City Council Meeting – February 28, 2022

The meeting began with awards and recognition of certain individuals by members of the city council. First, Police Lieutenant Robert C. Marland was honored by Councilwoman Reva Trammel for his 45 years of dedicated public service on behalf of the Richmond Police Department. Next, Vice President Ellen Robertson honored and recognized Charles Barker for his many years of dedicated community and public service on behalf of seniors, as well as people with disabilities. Councilor Kristen Nye also honored and recognized the Richmond Ambulance Authority as it celebrated its 30th Anniversary in Richmond, Virginia. Lastly, Councilor Ann-Frances Lambert recognized and honored the late Rhonda Michelle Harmon in remembrance of her passing on January 19, 2022

Following the recognitions, Chief Administrative Officer Lincoln Saunders provided an introduction of the Office of Community Wealth Building’s (OCWB) annual performance report presentation and Caprichia Smith Spellman, OCWB Interim Director, provided an overview of OCWB’s annual performance report. Ms. Spellman also provided an update regarding OCWB’s strategy and framework moving forward.

20220228 – OCWB 2020 Annual Performance Report

Citizen comments began with L. Shirley Harvey. She stated that she did not believe Council understood the needs of residents and that she opposed the establishment of a casino resort in the city. Next, the President of the Richmond Region League of United Latin American Citizens stated that she wanted Council to take action regarding persistent issues with safe living conditions at the Communities at Southwood Complex. Following her, Erik James said that collective bargaining was needed for city workers. He requested that Council incorporate amendments to ORD. 2021-345 and ORD. 2021-346, that were proposed by the Service Employees International Union. Then, Phil Shepard, a member of the SEIU, requested that Council incorporate amendments to ORD. 2021-345 and ORD. 2021-346, that were proposed by the SEIU. Mr. Shepard stated that city employees should be allowed to discuss union matters on the job site. Amanda Ortman, another SEIU member, stated the same. Lastly, Debra Luther commented on the working conditions that social workers experience. She also addressed retention issues within the Social Services Department due to case loads and compensation. She also supports collective bargaining, and stated that it would improve working conditions for city employees.

Written Comments

Next, the agendas of previous meetings were approved and certain ordinances were postponed to the March 14th meeting. 

The following ordinances were adopted during this meeting:

