s zoning ordinance.

The rewrite is aimed to update city zoning requirements to better reflect development trends and goals. Some of the topics to be addressed in the new document include minimum parking requirements, accessory dwelling units and short-term rentals.

The two-year process would start with creation of a citywide development pattern book and frameworks for a new zoning ordinance and zoning districts, followed by a drafting of the new ordinance in the second year. The RFP would be finalized and issued, with one or more consultants selected and contracts finalized.

A presentation supplement can be found with the meeting agenda here.

Henrico manager delivers annual State of the County address

Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas giving his annual State of the County address. (Screenshot)

Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas delivered his annual State of the County address at the Short Pump Hilton last week.

The address highlighted the county’s accomplishments and initiatives from 2022, including voter approval of a $511 million bond referendum, $51 million in tax relief for residents, major development and redevelopment projects and the establishment of the Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority to attract more sports tourism and entertainment to the county.

A copy of the presentation can be found here, and a video of the address can be viewed on Henrico’s YouTube channel here.

Related, a copy of the county’s annual report for fiscal year 2021-22 is posted here.

Grocery store set for Winterpock Crossing gets nod from supervisors

The Chesterfield Board of Supervisors last week OK’d a zoning request to permit the construction of a grocery store at Winterpock Crossing shopping center.

Atlanta-based SJC Ventures is planning to build a 43,000-square-foot grocery store on an undeveloped section of the shopping center near Moseley. The store is identified as an unnamed “first-to-market” brand in records related to the project.

Chesterfield consultant says Southside Speedway needs major repairs

A consultant hired by the county to study Southside Speedway identified millions of dollars in repairs that would be required before the return of racing at the venue. (BizSense file photo)

A consultant told the Board of Supervisors last week that it would cost $10 million and $15 million to rebuild the shuttered Southside Speedway before races could resume there.

In a presentation of his findings to the board during its meeting on Wednesday, consultant Martyn Thake said most of the facilities at the racetrack, including the track itself, protective barriers, buildings and bleachers, are in bad shape and aren’t suitable for racing events at this time.

Chesterfield County staff is working on a request for qualifications in its continuing effort to see the property redeveloped. Though a proposal made by an unnamed developer to redevelop the site and reintroduce racing there has been deemed infeasible due to costs and other factors, county officials have said they would consider further proposals that include racing facilities.

Supervisors voted to approve the Genito/288 Special Focus Area Plan. The land-use plan is intended to guide development of the Southside Speedway and surrounding areas toward amenities that would complement the county’s River City Sportsplex, a 115-acre youth sports tournament facility. 

Miller sworn in as Midlothian representative on Board of Supervisors 

Mark Miller was sworn last week in as the Midlothian District representative on the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors after winning the recent special election for the seat.

Mark Miller

Miller, a Democrat, defeated Republican Jennifer McNinch in the election. The seat he assumed had been held on an interim basis by Tara Carroll after the resignation of Leslie Haley in June to accept a gig with the Office of the Attorney General.

Miller will serve the remaining year left on Haley’s term. He and the rest of the board will be up for reelection next fall.

Miller is a licensed professional counselor and has worked at Brightpoint Community College for eight years. Before that, he worked for Chesterfield Mental Health Support Services for 15 years, according to a county news release.

He has a doctorate in clinical psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He also has degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Shippensburg University.

Planning Commission rejects subdivision in southern Chesterfield

The Chesterfield Planning Commission recommended denial of a rezoning request needed for a proposed 100-lot residential subdivision in southern Chesterfield.

The project, called Rose Ridge, would rise on 230 acres near the intersection of Riverway and River roads, should the Board of Supervisors vote to approve the request.

Commissioners voted in line with staff’s recommendation to deny the project, a decision that’s ultimately up to the board. Among issues staff raised about the proposal was that the requested R-40 residential zoning is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan’s recommendation to preserve agricultural uses in the area. The project also would require an exemption to a requirement that it be connected to the public wastewater system.

Hanover supervisors vote down proposed Mechanicsville apartments

The Hanover Board of Supervisors voted 5-2 to deny a zoning request tied to a proposed 120-unit apartment complex earlier this month.

Meadowbridge Apartment Associates, an LLC tied to Toano-based builder Robert Lang, sought permission to build on an 8.5-acre site that included the former Stubbs auto shop at 8236 Shady Grove Road.

The project was proposed to feature 10 three-story buildings with 12 apartments each, with two- and three-bedroom floorplans, according to a staff report. The complex was also planned to include a dog park, swimming pool and other perks.

The Planning Commission recommended approving the request – a similar scenario to a request that was rejected last year primarily due to traffic concerns.

New traffic improvements weren’t enough to persuade enough members of the board, as some expressed continued concerns about traffic and how roadway changes related to the project would affect an existing neighborhood.

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