Public hearing on the proposed Richmond riverfront plan is today

07/02/2012 11:41 AM by

If you wish to weigh in on the proposed Richmond Riverfront Plan, maybe about the designation of Echo Harbor as possible future development, today is the day. The Richmond Planning Commission will have a public hearing TODAY at 1:30 PM.

More information follows.

The Richmond Planning Commission is holding a public hearing on the proposed Richmond Riverfront Plan

Monday, July 2, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. City Hall, 900 East Broad Street 5th floor conference room

We need all to come out and express support for preservation and revitalization of the Riverfront – in the right places of course! Read on….

[FYI: If you cannot attend, send your comments today to the Planning Commission. Contact information & email addresses are at the bottom of this notice.]

The proposed Richmond Riverfront Plan is full of exciting ideas. Overall, it creates a wonderful vision that seeks to balance natural areas, recreation sites and parkland with commercial interests, economic development and tourism. Exciting changes include the conversion of Mayo Island into a park, recreation fields on Chapel Island, pedestrian bridges across the river, and Manchester and Canal area development!

OUR CONCERN: In one glaring exception to the general sensitivity of the plan, the USP site (also known as Echo Harbour) below Libby Hill is shown as a Future Development Area.

Throughout the two-year Downtown Master Plan process and during the recent Riverfront Plan hearings, citizens again and again voiced opposition to visual intrusions of the historic panoramic view of the James River from Libby Hill – the view that named Richmond.

The best use of the riverfront below Libby Hill is parkland, which would keep intact the entire panoramic view of the river from the bend in the east to the terminus of the slave trail in the west.

This view – downriver, upriver, and across the James to the Manchester Docks and Ancarrow’s Landing – captures the full sweep of our City’s — and Nation’s — history. History that includes the villages of indigenous Virginia people, the colonial founding of Rocketts, the Confederate Naval Academy and Shipyard, and the tragic, complex and ultimately uplifting history of the African-American journey from slavery to freedom.

Within this vista, one can view the route of the slave trail and the subsequent route that President Lincoln traveled in 1865, and then gaze west toward Capitol Square and the Governor’s Mansion to consider that Virginia became the first state to elect an African-American Governor.

OUR REQUEST: Amend the Richmond Riverfront Plan to change the designation of the Riverfront parcels below Libby Hill from Future Development to Future Park!

Please attend the Planning Commission meeting on Monday, July 2 (and Mark your calendars to attend the City Council meeting on Sept 24). If you are not able to attend on Monday afternoon, please send your comments now to Planning Commission members, as follows:

Melvin Law, Chair: William M. Hutchins, Vice Chair: Jane Ferrara (CAO rep): The Hon. Doug Conner (City Council rep): Lynn McAteer: Doug Cole: Charles Wray Jr.: Rodney M. Poole, Esq.: Amy L. Howard:

Note: To send a message to all members of the Planning Commission, please cut and paste one of the following email blocks into a new message, i.e., do not merely forward this alert.

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