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Newbille hosting 7th District, GRTC, Glenwood Ridge Apartments meetings this week

Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille to host her next 7th District meeting in Tuesday, March 28, 2017, from 6:00-7:30 PM at the Family Resource Center (2405 Jefferson Avenue).

Special Guests include Jennifer L. McClellan, Virginia State Senator Senate of Virginia 9th Voter District, Delores L. McQuinn, Virginia State Delegate Virginia House of Delegates 70th Voter District, and Jeffery M. Bourne, Virginia State Delegate Virginia House of Delegates 71st Voter District.

Agenda items include:

  • J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College – Culinary School
    Dr. Gary Rhodes, President, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College

  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC): Seed Grants for New Business in the Richmond East End 7th Voter District
    Ms. Candice Street, Executive Director, Virginia Local Initiatives Support Corporation

  • Maggie Walker Community Land Trust – Mr. Robert Adams, HD Advisors
  • Public Safety: Richmond East End 7th Voter District
    Richmond Police Department and Richmond Department of Fire and Emergency Services

  • RVA East End Music Festival: The Gift of Arts and Music
    Ms. Suzanne Mallory-Parker, Richmond Symphony

  • Richmond East End Transformation: Creighton Court and Grocery Store in the Richmond East End 7th Voter District


There will also be a special meeting with Cynthia Newbille & GRTC on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at 6:00 PM at the Powhatan Recreation Center (5051 Northampton Street).

Following, there will be a special meeting with Shane Doran of the Humanities Foundation on Thursday, March 30, 2017, from 7:00 – 8:00PM at the Powhatan Recreation Center (5051 Northampton Street) on the proposed Glenwood Ridge Apartments.

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Neighbor 03/30/2017 at 7:41 AM

Who’s coming to the meetings tonight? If you have concerns about the Glenwood Ridge development, be sure to attend tonight please.

Clay Street 03/30/2017 at 5:30 PM

Still time to make the GRTC meeting at 6 pm and the Glenwood Apt meeting at 7 pm, hope everyone who vocalized opinions on here is able to attend.

Ron 04/01/2017 at 12:24 PM

Does anyone know what the outcome of the meeting was on March 30th about the proposed Glenwood apartment development?

Clay Street 04/02/2017 at 10:16 AM

There wasn’t any “outcome” per se. But it was a lengthy and sometimes contentious meeting. Shane Dornan and his attorney presented some changes that have been made to their design of the development. This includes among other things the addition of a playground in the middle area between the two building, so the parking layout has been reconfigured. They also changed the run of the development along the easement due to city of Richmond property stuff (not entirely sure of the details, but the result is that the angle of the eastern building in relation to Glenwood is different). They have agreed to run sidewalk all the way down to Government.

The most important thing that happened is that there were about 50 very concerned citizens—white, black, young, old, from Church Hill, Montrose, Fulton and Oakwood–who made their voices heard. The meeting lasted past 8:30. Cynthia Newbille, Mark Olinger and the woman from Historic Planning (if anyone can help me remember her name that would be great) that will be managing the 106 review.

It was clear that nothing the developers were saying or doing is going to appease the concerned citizens. But this is a by-right development. Email Newbille, Olinger, and the Planning people doing the 106 review to weigh in on whatever adverse effects you think this may have–that is currently what has the potential to slow this down.

Cynthia Newbille, when asked how this slipped through the cracks and how she seemingly didn’t know about it either, said that it was a missed opportunity and that she and her staff were committed to being more vigilant in the future.

Because this project didn’t require any special zoning consideration, it really just sailed through the entire process of application and confirmation quite easily. Nothing got flagged in the bureaucracy that would have alerted anyone.

She did say that she shared everyone’s concerns about the project–particularly the massing of it, the scale, the disconnect with other architecture in the neighborhood, the lack of pedestrian engagement, the inwardness of the development, the issues with Glenwood Avenue and traffic impact, etc.

