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.

Celebrate Winter Solstice on Belle Isle

Via HIlls and Heights and James River News Hub:

For the third year in a row, the Friends of the James River Park is marking the Winter Solstice with a low-key yet heartwarming gathering on Belle Isle. Meet at the Tredegar side of the Belle Isle Pedestrian Bridge at 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21 to walk across the river as the sun sets. We’ll warm ourselves up with togetherness, perhaps a poem or two and by giving gifts to the amazingly devoted James River Park System staff. Bring your own hot chocolate (and a flashlight).

Revised Proposal for 617 W. 19th Street (UPDATED)

The neighborhood meeting on Saturday was a great success. The developer and architect with Daniel & Company, Inc. were very open to neighborhood concerns and constructive criticism as they explained their plans for the properties at 615, 617, and 619 W. 19th St.

They intend to renovate 615 and 619 in a fashion fitting to the neighborhood, cleaning up much of the old trees and deteriorating structures on the property. On the lot at 617 they are proposing a more modern design for a house and brought a draft rendering to show the neighborhood. Incorporating feedback from the community, the architect has recently shared a new proposed design with us:

617 W 19th St, Version 4

617 W 19th St, Version 4

I hope this meeting marks the start of a great addition to our neighborhood. Thanks to Mr. Daniels, the architect, and all my neighbors ensuring this neighborhood continues to improve!

UPDATE (8:40 PM)

We just received updated plans for the 617 W. 19th St proposal have been provided me and can be found here. This new package includes floor plans as well as front, side, and back angle views. This is what will be going in front of the Committee of Architectural Review (CAR) for approval.

I will be writing a letter on behalf of the neighborhood expressing our position to CAR. If you have any comments or concerns you’d like included in this letter, please post them here in the comments or use the contact form. We must have all input by Thursday evening so we can get the letter out in time for the CAR meeting. Thanks!