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East End News

Moulds organizing opposition to proposed development on Jefferson Avenue

An email from Stacey Moulds, Garden Manager for the Tricycle Gardens’ Jefferson Ave Community Garden, regarding a proposed development adjacent to the garden space:

Hello Union Hill Residents & Business Owners:

I am the Garden Manager for the Tricycle Gardens’ Jefferson Ave Community Garden. The Garden urgently needs your support to oppose plans for a mixed-use commercial/residential project (2308 Jefferson Ave) being presented to CAR (Commission of Architecture Review) for a Certificate of Appropriateness. The CAR meeting is Tuesday, July 26th beginning at 3:30 pm *(See bottom of email for details).

Ignored Input from the Community – Many of you attended the March 2nd Union Hill Civic Association (UHCA) meeting and provided substantial input in regards to the project design and size. The developers promised to come back to UHCA with modified changes prior to returning to CAR. Instead, they have decided to ignore any of our input and are submitting their original plans with no changes at all to the design or size other than minimal changes to the front facade. They have noted in their submittal that they “met with the neighborhood” and listed the March 2nd meeting but failed to mention that the submitted plans do not reflect any changes based on input received.

Problem with the Project – This project will negatively affect the Union Hill neighborhood as well as the Community Garden. The proposed building is double in length and taller (3 stories vs. 2) than any of the adjacent residential or commercial buildings on the south side of Jefferson Ave. All of the surrounding commercial buildings are masonry construction whereas the proposed project is frame construction with Hardiplank siding. All of the HVAC units will be visible from the alley as well as along Jefferson Ave and 24th street. The conceptual plans have several key issues that make its buildability questionable. It will be very visible not only Jefferson Avenue, but also along 24th street and in the public alley between 23rd and 24th streets due to its height, length and siting.

The Jefferson Ave Community Garden has been in existence since 2003 when it was started by Tricycle Gardens. Not only does the garden provide much needed space for residents to grow their own food, it also serves as a beautiful, peaceful and nourishing oasis for the neighborhood and its urban wildlife. The garden happily remains affiliated with Tricycle Gardens (whose headquarters are next door to the garden on the other side at 2314 Jefferson Ave) and Tricycle Gardens intends to permanently keep this space as a community garden. It is therefore of the upmost importance that the immediate development be compatible with the garden.

We need as many people as possible to attend the July 26th CAR meeting and state their opposition to the current project plans. Please contact Stacey Moulds (semoulds@gmail.com and (804) 241-6242, mobile) if you will be able to attend and also if you are willing to speak at the meeting. We are working on providing transportation to and from the meeting for those who need it as parking is difficult (or you could walk or ride a bike!).

If you are unable to attend, would you be willing to write an email or letter? I can provide a template letter with the specific problems of the project that you can modify as you see fit.

Your Input is Critical in shaping the ultimate design of this project and how it will affects our neighborhood and community garden.

Link to Plans: https://richmondva.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2780621&GUID=A2325B41-18F8-4003-9B78-C37EC24FA2A7&Options=&Search=

Link to Agenda: https://richmondva.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=496793&GUID=624BDAD7-9A72-4C76-BAAA-0973814BF81C&Options=info&Search

*CAR Meeting Info:
Date: Tuesday, July 26th
Location: 5th Floor Conference Room of City Hall
Time: 3:30 pm ( we are listed 7th on the agenda following the business meeting, but there is always a chance they could move the project to the consent agenda which means it would be discussed immediately following the business meeting)

Sincerely,

Stacey Moulds

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James Smith
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James Smith

How does the height and visibility of HVAC units effect the garden? Not that a community shouldn’t raise concerns if they have them, but not liking the design of this building and its proximity to the garden doesn’t seem like a good enough reason.

Katie Vogelpohl
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Katie Vogelpohl liked this on Facebook.

Emily Klinedinst
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Emily Klinedinst liked this on Facebook.

Allie Ludeman
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Allie Ludeman

Go Stacey Moulds!

Alec Kean
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Alec Kean

CAR wouldn’t let me paint my house blue but they will let stuff like this get built? What a racket

Michael Weeks
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Michael Weeks liked this on Facebook.

Ava Louise
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Ava Louise liked this on Facebook.