Nothing has been approved yet. So if you have input you want to make, reach out to appropriate people who are figuring out what will happen with the 106 review.

Clay Street 04/02/2017 at 10:19 AM

The 106 review has been triggered because there will now be units specifically set aside for Section 8, a change from their original Glenwood Apartments application and plan (which was Section 8 preferred but did not specify allotment of units). The federal funds involved in Section 8 mean it has to have another layer of scrutiny. You can read more about some of what’s involved here:

John M 04/02/2017 at 10:26 AM

@Clay Street – THANK YOU for your reporting. THIS is online community news at it’s best.

Clay Street 04/02/2017 at 10:29 AM

One more thing: everyone who attended was also concerned about the two adjacent parcels which have the exact same R-63 multi-family zoning…Newbille knows that people are looking to her to help manage the frustration with continually building dense apartment complexes in a food desert with no walkability score.

Clay Street 04/02/2017 at 10:34 AM

John M, thank you for providing the forum! None of us would have known anything about this if you hadn’t posted about the demo permit for the trolley barn…

crd 04/02/2017 at 6:58 PM

Clay Street, the person at the city who handles Section 106 review is, I believe, Kimberly Chen. She is listed in the employee directory for the city. She is also a Church Hill resident of long standing.

And thank you and John Murden for the reporting, you both deserve kudos!

Ron 04/04/2017 at 7:16 AM

Thanks, Clay, I appreciate you keeping us up to date. I really hope this development isn’t approved if it is I’m selling. Church Hill has always been my favorite neighborhood in Richmond, but this is too much. We already have far more low-income housing in our district.
I wonder why we’re always targeted.
About the land Frank Wood owns starting at the corner of 35th and Marshall, it was zoned single-family the last time I checked. If this developer is referring to Mr. Wood’s property, he’d need to have it rezoned.
My question is why were we not informed when the property proposed for this development was switched from single family to multifamily in 2010?
Well, thanks again and please keep us updated if there’s another meeting.
Oh, one more question has anyone started a petition against this development because I’ve considered starting one, but am uncertain exactly how to go about do it. Any suggestions?
Sorry, I want to thank John Murden for his hard work on this site keeping all of us so informed.

John M 04/04/2017 at 4:29 PM Reply
mary 04/04/2017 at 5:37 PM

Pushing back against this type of development is difficult when, in some areas of the city, the council representative states that what’s proposed is part of that council person’s own vision for the neighborhood. In those cases it’s about the council rep and not about the neighborhood.

It was that statement by our council rep that informed those of us who live here that even tho the neighborhood is in an Old and Historic District and the proposal was inappropriate by many of those guidelines, Union Hill was in deep doo doo.

And sure enough BHC “won” the right to install something very inappropriate here. (I had to put “won” in quotes since residents made the decision not to push any harder for a multitude of reasons, two of which were Newbille’s statement about what fit her vision for us – and the other of which are her close ties to the person who heads up BHC…hard to fight that combo.)

But as we know, you can’t win ’em all and the deck was stacked against Union Hill in favor of a couple of individuals’ views of what was best for us – and with the power to push it: the nanny state always knows best.

Union Hill decided to take the lesser evil.

Attached is a letter I recently sent about a city proposal to fund another local BHC project:

Open Letter to Richmond’s Mayor, Council Members, and Press

I’m a Richmond resident and I object to Ordinance 2017-068 authorizing a grant for $250,000 to fund a project by Better Housing Coalition.

During recent personal interaction with that group I learned the following things about it:
it does not work with residents, but rather dictates to them; and multiple staff members during the course of my interaction with them made statements and promises which turned out to not be truthful (independently verifiable).

Other residents of my neighborhood will attest to the fact that the coalition is not qualified to interact in an inclusive manner with a diverse group of people – and it seems that being able to do so is part of what the above grant proposal is designed to fund.

The staff with whom my neighbors and I interacted, staff that includes the group’s president and its immediate past board chairman, were aggressively authoritarian, often making statements that turned out not to be valid or at the least contradictory: coalition staffers have proven to have a tenuous relationship with truth.

