From Tonight’s Meeting…

Councilperson Parker Agelasto held his 5th District meeting earlier tonight at the Byrd Park Roundhouse.

Mayor Stoney and the Councilperson both answered many constituent questions and gave their insights into the City budget process.

Among other presentations, Cherry Street neighbor Todd Woodson gave the Mayor an Arbor Day plaque in appreciation of his consideration for citizens’ desire to spare remaining mature trees in Monroe Park.

Councilperson Parker Agelasto

Todd Woodson and Mayor Stoney



(Editor’s note: Photos courtesy of Charles Pool)

Councilperson Agelasto Holds 5th District Meeting Thursday

From City Council press release:

Councilman Parker C. Agelasto to hold a meeting for the Richmond Central 5th Voter District

All Richmond Central 5th Voter District residents invited and encouraged to attend

WHAT (Richmond, Virginia U.S.A.) – The Honorable Parker C. Agelasto, Councilman, Richmond City Council, Richmond Central 5th Voter District, will hold a meeting for the Richmond Central 5th Voter District. Councilman Agelasto typically holds individual meetings for the Richmond Central 5th Voter District every other month throughout the year. These meetings are free and open to the public and all Richmond Central 5th Voter District residents are invited and encouraged to attend. The planned agenda for this meeting includes:

Special Guests

· The Honorable Levar M. Stoney, Mayor
City of Richmond, Virginia

· The Honorable Betsy Carr, Virginia State Delegate
Virginia House of Delegates 69th Voter District

Agenda Items

· Richmond Public Library
Ms. Danita Green, Member, Richmond Public Library Board

· Richmond Central 5th Voter District Updates

· Questions and Comments

WHEN Thursday, April 27, 2017
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

WHERE Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities
William Byrd Park – Round House
621 Westover Road, Richmond, Virginia
(Located within William Byrd Park near the intersection of Lakeview Avenue and S. Robinson Street)

CONTACT For more information, please contact, Amy Robins, Liaison for
The Honorable Parker C. Agelasto, Councilman, Richmond City Council, Richmond Central 5th Voter District, at 804.646.5724 (tel), or amy.robins@richmondgov.com (email)

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More Monroe Park Trees Threatened

The City’s Planning Commission yesterday ignored the recommendation of the Urban Design Committee and the staff of the planning department to consider alternatives to cutting down the magnolia and maple trees in Monroe Park for temporary tents.

On Sunday, at the Monument Avenue Easter Parade, the Sierra Club Falls of the James collected many petition signatures in favor of saving the the trees.

It will be really awful if the City continues to ignore PUBLIC concern for trees on PUBLIC property.

The photo below of the maple tree was previously published in the Times Dispatch:

Mayor Stoney and The Cloak Of Invisibility

Charismatic Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney won this past election partly with strong calls for transparency and involvement, but, only a few months into his reign, there have been rumors that he has been briefly trying on one of his predecessors’ favorite talismans, Richmond City Hall’s Cloak of Invisibility.

Supposedly a leftover from the Lord of the The Rings or the Harry Potter sagas, the Cloak has well-worn history in Richmond politics.

Certainly the Mayor cannot be accused of being absent. He often posts a public schedule and continues to make public appearances. He was at the Church Hill Irish festival last weekend, complete with green shirt. He was interviewed on WRIR not too long ago and he likes to visit schools and inspire children.

Yet City Hall watchdogs point to recent financially oriented incidents like when the proposed budget disappeared for a time, or when a dispute with auditors suddenly ended shortly after it surfaced. Activists wonder about his responses to Monroe Park and Shockoe Bottom concerns.

Of course with Altria, VCU, and Dominion involved, there may be politicks. Citizens should polish their crystal balls and hope Stoney can resist the Cloak’s allure. Remember the powerful and cleansing properties of pure, clear water.

‘Bro Council’ Meeting Later This Evening

Despite recent rainy weather, the outdoor seating has been arranged and the texts have already been sent calling for a special meeting of the ‘Bro Council’ this evening, according to one unidentified ‘bro’.

According to him, the agenda will include a thorough examination of recent alcohol expenditures, the rent/lease ‘situation’, and the social status of one of the main bros’ girlfriends.

“These are private as well as sensitive, emotional matters,” explained the unidentified bro, “so I expect some loud but whispered shouting followed by spirited foosball”.

Bro Council has become something of an institution, and is well regarded for its ability to deliberate and settle bros’ issues in a civilized and timely manner.

Growing Opposition To Proposed “Laurel Street Venue” for Historic Monroe Park

This past Tuesday at the Oregon Hill Neighborhood Organization meeting there was a design presentation on a proposal for Monroe Park. The response has not been favorable and neighbors are urging concerned citizens to send comments in to Urban Design Committee about this proposal. An opposition letter from OHNA is forthcoming.

