From Times Dispatch article:
After a brief, final flaring of tension between a neighborhood group and a developer, the City Council also unanimously approved a special-use permit that will allow the transformation of the former Victory Carpet Cleaning building at 407 S. Cherry St. into a dozen apartments.
The overhaul of the 123-year-old, three-story brick building by developer Guy Blundon was the subject of a “long, arduous set of negotiations” with neighbors, Blundon told the council Monday night.
“We have made a lot of concessions, and I think we will have a wonderful project,” Blundon said, adding that he was “dumbfounded” by last-minute criticism from Todd Woodson, executive director of the Oregon Hill Home Improvement Council and treasurer of the Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association.
Residents were successful in getting Blundon to reduce the number of proposed units by half and agree to not rent to Virginia Commonwealth University students, except married couples or military veterans.
However, Woodson said he only got the final wording of the agreement Sunday, which will allow VCU students who are older than 25 to be tenants. He considered that a breach of the “gentlemen’s agreement” between Blundon and the neighborhood. Blundon said he arrived at the final language after talks with his lawyer about discrimination concerns.
Woodson said the neighborhood association was supporting the special-use permit request with “extreme reservation.”
“Like the James River hawk that graces our environs, we will be watching every move,” Woodson said.