Further, there was frequent profiling of residents by staff members and by at least one board member in the form of prejudicial statements made in public forums that contributed to the sense of unease in our dealings with the group.

I urge you to not approve the ordinance. To pass it, to provide funding to this group, will send a message to taxpayers that wasting our money is something you do approve of.

Clay Street 04/04/2017 at 8:50 PM

Ron, unfortunately the Frank Wood property is R-63 as far as I can tell 🙁

I don’t think everyone understands–the Glenwood development is by-right. There isn’t any regular zoning review process that will affect it because it is already allowed–because it fits the zoning. Petitions will not work. As the Style article points, out, the city can actually be held liable/be sued if they thwart developers who are in-line with zoning requirements.

But, there is another review process that has to be traversed in order for the development to move forward re: 106 review. If you want to weigh in, then contact Ms. Chen and others involved in planning and let them know your thoughts. Contact Councilperson Newbille and ask to have a meeting to discuss this further. I will be doing this later this week and I urge everyone who is unhappy to do the same. If the city makes the developers alter their design so as to mitigate the “adverse effects” on the adjacent OHD then it might at least make it better than it is now. Or it could drag it out so long that the developer gives up and moves on–I think their funding window is due to close later this spring. Running out the clock might be an option. But getting the city to take a closer look at master planning for the East End in particular is a goal here, right? What we want is mixed-use, mixed-income smart planning. At least that’s what I want.

Dave 04/05/2017 at 2:35 AM

Ms Chen said herself at the meeting last week that the 106 review wasn’t going to stop this development, only delay it at best. It seems the developer is invested enough to have hired a company to conduct the archaeological site work required by the 106 review. An uphill battle for sure… Such a shame for so many reasons. @13 – Please keep us informed of any progress made during your meeting with Newbille.

Nia 04/07/2017 at 12:59 PM

Isn’t there another level of review required because the process had been started to get the Trolley barn on the National Historic Register?

Nia 04/08/2017 at 8:13 AM

Did anyone else attend the CHA meeting on March 21 wherein the owner/developer of the Lofty who also opposes this particular project and a representative from the City had a dialogue during the Q&A session? Wherein the city said it would 4-6 months to review the Sec. 106 submission, which had not been submitted yet, AND that the applicants due diligence period for the purchase expired at the end of April, AND that the seller was not interested in extending as he had other ‘backup offers’.

Did I dream this?
Does anyone else remember this conversation that had me leaving the meeting thinking the project was dead in the water?

Perhaps Mr. Lofty is on this feed?

John M 04/08/2017 at 8:16 AM

I was not there, but have heard from another direction that this may be the case.

Michelle WM 04/09/2017 at 3:37 PM

@16 – Nia, thank you so much for sharing that, it is the most promising piece of news I have heard regarding this project. Please keep us updated with what you hear! Thank you!

