Author Archives: Scott

Venture Richmond And Local Media Ignoring Concerns On Amphitheater Rezoning

Last week, there was a Richmond Symphony stage put up on Tredegar Green to “test the site”. There was no notification to the neighborhood and several neighbors did ask about it. The stage was taken down and it appears that the actual event will occur on Brown’s Island. (Did it violate the “four day rule”?) However, to put it politely, this seems a bit premature and it would have helped to have a courtesy heads-up from Venture Richmond staff while they are supposedly working with the Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association to rezone the Tredegar Green property.

In fact, it appears that Venture Richmond is once again arrogantly and deliberately planning to ignore community concerns. A quick look at latest submissions to the City Planning office confirms that Venture Richmond’s plan appears to fall far short of the neighborhood association’s proposal. (It’s also important to recall that there is no “Tredegar Green” amphitheater in the City’s Riverfront Plan.)

For example, the section on “Building Restriction”: instead of a limitation stating that no permanent structures would be built, Venture Richmond is proposing that only structures on the City-owned portion of the property would be reviewed by the Urban Design Committee and Planning Commission (while buildings up to 95 feet in height could be built on the Venture Richmond-owned land by right!)

Below is a photo today of the grand view from the terrace of the Virginia War Memorial. This is certainly one of the most important viewsheds in Richmond.

Also below is quick photoshop illustrating how this view would be impacted if a building 95 feet in height were built on Tredegar Green, as permitted by the DCC zoning proposed by Venture Richmond. This is a view that should be protected by a restriction on any permanent structures in Tredegar Green, as the neighborhood association has proposed.

Viewshed from Va. War Memorial threatened by proposed rezoning of Tredegar GreenViewshed from Va War Memorial with 95 foot building

Will there be any un-biased media coverage going forward? Oregon Hill neighbors fear that Folk Festival coverage will once again be used to drown out community voices and promises will once again be dishonorably broken. The Times Dispatch, Richmond Free Press, along with other local media outlets are corporate ‘partners’ of Venture Richmond. Who represents the regular citizens on Venture Richmond’s board? This week Style magazine published its 2015 Power List issue with Venture Richmond’s Jack Berry and no mention of his Shockoe stadium campaign or the destruction of the Tredegar wall or Kanawha Canal. No mention of why so many citizens have knicknamed Venture Richmond as “Vulture Richmond”. No mention of the lobbying, tax exemptions, and no-bid lease arrangements. With Venture Richmond increasing ties to WRIR, it looks like they will have all the local media locked up. I remember when former Oregon Hill resident Chris Maxwell and I were excited about creating a community radio station that eschewed corporate donations and influence. Sadly, for many Oregon Hill residents who have supported that WRIR vision over the years, it has been compromised and corrupted.

Despite Style’s Power rhetoric, are “RVA”‘s political winds REALLY on the verge of shifting?

Beautiful Day to Spend at Byrd House Market!

From email announcement:


86 with low humidity. Beautiful day to spend some time at Byrd House Market.
See you there.

Cantaloupe Carrots Chard
Raspberries Rosemary
Scallions Shallots Summer squash
Chiles Bell Peppers Beets
Blackberries Blueberries
Corn Cucumbers Eggplant Garlic
Green beans Green onions Melons
Nectarines Okra Onions Peaches
Peas Plums Potatoes
Radishes Tomatillos Tomatoes
Watermelons Zucchini and buckets of Bouquets and cut Flowers Goat Milk Soaps & Skin Care Goodies

Show your College ID Card (Student, Faculty or Staff) to Today’s $10 Deal Vendors:
Origins Farm
The Byrd Farm
Shiloh’s Micros
Two & a Half Irishmen
Tomten Farm
Deer Run Farm
Epic Gardens

Thanks St. Edwards Episcopal Church summer interns for spending a week fixing, cleaning, lifting, building, sanding, painting, mowing, wiping, watering, hauling, setting up and taking down. They were great!
WCVE Idea Stations is back!
What’s playing? Where IS Sesame Street? Bring ALL your local public television questions with you today.

What kind of Card’s in your wallet? SWIPE your SNAP, CREDIT or DEBIT card at the Market Info Tent. We’re like an ATM but for wooden “nickels” (see image over there).
Spend your tokens at Byrd House Market this week or next, all the way through October.

For more info, go to Byrd House Market web page.

UCI Bicycle Race Leaves Monroe Park In The Dust

Some choice excerpts from the Times Dispatch article:

Monroe Park will not host a designated fan zone during the UCI 2015 Road World Championships despite plans to the contrary and tens of thousands of dollars in city expense to improve the space.
A sponsor that loosely agreed to underwrite the celebration space in the Fan District switched gears in recent weeks, according to officials with Richmond 2015, the organization putting on the event.

The group declined to name the sponsor but said it had shifted to another space along the course. Officials would not detail costs associated with sponsoring a zone at the park. The move did not affect fundraising, they said.

Todd Woodson, who lives in neighboring Oregon Hill, said the city had squandered taxpayers’ money.
“We’re in a crisis of leadership in this city and we’re hemorrhaging money,” Woodson said.
About 300 feet of a water line along Franklin Street was damaged during work done this spring, officials said at the time. How much the damage cost was unclear Monday. City officials were not able to provide an estimate.

Solar Oven Picnic Scheduled for Sunday

A “solar oven picnic” is scheduled for this Sunday morning and early afternoon in Riverside Park.

From Solar Cookers International:

Most solar cookers work on basic principles: sunlight is converted to heat energy that is retained for cooking. Sunlight is the “fuel.” A solar cooker needs an outdoor spot that is sunny for several hours and protected from strong wind, and where food will be safe.

From FaceBook event page:

Cook and share food using only solar ovens at the top of the grassy slope in Oregon Hill’s Riverside Park. If it rains or it is too overcast the event will be postponed.

Seeing as the forecast is partly cloudy, this may have a 50% chance of happening, but as with the recent neighborhood yard sale, this event is an experiment that will hopefully improve with re-iteration.