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Two big Union Hill projects before CAR this month

The agenda for the February 28 meeting of the Commission of Architectural Review has a slew of local projects, including two big ones in Union Hill:

  • 816 N 23RD ST – Replace front and back door
  • 701 MOSBY ST – Open bricked in openings and restore doors
  • 717 N 24TH ST – Remove vinyl siding, storm door, and awnings, restore wood siding on front elevation, install fiber cement siding on secondary elevation
  • 2405 & 2407 CEDAR ST – Remove vinyl siding, replace with hardiplank, restore wood siding on front elevation if possible
  • 2230 VENABLE ST – Construct five new multifamily structures
  • 517 N 29TH ST – Replace porch decking, railing, roofing, soffit and gutter
  • 902 N 25TH ST – Construct new two story porch in rear, one story entry porch, and add fiber cement siding
  • 811 JESSAMINE ST – Replace windows and remove chimney
  • 812 JESSAMINE ST – Replace porch decking, railing, and columns
  • 125 N 25TH ST – Modification to previously approved plans to include the demolition of existing addition and construction of new addition
  • 533 Mosby Street – Construct Construct a new single family dwelling and a garage.
  • 2411 M ST – Construct a new 3 story mixed use building with an enclosed rooftop amenity room and terraces
  • 813 N 24TH ST – Construct one single family dwelling on vacant lot


2411 M Street


701 Mosby Street


2230 Venable Street


Dave 02/18/2017 at 10:32 AM

More “affordable housing” via the 2230 venable st project! Why does the greater church hill area continue to be designated the dumping spot for the underprivileged? It’s proven that dispersing residents of all income levels across the region is best for them and everyone else.

BAF 02/18/2017 at 1:29 PM

@1 well if you can figure out how to do it in Windsor Farms, have at it.

Dave 02/18/2017 at 7:43 PM

@2. Hmmm…is Windsor Farms the only locale in the city you could think of….

BAF 02/18/2017 at 11:49 PM

@3 No but no reason they should be exempt, right?

animal lover 02/19/2017 at 8:49 AM

parking spaces designated for any of these “mixed use buildings” – everyone is hopefully aware that the transit system sucks and is not like in NYC where people can live without a vehicle. Developers are doing their best to make Church Hill not livable.

Don O'Keefe 02/19/2017 at 8:34 PM

@5 If you continue to tamp down on density and build infrastructure (including parking lots) that accommodate automobile use, then the transit system will continue to, in your words, “suck.” Development trends need to be shaped into a virtuous cycle for us to have progress. Blanket insults directed at developers do nothing to aid your cause, especially when many Richmonders would like to see the city move in a new direction that is in line with many of the new developer-led projects.

Urbanist 02/20/2017 at 9:26 AM

@1 you should really be talking to the “luxury” developers who block access to other parts of the city by charging outrageous rents.

@5 City council just approved the new draft transit network plan, which isn’t perfect, but is a step in the right direction combined with the BRT. Also bicycles

Dave 02/20/2017 at 10:06 AM

@7 NO…this city (council and planning) need to accept the facts and start making adjustments to land use and zoning that would require a minimum percentage of land use in each district be for mixed-use development.

Urbanist 02/20/2017 at 12:12 PM

I agree more mixed-use development is a good thing. So is mixed-income when possible! Perhaps we can organize and advocate for inclusionary zoning so that every development above a certain size must include a percentage of workforce housing, ie “affordable” for restaurant workers to nurses to entry level city employees.

I think the proposed zoning changes coming with BRT are a good start. The city gov and our fellow residents need to have vision, but also not hinder present efforts to better the urban fabric

Mary Jane D'Arville 02/25/2017 at 9:15 AM

As a new neighbor in the Historic Union Hill District, I’m very concerned about the proposal for 2411 M. St that is being reviewed this Tuesday, 2/28 by CAR. If you are not familiar with the project, I encourage you to go to http://www.richmondva.legistar click on the calendar link and go into the meeting details for the 2/28 meeting. Scroll down to #8 on the agenda and click on CAR No. 2016-114. Click on the Application and Plans pdf.

CAR’s number 1 guideline for standards of new commercial construction as set out in their handbook states “New commercial construction should use a building form compatible with that found elsewhere in the immediate area.” The 2nd guideline reads “New commercial construction should maintain the existing human scale of nearby historic commercial buildings in the district.”

The proposed building is 3 stories with a rooftop, which makes it 4 stories. There are no 3, let alone 4 story buildings in the immediate area. Although the builder sites Bowler Community Center (which is not in the Union Hill boundaries) and Cedar Street Memorial Baptist Church (a house of worship and not a commercial structure), the typical architecture of this neighborhood indisputably consists of 2 story residential houses.

The current plan calls for 27 units which could easily put a minimum of 50+ cars in surrounding neighborhoods. It is my understanding that CAR is not responsible for oversight of the parking issues involved with proposed new construction, but as citizens of Union Hill, we need to be. There is clearly not enough street parking to accommodate parking that will be needed should the current plan be approved.

CAR’s purpose is to preserve the historic districts of Richmond. Apparently at this point, CAR has no issues with the design of the building, but at the very least, this building needs to be limited to 2 stories with a rooftop. Members of the Union Hill community take pride in the architecture that reflects the history of our neighborhood. I am hoping that CAR will respect the integrity of our community and make this a priority for this project.

UH Neighb 08/17/2018 at 6:31 PM

Does anyone know what came of 812 Jessamine? It has been empty for a year and the sale sign recently disappeared but the house still looks rough.


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