Planning Commission to consider Richmond Riverfront Plan on Monday

08/18/2012 8:35 AM by

A message yesterday from the Friends of Libby Hill:

Dear Friends of the View,


This coming Monday, August 20, 1:30 at City Hall, 5th floor the Planning Commission will have a working session on the new Riverfront Plan. (No public comment)

Action #1 If you can, come and be seen

Action #2 Take the time NOW to send an email
Names & email addresses are at the bottom of this notice. Please change name at bottom & add yours as contact for questions when forwarding this email to friends.

Request that they amend the designation of USP (aka Echo Harbor) property to ‘public park’ as per the Downtown Master Plan, not ‘private property’

Below is a synopsis to bring you up to date. Use points you like or keep it short. Get something out to the full PC to show we are paying attention!

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!

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.

Entrance to the City: Both proposals for a new Route 5 entrance into the City would create a bottleneck at Main and excessive traffic, not to mention the damage a four-lane highway would do to the rural nature of Eastern Henrico.

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.

Amend the Richmond Riverfront Plan to change the designation of the Riverfront parcels below Libby Hill from Future Development to Future Park! Request that BOTH proposals for a new Route 5 entrance into the City be denied.

Mark your calendars to attend the City Council meeting on Sept 24. Whether or not you are 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:
Dave Johannas:

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.

If your email program uses a semi-colon between addresses, use this block:;;;;;;;;;

If your email program uses a comma between addresses, use this block:,,,,,,,,,

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

If you have any questions, please contact Coqui at (804) 644-1347


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