  • ORD. 2021-363: To authorize the special use of the property known as 1626 North 27th Street for the purpose of a single-family detached dwelling, upon certain terms and conditions. (As Amended) (7th District)
  • ORD. 2022-021: To amend and reordain Ord. No. 2008-192-194, adopted Sept. 8, 2008, as previously amended by Ord. No. 2009-45-125, adopted Jun. 22, 2009, which authorized the special use of the property known as 305 North 18th Street for the purpose of a mixed-use, multifamily dwelling and allowed the alteration of the design of the building, to modify the site plan and on-site parking requirements, upon certain terms and conditions. (7th District)
  • ORD. 2022-022: To authorize the special use of the property known as 1628 North 27th Street for the purpose of a single-family detached dwelling, upon certain terms and conditions. (7th District)
  • ORD. 2022-023: To authorize the special use of the property known as 2501 Berwyn Street for the purpose of a single-family detached dwelling, upon certain terms and conditions. (8th District)
  • ORD. 2022-025: To authorize the special use of the properties known as 1505 West Cary Street and 1507 West Cary Street for the purpose of two two-family attached dwellings, upon certain terms and conditions. (5th District)
  • ORD. 2022-026: To authorize the special use of the property known as 2117 Fairfax Avenue for the purpose of two two-family detached dwellings and one single-family detached dwelling, upon certain terms and conditions. (8th District)
  • ORD. 2022-027: To authorize the special use of the property known as 3411 Hawthorne Avenue for the purpose of a single-family detached dwelling with an accessory dwelling unit, upon certain terms and conditions. (3rd District)
  • ORD. 2022-028: To rezone the properties known as 601 Albany Avenue, 603 Albany Avenue, 600 Maury Street, and 610 Maury Street from the M-2 Heavy Industrial District to the TOD-1 Transit-Oriented Nodal District. (6th District)
  • ORD. 2022-031: To amend City Code § 21-40, concerning joint and cooperative procurement, to conform the City’s cooperative procurement law to the optional provisions of Va. Code § 2.2-4304.
  • ORD. 2022-032: To amend City Code §§ 26-871, concerning the establishment of annual license taxes, and 26-873, concerning exemptions to license taxes, to increase the threshold for business, professional and occupational license taxes from $100,000.00 to $250,000.00.
  • ORD. 2022-033: To authorize the Chief Administrative Officer, for and on behalf of the City of Richmond, to execute a Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Richmond and the Virginia Department of Transportation for the purpose of setting forth general maintenance responsibilities for the regional multiuse trail known as the Fall Line Trail.
  • ORD. 2022-034: To authorize the Chief Administrative Officer, for and on behalf of the City of Richmond, to execute a Standard Project Administration Agreement between the City of Richmond and the Virginia Department of Transportation to provide funding for the implementation of the James River Branch Trail project from West 49th Street to its intersection with Hopkins Road.
  • ORD. 2022-035: To designate the 1700 block of Porter Street in honor of James L. Moore, Sr.
  • ORD. 2022-037: To amend Ord. No. 2021-042, adopted May 24, 2021, which accepted a program of proposed Capital Improvement Projects for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 and the four fiscal years thereafter, adopted a Capital Budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022, and determined a means of financing the same, by (i) establishing a new project for the Department of Public Works in the City Facility Maintenance & Improvements category called the “Diamond Maintenance” project and (ii) transferring funds in the amount of $1,800,000.00 from the Capital Maintenance Reserve and appropriating such transferred funds to the Department of Public Works’ new Diamond Maintenance project in the City Facility Maintenance & Improvements category for the purpose of funding capital maintenance of the City’s baseball stadium known as the Diamond.
  • ORD. 2022-038: To authorize the Chief Administrative Officer, for and on behalf of the City of Richmond, to accept funds in the amount of $4,122,214.00 from the Virginia Department of Transportation, to amend Ord. No. 2021-042, adopted May 24, 2021, which accepted a program of proposed Capital Improvement Projects for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 and the four fiscal years thereafter, adopted a Capital Budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022, and determined a means of financing the same, by establishing a new project for the Department of Public Works in the Transportation Category called the James River Branch Trail (JRBT) project, and to appropriate the increase to the Fiscal year 2021-2022 Capital Budget by increasing estimated revenues and the amount appropriated to the Department of Public Works’ James River Branch Trail (JRBT) project in the Transportation Category by $4,122,214.00 for the purpose of funding the implementation of the James River Branch Trail project from West 49th Street to its intersection with Hopkins Road.
  • ORD. 2019-275: To amend ch. 6 of the City Code by adding therein a new art. XII (§§ 6-596-6-602) to establish a technology zone program in accordance with Va. Code § 58.1-3850, for the purpose of facilitating the development and location of technology businesses in the city of Richmond, capital investment, and job creation. (As Amended)

A Question was raised about RES. 2022-R007 which states: To express the Council’s support, should the citizens of Richmond approve a second referendum for the development and operation of a resort casino, for using the revenues received as a result of the development and operation of such resort casino to provide a two-penny reduction in the City’s real estate tax rate and funding for public schools and community infrastructure. President Cynthia Newbille confirmed that Council would wait for the General Assembly of Virginia to take potential action regarding casinos in the State budget prior to considering RES. 2022-R007.

Adopted Resolutions

  • RES. 2022-R008: To adopt an equitable affordable housing plan for the City entitled “One Richmond: An Equitable Affordable Housing Plan.”
  • RES. 2022-R009: To request that the Council Chief of Staff cause the preparation of a study on the feasibility of developing and installing quick response codes on current and future honorary street signs.
  • RES. 2022-R010: To express the City Council’s support for and request the Commonwealth Transportation Board to provide funding for the City’s SMART SCALE candidate projects for 2022.
  • RES. 2022-R011: To provide for the actions necessary to make and ratify certain amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws of Greater Richmond Transit Co. to provide, among other things, for a nine-member Board of Directors consisting of three directors each from the City, the County of Chesterfield, and the County of Henrico and for quorum and voting requirements of at least two directors from each locality.
  • RES. 2022-R012: To designate the properties known as 6 East 9th Street, 811 Decatur Street, 813 Decatur Street, and 812 Hull Street as a revitalization area pursuant to Va. Code § 36-55.30:2. (6th District)
  • RES. 2022-R013: To declare opioid drug overdose deaths as a public health crisis in the city of Richmond and to support the implementation of a drug overdose death spike alert program by the City and other public safety agencies serving the Richmond area.

Public Hearing

Chiffon Valentine, speaking on behalf of past and current members of Tower of Deliverance Church, spoke in support of ORD. 2022-035, and she stated that the honorary naming of the 1700 block of Porter Street was to honor James L. Moore, Sr., Founder and Pastor of Tower of Deliverance Church. Ms. Valentine also stated that Pastor Moore greatly influenced the lives of the church’s youth, and that she fully supported the honorary street renaming.

There were no further comments or discussion and the Consent Agenda was unanimously adopted.

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