Vanya
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Vanya

CAR has some policy where they don’t want newly built stuff to blend in too much with original stuff so that no one gets fooled thinking that new stuff is old. One of the things people do to deal with that is to build with frame and hardiplank to contrast with original brick buildings. I think that is a bad idea, but you will need to come up with alternative ideas that CAR will accept. Also, masonry construction is more expensive than frame and hardiplank, which I am sure is a factor for these people. Your alternative ideas have to… Read more »

Vanya Wright
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Vanya Wright

Is the idea to have two levels of apartments over a storefront?

UnionHillian
Guest
UnionHillian

@ #1:
If you read Stacey’s email, the issue is quite simple to understand. It involves a lack if honesty, integrity, and false intent: “The developers promised to come back to UHCA with modified changes prior to returning to CAR. Instead, they have decided to ignore any of our input and are submitting their original plans with no changes at all to the design or size other than minimal changes to the front facade. “

Julianne Hamlet
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Julianne Hamlet liked this on Facebook.

Andrew Caleb
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Andrew Caleb liked this on Facebook.

Allie Ludeman
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Allie Ludeman

Allie Ludeman liked this on Facebook.

Tanetta Caleb
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Michael Onsel
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Kathy Albers
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Erin Kristen Doolin
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Erin Kristen Doolin liked this on Facebook.

Neighbor
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Neighbor

They ignored someone telling them how to build on their property? What is this Anerica or something? Good for them.

BAF
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BAF

It is unfortunate that the developer failed to fulfill their commitment to return to the civic association, even if only to say that they felt they would not be able to incorporate the suggestions made. That would have been the right thing do. While I think CAR wants people to meet with the neighborhood, I don’t think CAR can require the developer to take the neighborhood’s input on things that are already compliant with all zoning and regulations, not do I believe CAR can require a developer to have a second meeting if non-compliant issues have been resolved. If I… Read more »

Bill
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Bill

Car only has authority for the historic part. I doubt the tomatoes care but it looks like the wind could blow this thing over

Aileen Rivera
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Aileen Rivera liked this on Facebook.

Steven H
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Steven H

This is absurd. So, the UHCA doesn’t want three story buildings that are bigger than anything else out there and don’t want to see HVAC units that you probably see on other buildings. Not to mention the place you can see them is from an ALLEY. It sounds what they are really pissed off about is that their “concerns” were ignored. Boo hoo. And the idea that this would affect the garden is laughable. Some things are worth objecting to. I do not see this as one of them. If they keep objecting to everything like this then everyone will… Read more »

BAF
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BAF

Ms. Moulds writes:

“It is therefore of the upmost importance that the immediate development be compatible with the garden.”

To ensure that, I would encourage Ms. Moulds and her organization to purchase the property and do with it what they will instead of making demands on others’ property.

Observer
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Observer

Let’s not ignore the fact that this building is ugly and doesn’t match its neighbor at all. The alignment of the second floor to the building next door looks ridiculous, and stems from developer wanting to fit into existing zoning requirements, thus creating 2nd and 3rd floors that are only 7 1/2 ‘ tall. Squeezing a 3 story building into existing zoning is like trying to pack a Mack truck inside a Prius.

Dizzle
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Dizzle

“upmost importance that the immediate development be compatible with the garden”

Of upmost importance? It’s a garden, who cares, this is a real building with real money being generated, not just a gardening hobby. I agree with the developers. I already had to be at the CAR meeting for my own application, and instead of being silent, I’ll speak on the developers behalf encouraging they approve it.

K Barry
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K Barry

It’s unfortunate that many of those opposed to what Stacey is in favor of don’t understand that it was her and the Tricycle Garden’s efforts to develop the garden that helped to inspire the development along Jefferson Avenue. They started the garden way before Alamo, the Roosevelt, Sub Rosa and Union Market moved into the area which paved the way for developments like this one. So rather than throw away the baby with the bath water, consider the arguments for a better designed building that works with its neighbors and not be so moved to support a building that could… Read more »

Martha McConnell Looney
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Martha McConnell Looney liked this on Facebook.

urbngrilla
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urbngrilla

At the 7/26/2016 CAR hearing, the community’s voices were heard loud and clear. At the hearing, there were many important points made by neighbors who had thoroughly done their homework. One of the most significant exhibits was the presentation of a historical survey (1952 Sanborne insurance map) which shows the original footprint and height of the building that once stood on this lot. Old and Historic District Guidelines are very clear about the importance of the previous structure’s mass and scale when considering new construction on vacant lots. Commissioners voted unanimously to not approve the current plans and instructed the… Read more »

dontmincewords
Guest

Score one for citizen due diligence. Just makes you wonder why the architect didn’t start there for a baseline. Hummmm?.