From one neighbor:

URGENT!! This Thursday morning, April 6th, the Urban Design Committee will decide on an application to replace a children’s resource center in Monroe Park with a corporate event center call “Laurel Street Venue”. They also want to destroy two more healthy mature trees in the process. Please email the UDC secretary Joshua.Son@richmondgov.com to register your objection. There is a sample letter below you are welcome to copy. Please act NOW!!!

The Status of The Fountain Fence

As the Monroe Park Conservancy continues to tighten its corporate control of Monroe Park, Oregon Hill residents are becoming increasingly discouraged and alarmed by how it is gradually stripping away its authentic, historic features. In addition to questionably removing healthy, old-growth trees, the fountain fence is no longer there. Supposedly, the 1920’s fencing is being stored offsite during park renovations and will be returned.

Laurel Street neighbor Charles Pool has used the Freedom of Information Act to gather more information. According to the Monroe Park drawings that he received, the fencing is being replaced and only the posts restored. This seems to conflict with specs provided where the decorative metal railings were to be repaired. It is doubtful that the City’s Urban Design Committee gave permission to replace this historic fencing. At 125 feet long, the fencing is substantial and curved to match the perimeter of the fountain.

Undoubtedly, low-grade hollow-core, easily damaged, pickets probably will replace the existing solid substantial fencing that could last hundreds of years if properly repaired and kept painted. The fencing is an important part of the historic fabric of Monroe Park, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Monroe Park fountain fencing pickets were dumped in outside storage at DPW storage at 810 Forest Lawn Drive. Photos from Charles Pool show that the pickets are all in excellent condition with practically no evidence of rust. (Many neighbors remember what happened to the stone balustrade that was removed at the Oregon Hill overlook- we were told that it was in “storage” but the stone later found a decade later in a heap behind the Carillon.)



It is important for the public to know that the authentic fencing is slated to be replaced without approval from the UDC.
It is the opinion of this community news site that the authentic, solid Monroe Park fencing should be fully restored, not replaced.

Option 1 or Option 2 or…

So one thing that happened at the last Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association meeting (2/28) was a presentation on possibilities for new stop signs at intersections for neighborhood traffic.

This sort of thing has been requested multiple times before in regard to speeding and dangerous collisions, but for different reasons has never been acted on.

At the meeting, a City traffic engineer presented two options for stops. The proposed options are for a flipping of the stop signs at the circled intersections to give the east-west streets right of way and have the north-south streets stop. This way, no one direction always has right of way, and would need to stop at roughly every other intersection. This traffic pattern is called basket weaving, and has been used successfully in Maymont. These options are in no way set in stone, and are up for discussion and suggested alternatives. ‘Option 1’ suggests new stop signs at the intersections of Albemarle and S. Laurel, Spring and S. Pine, China and S. Laurel, and Holly and S. Pine. ‘Option 2’ suggests new stop signs at Albemarle and S. Cherry, Albemarle and S. Pine, Spring and S. Laurel, China and S. Pine, and Holly and S. Laurel.

Neighbors are asked to let the neighborhood association know which option they think is best as well as any other input. The plan is to discuss this more at the next OHNA meeting and then get back to the City traffic engineer and Councilperson Agelasto’s office with some thoughts and decisions.

5th District Meeting Next Thursday

From announcement:

COUNCIL PUBLIC INFORMATION NEWS RELEASE
IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO BE FORWARDED AND SHARED
Thursday, 16 February 2017

Councilman Parker C. Agelasto to hold a meeting for the Richmond Central 5th Voter District

All Richmond Central 5th Voter District residents invited and encouraged to attend

WHAT (Richmond, Virginia U.S.A.) – The Honorable Parker C. Agelasto, Councilman, Richmond City Council, Richmond Central 5th Voter District, will hold a meeting for the Richmond Central 5th Voter District. Councilman Agelasto typically holds individual meetings for the Richmond Central 5th Voter District every other month throughout the year. These meetings are free and open to the public and all Richmond Central 5th Voter District residents are invited and encouraged to attend. The planned agenda for this meeting includes:

· Richmond Real Estate Tax Abatement Program for Seniors and People with Disabilities
Ms. Valerie Weatherless, Revenue Manager/Real Estate Collections, Richmond Department of Finance

· Richmond Real Estate Tax Delinquency and Vacant Properties
Ms. Valerie Weatherless, Revenue Manager/Real Estate Collections, Richmond Department of Finance

· Richmond Food Cooperative

· Richmond Central 5th Voter District Updates

· Questions and Comments

WHEN Thursday, February 23, 2017
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

WHERE Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts
3411 Semmes Avenue; Richmond, Virginia 23225

CONTACT The Honorable Parker C. Agelasto, Councilman, Richmond City Council, Richmond Central 5th Voter District, at 804.646.6050 (tel), or parker.agelasto@richmondgov.com (email)

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