Neighborhood Meeting Wednesday on Encroaching Development

An out of town developer has submitted plans for constructing low-income housing on the vacant lots on the 600 block of Cowardin Ave. This impacts our neighborhood tremendously, and in response the neighborhood is holding a meeting on Wednesday, June 27 at 7:00 PM at 603 W. 19th St.

Springhill resident Jason has compiled a list of reasons why this development is undesirable:

Our small neighorhood already supports a 70 unit low income facility.  With less than 40 single family homes in the neighborhood, we are already taking our share of the low income burden in the city.  A google search shows a significant concentration of these types of apartment properties, exclusively on southside and northside; none turn up in the areas west of VCU.  My concern is that we have reached our “Threshold” and we risk overconcentration.  Which in the study by arizona state university suggests reasults in “stagneant or decling property values.”

The city should focus it’s development of low income homes/apartments in areas not already burdened by it.

Studies on crime and low-income housing done by Indiana University and Purdue University state that “rates of violent crime are generally higher in Areas with high-density Residential development.”  I cannot recall the exact numbers, but neighborhood is actually one of the most densly populated areas in Richmond thanks to the 3 large apartment buildings.

We are historically an area of single family homes,  and are being overun by high density development.

I do not believe this particular devlopment provides zoning minimum, parking, setback, open area requirements, floor to area ratio’s of building to buildable open space.  We already have a parking problem and are working with the city to solve it. (i was unable to park infront of my house lastnight.  It happens 1-2 times a week.)

Please post a comment if you cannot make the meeting or have further questions.

5 thoughts on “Neighborhood Meeting Wednesday on Encroaching Development

  1. While I don’t live in Springhill, I’m right down the street on 26th. I wish I could make it to the meeting to voice my opposition to this development, but cannot be there. I am strongly against this housing development being built on this piece of property for all of the reasons listed above. I would consider relocating if this was built, as a result of the concern of an increase in crime. I have two small children and can’t risk their safety.

  2. I cannot attend this meeting though as a resident of this neighborhood strongly object to this proposed rent controlled development. Whoever has suggested low income housing for this site is clearly very unfamiliar with the neighborhood and Richmond. This development as currently proposed is not a logical fit for the surrounding area and frankly a poor use of this parcel.

    I hope in the end the developer takes this opportunity to do the right thing by the surrounding neighborhood and citizens of Richmond; low income housing at this site is an obvious example of the wrong thing.

    Matt Dolan
    W 21st St

  3. JD is correct in his analysis (… that banks are only loaning freely for apartments which is producing the glut of such projects in the city). This is why careful planning from the city is important. Simply building for the sake of building is foolish. This site is challenged. However, the views above 5 floors are among the best in the city and lets not forget: it will overlook a chunk of the proposed Riverfront project, it will sit beside one of the main southern entry points to the Riverfront project and will be a stones throw from a number of the proposed Riverfront amenities. Low income housing may be an expeditious route to adding a structure to the tax rolls in the short term, but is ultimately a waste of what would become a much more valuable stretch of land if the Riverfront project happens. I doubt low income housing units, small in size, drab and dull to look at, will add much to the tax base in the end. I cannot imagine there is no other parcel that could be used for this project. Some true vision from the city is needed with regard to this proposal. Will we get it?

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