Monthly Update June 2009

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Zoning Mapper & Citizen Guide
To promote orderly development within the City, every parcel has a zoning designation that governs its use.
You can also reference the Citizens Guide to Residential Zoning Districts & Regulations that is a helpful tool to familiarize you with permitted uses among varying zoning districts. 
Census 2010
Census 2010 
The Census is coming in 2010 and this year there are no long forms!
10 short questions only! Be sure you participate. 
Building Photo Database
If you are looking for pictures of buildings in Richmond or wonder what certain buildings used to look like, you can view the Building Database at RichmondCityWatch.
You can search by category, building size, and buildings that have been demolished.
Upcoming Meetings
Unless noted, all meetings take place in City Hall, 5th Floor Conf. Room.
Planning Commission
Mon., June 15
Commission of Architectural Review
Mon., June 23
Manchester Zoning Meeting
 Sat., June 27
Sacred Heart Center
1401 Perry St.
(see story on right) 
Board of Zoning Appeals
Wed., July 1
 Planning Commission
Mon., July 6
Urban Design
Thur., July 9
Master Plan
(see story on right)
Quick Links
To report a property maintenance violation or to make a request, please use the Citizens' Request System.
Quick Resources
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The previous edition of our new e-letter contained some bad links. This version contains correct links to the relevant documents. Our apologies for the second mailing.
Meet Our New Acting Building Commissioner
In February 2009, Ray Abbasi was appointed Acting Commissioner of Buildings for the City of Richmond. 
Ray has been with the City since 1986 when he was first hired as a Building Inspector. 
RayAHe leads a dedicated team of inspectors to make sure codes are enforced and our City continues to work towards eliminating vacant buildings and blight.
He has also served as a Zoning Officer, a Plans Reviewer, a Senior Structural Engineer, and an Operations Manager for the Permits and Inspections Division.

He was tasked with reorganizing and managing the front counter, which made the customer service experience more efficient and effective for customers.

Ray has a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Construction from Texas Southern University. Prior to his arrival in the City, he worked in the private sector in construction for several years.

Ray is a very dedicated City employee with extensive knowledge in construction, code enforcement, and operations of the Division. He is eager to hear suggestions from the public and to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact him directly at 646-7483.
DCD Employee Publishes His First Book!
DCD Planner Tyler Potterfield has published his first book entitled "Nonesuch Place: A History of the Richmond Landscape."
"Potterfield considers the many roles of the James River through the centuries, describes the rationale for the location of the Virginia State Capitol and describes the struggle to reclaim green space, among other aspects of Richmond's natural history." 
Tyler will attend a book signing at the Valentine Richmond History Center (map)on Tuesday, June 9th at 5pm. Congratulations, Tyler!
City Deck Railing Regulations
There was some confusion in the media recently about the City's enforcement of deck railing regulations. To clarify, existing houses must adhere to the proper Code in the year in which the house was built.
However, if your house changed classification (from single family to multi-unit or vice versa), then it needs to adhere to the Code the year the change took place.
For example, if your house was converted to a duplex in 1962, it needs to comply with the Building Code as it was written in 1962.
You can consult the City's Deck Design Guide here
Downtown Master Plan Amendments Adopted
Amendments to the Downtown Master Plan were approved by the Planning Commission on May 4. You can view the approved Amendment Resolution here. You can view the adopted amendments from the May 4 meeting here.
The tentative schedule moving forward with the amendments is as follows:
*Mon., June 8, 2009 - Amendment ordinance introduced at City Council meeting (ordinance read into minutes, but no discussion occurs)
*Tue., June 16, 2009 - 3:00pm - Amendment ordinance DMPlogoconsidered by City Council's Land Use, Housing & Transportation Committee.

*Mon., July 13, 2009 - 6:00pm - Public hearing on amendment ordinance at City Council meeting and possible City Council action.

*Mon., July 27, 2009 - 6:00pm - City Council action on ordinance, if it is continued on July 13, 2009.

All these meetings will be held in City Hall in City Council Chambers, 900 E. Broad Street. Times and dates are subject to change. Check the City Clerk's calendar for any changes.
Manchester Zoning Meeting Sat., June 27
The Dept. of Community Development will be hosting a Manchester Zoning Meeting on Sat., June 27 at 9:00am at the Sacred Heart Center, located at 1401 Perry St. (map).
This meeting will be in the charrette style and is open to the public to discuss any upcoming changes to existing zoning in the Manchester District.
The DCD web page on www.richmondgov.com will be updated on June 11 to include all the details and links. Affected businesses and residents will receive notices in the mail on or before June 12.
1st Quarter Affordable Housing Sales
The Dept. of Community Development has released the 1st Quarter Affordable Housing Sales Map. In this pdf map (Adobe required), you will see all sales for the 1st quarter of 2009 mapped by neighborhood.

Each dot type represents an affordability level as a percentage of the Area Median Income (AMI), 30%, 50%, 80%, 100%, and above 100%.
Each neighborhood is labeled with the average sales price in the first quarter and "Affordable Sales", which refers to the number of houses someone with good credit can purchase at 80% AMI ($55,440/year) at current interest rates (quoted 4/09); if no number is printed, there were no sales that quarter in that neighborhood.
DMP Wins the 2009 Outstanding Plan Award!
The Downtown Master Plan won the 2009 Outstanding Plan Award from the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association in Williamsburg in March!
It reads in part: "The hands-on planning built trust in the process, supported sound planning principles and resulted in products of clear direction on complex issues to the City. The process and plan are good examples to follow for both small and large area public planning throughout the Commonwealth."
You can view more here
Chesapeake Bay Ordinance & Flood Plain Maps
ChesBaylogoThe new Chesapeake Bay ordinance and floodplain maps are now in effect. You can read the letter mailed in April to industry professionals and also view the new checklists and public information manual on the DCD City web page.