Boulevard development project usage survey is yours for the taking

The City is officially asking for your input in this wildly popular (to discuss, anyway) potential project.

Photo: Trevor Dickerson

Update #1 — February 10, 2016; 3:09 PM

The window in which to take the survey has now been extended to February 29th. Get on it if you haven’t yet!

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Original — February 02, 2016

Another day, another survey to use as a way to get your opinions known.

Today’s hot button topic is the City’s burning desire to turn the Boulevard area over by the Diamond into a land of development plenty, generating way more tax revenue and infuriating a ton of people in the process.

In case you’re just joining us

  • There is a baseball diamond on Boulevard that is aged. It is called, appropriately, the Diamond.
  • Several times over the years, the Richmond Flying Squirrels, our AA baseball team, have said they need a new stadium.
  • The Mayor has tried very hard to move the Diamond off the Boulevard, most notably with a replacement stadium downtown, but that effort failed spectacularly.
  • At one point, the shining star of the Boulevard plan was a collaborative children’s hospital, but that effort failed as well.
  • The Mayor and the Squirrels have been at each other’s throats ever since–the Squirrels suggested we just do a better stadium right on the site, and the Mayor said, “Nope, get thee to the counties if you want that kind of thing.”
  • The party line right now is that we all need to figure out the “highest and best use” of the area, which is in a great spot for development. The most recent report on that H&BU specifically said “Folks, turns out the highest and best use isn’t baseball (PDF)” (that’s a paraphrase).

And here’s what our own Aaron Williams had to say in 2014 about why this project feels, to him, like it could be something better than it is.

Seem like a lot to sort through? It is! This conversation has been going on for close to a decade. Our own timeline of the whole thing only goes up to 2013. We…should probably update that.

Why do people care so much about Boulevard? What’s the controversy? Is it that there’s a tree in the way? Go to a public meeting and find out! The public will be more than happy to tell you.

But what if I just want to sit here and type instead?

Go to it! Here’s the City’s new survey. It took me about three minutes.

Warning, you will be given the opportunity to prioritize restaurants, retail, and entertainment over public safety and transportation and vice versa. Doing so might make you have to sit down and reexamine what is truly important to you! Or maybe not!

You are also able to give totally conflicting answers. The survey won’t stop you. It’ll also ask you for YOUR vision for the Boulevard, which I assume means they just want to be able to sit around and laugh at the funniest ones.

That was fun! Can I go say some of those things in real life? Or hear other people say them?

You may! Here are the upcoming public meetings:

Thursday, February 4th

  • 9:00 AM, Richmond Main Library, 101 E. Franklin Street
  • 6:00 PM, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, 1000 Mosby Street

Thursday, February 11th

  • 12:00 PM, Huguenot High School Community Center, 7945 Forest Hill Avenue
  • 6:00 PM, Thomas Jefferson High School, 4100 W. Grace Street
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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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