The Annotated City Council: Agenda for April 25th

All sorts of different things tonight—stormwater, criminal justice stuff, rezoning, and a bunch of housing and homeless relief ordinances.

The community speakers list this time is…well, it’s hard to tell, as the list doesn’t load when pulled up. But let’s hope that this time around, it won’t take quite so long so some of these dang ordinances can be voted upon.

All budget papers on the full agenda (PDF) will be pushed to May 2nd. No public hearing on them will be tolerated tonight! That was all done last time, y’all!

Check out the full agenda straight from the source.

Don’t forget, this all could be changed in whatever magic process they do just before the meeting starts that changes what the agenda is.

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ORD. 2016-044 AKA “The Oooooo, What Business Is Coming to That Weird Space Right Below Church Hill But Kind of in the Bottom Ordinance”

2201 E. Franklin Street will go from industrial zoning to business zoning. What will this mean for all the shirtless band members who are just trying to get their practice on within those warehouses? No idea. The application was from Roth Doner Jackson Gibbons Conlin, PLC, a law firm. Shall it be condos with Xtreme Pizzas beneath them? Time will tell!

ORD. 2016-046 AKA “The Bike Walk Stop Sign Ordinance”

Thank goodness the four-way stops on Floyd (some of them, at least) will be a thing of the past. What good is a traffic circle if there can’t be a little yielding? What good is a bike walk boulevard if the cyclists have to stop at every intersection? What am I even talking about? Sorry, I got ahead of myself. Jon Baliles is asking for the law to be removed that a bunch of the intersections on Floyd in the Fan have to have four-way stops.

A small part of me is definitely thinking, “Oh man, just when we finally figured out four-way stops!”

ORD. 2016-095 AKA “The Medicaid Processors Ordinance”

The City’s accepting more than $333,000 from the commonwealth to hire more people (and better fund existing ones) to deal with the backlog of Medicaid applications.


In order to make some improvements that will make getting to the new Main Street Station a lot easier, the City is nabbing some little parcels of land along 12th Street/Governor Street.

ORD. 2016-101 AKA “The HUD Money for Homeless Assistance Ordinance”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (you may call it HUD, if you wish) is giving the City more than $395,000 to fund two housing assistance programs: Housing First and A Place to Start.

ORD. 2016-102 AKA “The Southern Railway Taphouse Ordinance”

Turns out, Southern Railway Taphouse is technically acting as a nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights, because they offer all of the following:

  1. Alcoholic beverage served or consumed on the premises;
  2. Floor space provided for dancing or standing or both for patrons in conjunction with an
    entertainment activity;
  3. Music or other sound that is amplified through speakers for the purpose of entertaining
    patrons, except for the following:
    a. Sound associated with television or similar media being viewed by patrons; and
    b. Music provided exclusively as background entertainment for dining patrons

I keep reading this list aloud and laughing. “Floor space provided for dancing or standing OR BOTH.”

“Music or other sound that is amplified through speakers.”

Surely a robot writes this stuff, right? A frigging cool robot who likes to hang in the Bottom and stand while listening to amplified sound.

Anyway, this ordinance will get Southern Railway Taphouse permission to be a nightclub. Best of luck in all your endeavors!

ORD. 2016-109 AKA “The Church Hill and Woodville/Creighton Conservation Plan Ordinance”

The Church Hill North Transformation project needs to be added to the Master Plan. This’ll do it!

Reminder: that project is part of a larger commonwealth-encouraged effort to reduce urban blight.

ORD. 2016-110 and ORD. 2016-111 AKA “The Blue Bee Processing Facility Ordinances”

Rules are kind of funny sometimes! Because Blue Bee Cider and their abundance of apples-turning-into-something-greater is technically an agricultural concern, they’re eligible for a grant from the City that originally comes from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestries Industries Development Fund. The idea is that the new Blue Bee location in Scott’s Addition will be a good thing for the City and a good thing for America! Their cider is delicious!

Courtney Mailey talked a little bit about being an agriculture business because of weird rules a couple of RVANews Lives ago, and we thank her for it!

ORD. 2016-112 AKA “The Capital Region Airport Commission’s Big Denver Project Ordinance”

The Capital Region Airport Commission, which is a thing that exists, is bringing a non-stop RVA to Denver route to our little hamlet (thanks, United Airlines!). They received a $750,000 grant that required $150,000 in matching funds from the City, Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico. It is now time to collect on that money ($45,000 from Richmond, Chesterfield, and Henrico and $15,000 from Hanover).

Looks like the money will be coming from a line item that used to go to Health Diagnostics Laboratory–draw whatever conclusions from that you will.

ORD. 2016-117, ORD. 2016-118, ORD. 2016-119, ORD. 2016-120, ORD. 2016-121, ORD. 2016-122 AKA “The Housing Continuum of Care Ordinances”

A “continuum of care” means that a person is (mostly) seamlessly transferred from one program or organization to another, depending on their needs. The City would like to execute a Continuum of Care contract that gives Virginia Supportive Housing more than $800,000. This’ll help the homeless move through their programs with relative ease.

ORD. 2016-124 AKA “The Creeks’n’Streams Ordinance”

Let us accept grant funds from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality! Particularly when they are close to two million buckaroos! This will go to the DPU’s Stormwater Facilities Improvements program for constructing Maury Cemetery’s Stream Restoration project and the Pocosham Creek Stream Restoration project.

RES. 2016-R022 and RES. 2016-R027 AKA “I’m Running for Mayor and I Dislike the Criminal Justice System Resolution”

JK, Michelle Mosby, I like what I’m hearing here, but the language just made me laugh. Anyway, if voted in, this will mean that the Council officially supports several initiatives related to criminal justice reform.

That the Council hereby requests that the Chief Administrative Officer cause the City
Administration, where appropriate, to do the following:

  1. Convene a diverse team of leaders from multiple agencies committed to reducing
    the number of people in corrections facilities.
  2. Collect in-depth prevalence data pertaining to background and needs of adults entering
    correctional facilities and assess their recidivism risk for the purpose of establishing
    baseline information to guide criminal justice policies.
  3. Determine which treatment programs and services have the programming and capacity
    necessary to assist adults at risk of becoming involved or who are currently involved with
    the criminal justice system.
  4. Identify funding and policy barriers at the state and local level that prevent the
    execution of adequate treatment programs and services in the community.
  5. Taking into consideration information learned from collecting prevalence data,
    classifying viable treatment programs and services, and identifying funding and policy
    barriers, develop a plan to reduce incarceration which includes a system of measuring
  6. Focus on strategic outcome measures that provide economic sustainability for at-risk
    members of the community and for those returning to our communities from correctional
    facilities for the purpose of reducing the high rate of recidivism.
  7. Compile and produce an impact statement that analyzes the demographics of the
    incarcerated population, including citizens on probation and parole, and the communities
    to which incarcerated citizens return.
  8. Implement the plan by using methodologies grounded in research in social policy.
  9. Using the measurable outcomes of the plan to reduce incarceration, compile and
    make publicly available an annual report to track the progress

The second resolution will encourage the use of community service versus fines! I can get behind that!

ORD. 2016-115 and ORD. 2016-116 AKA “The Extra HUD Money Ordinances”

The CAO has already submitted a plan to HUD, received Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS–totalling $6,622,947. The unspent portion ($458,605) will now be reallocated to various projects.

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Susan Howson

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