CityLogo112Monthly Update November 2009

Dwight Jones, Mayor
Rachel Flynn, Director, Community Development

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Slumlord Watch
Richmond Slumlord Watch is a new local web site that keeps track of dilapidated properties and their owners to help raise neighborhood awareness in combating blight.
Their tagline is 
"An effort to translate notoriety into accountability."
Be sure to bookmark it!
Manchester Meeting

  Manchester140  The next Manchester Rezoning meeting will take place Thurs., Nov. 19 from 5:00-8:00pm at the Sacred Heart Center at 1400 Perry Street (map).

There will be an open house at 5:00pm followed by a presentation on the proposal at 6:30pm.
Click here for more information.
Census 2010
Census 2010 
Census Feature of the Month
How easy is the new 2010 Census Form to fill out?
 It is one of the shortest forms in history - 10 questions in under 10 minutes! 
Remember the Census determines how $400 billion of federal money will be allocated to communities across the country - including ours!
Quick Links
To report a property maintenance violation or to make a request,
please use the Citizens' Request System.
Upcoming Meetings
Unless noted, all meetings take place in City Hall, 5th Floor Conf. Room.
CAR Task Force
Thursday, Nov. 5
4:00 p.m.
Richmond Fire
200 W. Franklin St.
Planning Commission
Monday, Nov. 16
Monday, Dec. 7
1:30 p.m.
Board of Zoning Appeals
Wednesday, Dec. 2
1:00 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 5
Thursday, Dec. 10
10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 15
3:30 p.m.
Quick Resources
Newsletter Archives
 Click below to read a previous issue.
Commission for Architectural Review Info
The Commission for Architectural Review (CAR) was created in 1957 and is the city of Richmond's official Historic Preservation Body charged with reviewing all exterior changes to structures within the city's Old and Historic Districts. The city code authorizes the CAR to issue or deny Certificates of Appropriateness for those projects that it deems to be appropriate.
CARlogoThe CAR bases its decisions generally on the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and New Construction and specifically on the Richmond Old and Historic Districts Handbook and Design Review Guidelines, first adopted in 1999 and revised in December 2006 and June 2009.
This attached spreadsheet shows some valuable information on the history of appeals of CAR decisions to City Council. Tab 1 shows that 1,996 applications have been submitted to CAR since the beginning of 1994. There have been 46 total appeals, with 26 appeals reaching City Council for a vote. There have been only nine reversals from among the 1,996 applications reviewed in the last 15 years.
When a neighborhood organization or other applicable entity submits a nomination request, the CAR oversees the process for designation of Old and Historic Districts and makes a final recommendation for designation to City Council. The Commission also assists and advises City Council, all city boards and departments, and property owners in matters involving historic resources relating to appropriate land use, zoning, and other issues.
Code Enforcement Public Service Award
Property Maintenance Enforcement Inspector Supervisor Mark Bridgman was given a Public Service Award and recognized by City Council on October 26.
Mark has worked for eleven years to combat blight and improve neighborhoods throughout the city, as well as his oversight of the city's Vacant Building Registry. He was given special recognition from Councilman Doug Connor for Mark's efforts in leading the cleanup of the illegal dump on Daytona Drive in 2008.
Congratulations to Mark for his hard work and dedicated service!
New Planning Commissioners
Community Development welcomes Lynn McAteer and Doug Cole to the Planning Commission

McAteer is the Vice President of Planning and Special Projects for the Better Housing Coalition and holds a Masters Degree in Urban Regional Planning and another Masters in Public Administration from VCU.
Cole is a landscape architect and the President of Designforum and is a strong proponent of traditionally planned neighborhoods and smart growth.
McAteer and Cole replace Bev Lacy and Bob Mills, who the Department would like to thank for their years of dedicated service to the Commission and the community.
The Planning Commission is responsible for the conduct of planning relating to the orderly growth and development of the city as well as making recommendations to Council on rezonings and special-use permits. Click here to learn more.
Cleaning Up the 8th District
The Code Enforcement Division, led by Property Maintenance Enforcement Inspector Supervisor Michelle Coward and five Property Maintenance Enforcement Inspectors, focused on an 8th District Special Project between July 7 and October 28 concerning 321 properties reported to the Department. 
YardBeforeAmong those reports, 188 properties abated cited violations, 11 were handled by other city agencies responsible, five were assigned to a city contractor, three have been completed but awaiting invoice, and eight are scheduled for follow-up action. No violations were observed at 86 of the properties and 23 addresses reported by citizens listed an inaccurate address. 
YardAfterThese actions are a sample of the work Inspectors do each week in the city in every district. Clean and healthy neighborhoods make our communities safer, protect our property values, reduce crime, and contribute to a vibrant city. If you have a potential property maintenance code violation to report, please call 311.
3rd Quarter Housing Analysis
The city's 3rd Quarter Housing Analysis shows that the average sales price in the city of Richmond for all residential units (4 units and below) was $182,253 as compared with $181,025 from last quarter, and $204,208 from this time last year.

House183Between July 1 and September 30, 720 units were sold as compared with the 2nd Quarter's 956 units (compared to 1,164 units in the 3Q of 2008). There were 227 foreclosures in the 3rd quarter, down from 264 in the second quarter; which brings the 2009 total to date to 694. This is on pace to eclipse last year's total of 768.
You can view the complete analysis in this pdf document that also includes Sector Analysis, Market Entirety, and other details about foreclosures.
Inoperable Vehicle Citations & Removal
CarBeforeInoperable and abandoned vehicles are a form of visual blight that harm neighborhoods and property values. The city is working aggressively to remove these vehicles from property all across the city.
An inoperable vehicle is one that can not start and be driven or does not display valid license plates and has an inspection decal that is expired.

CarAfterIn Fiscal Year 2009, the city investigated 2,525 complaints to remove such vehicles.  In the first quarter of FY 2010, the city investigated 555 citations inoperative vehicle complaints and will continue to do so wherever necessary to make neighborhoods safer and environmentally cleaner.
If you need to report an abandoned or inoperable vehicle and would like an inspector to visit a property, please call 311.
Church Hill Zoning Meeting Recap
DCD staff held a neighborhood meeting with Church Hill residents on October 22 to discuss possible zoning changes in response to the land use recommendations that residents shared with staff in July.  This was the latest in a series of meeting that have been taking place since November of 2007. 
Working closely with the community, staff has developed a plan that will rezone the Church Hill area and attempts to balance neighborhood interests.  The plan honors existing commercial corridors and creates zoning districts of primarily low-density residential development, but also permits the flexibility to allow additional density and commercial uses in select areas.  The plan would also apply a parking exempt overlay to the commercial districts in an effort to attract more businesses to the community.    
Residents were generally pleased with the plan and the process will move forward over the coming months.  Notice will be sent to affected property owners when the Planning Commission and City Council public hearings are scheduled.