Ron 04/10/2017 at 3:09 PM

I copied and pasted this from the city’s assessor’s office.
You are correct about Frank Wood’s property being in an (R-63) zone, but the class of the property is listed as single family (101 – R Single Family Vacant (R1-R7). And I’m not sure exactly what a developer would have to do to build on Mr. Wood’s property.
I think it means a developer can build multifamily, but it has to be something such as condos or townhouses instead of an apartment building owned by one developer/individual for rental purposes.
For example, let’s say I am a developer and for me to develop his property I can either build a single family home on each lot or I can build a building with condos or attached townhouses that are individually owned.
Although I have a friend who’s a real-estate attorney, he deals in commercial real estate. So I’m not sure he’ll know the answer to any questions about Frank Wood’s property, but I am going to ask him to see what he might think we can do if anything to prevent (densely populated low income) any of this from happening especially Frank Wood’s property.
There is one thing that really baffles me when Margaret Freund tried building condos at the end of Broad St several years ago the neighbors fought against her idea and succeeded. However, the way I understand this proposed development there’s nothing we can do to stop it. How did the neighbors prevent her from building her original plan, but there’s nothing we can do to prevent this developer from building densely populated low income?
Street Address: 401 N 35th St Richmond, VA 23223-0
Alternate Street Addresses: 3508 E Marshall St
: 3504 E Marshall St
: 3516 E Marshall St
: 3512 E Marshall St
: 3500 E Marshall St
: 3506 E Marshall St
: 3510 E Marshall St
: 3514 E Marshall St
: 3502 E Marshall St
Subdivision Name : NONE
Parent Parcel ID:
Assessment Area: 342 – Oakwood
Property Class: 101 – R Single Family Vacant (R1-R7)
Zoning District: R-63 – Residential (Multi-family Urban)
Exemption Code: –
Current Assessment
Effective Date: 01/01/2017
Land Value: $550,000
Improvement Value:
Total Value: $550,000
Area Tax: $0
Special Assessment District: None
Land Description
Parcel Square Feet: 182734.2
Acreage: 4.195
Property Description 1: CHIMBORAZO VILLAGE
Property Description 2: 0146.33X0463.18 IRG0004.195 AC
State Plane Coords( ?): X= 11799768.968180 Y= 3717224.524264
Latitude: 37.52718275 , Longitude: -77.40849512

Clay Street 04/10/2017 at 4:37 PM

Ron, it’s confusing and I am not the best person to answer, but the zoning class and the property class are not the same thing. The one that counts is the zoning class (in the case of both Glenwood and of the Frank Wood properties, the zoning is R-63)

Unlike Glenwood, the Lofty is inside the OHD. So totally different in that it had to meet certain other more specific guidelines, even though it was zoned multi-family to begin with. It required CAR approval which it did not get, then city council overturned, and then it went to court, etc.

A long drawn out story which I am sure many others are better prepared to tell than I 😉

Leigh 04/10/2017 at 4:42 PM

I am so confused. All the letters and numbers of the legalities throw me for a loop. In elementary terms, what should I do as I am 1 block away and in opposition to the building of this complex

Leigh 04/11/2017 at 8:01 PM

I also am curious as to if she said how this was positively affecting the area (Glenwood, Chimborazo). I know there is an argument for affordable houaing, but did she speak to how putting this building at this spot was going to positively impact the area around it? Any insight appreciated. Thanks

Ron 04/11/2017 at 10:19 PM

@Clay, I was looking at a map of the Chimborazo Old and Historic District today and discovered it reaches N 30th-N 39th St., and it appears to expand to the 3800 and 3900 blocks of Government Road.
So if it is in Chimborazo’s historic district, then I’d think the developer has to build a design that satisfies the neighbors. I would think if we’re against this development we wouldn’t need to do anything else.
I also remember when a developer wanted to build an eleven story building in Shockoe Bottom possibly obstructing the view shed from Libby Park. If the developer can sue the city if he’s not given permission to build Glenwood why couldn’t the developer of the eleven story building sue the city for not allowing him to build his condos? The proposed eleven-story building was being constructed in an R-63 zoned area.
We can say we’re offended by the design the developer is proposing. Perhaps most of us would be far happier if it has to be low income that they build something with the design of Jefferson Mews on 24th Street. Jefferson Mews has been constructed giving half of the residents the opportunity to buy a townhouse and the other half was rental.
Jefferson Mews has never been a crime problem, and the townhouses seem to be well maintained.
They didn’t just fill it with section-8 residents giving the people no incentive to take care of the property. It is common sense that people who own their home are going to make more of an effort to take care of it than if they rent.
There’s something that peaks my curiosity, and it’s this development being in the Church Hill newsletter. They seem to be obsessed with anything being proposed in Shockoe bottom, but nothing about our district. I have to wonder why. Do they not care about this part of Church Hill? If I am mistaken, please give me the volume and issue because I have numerous. Being there’s possibly nothing in the Church Hill newsletter about Glenwood, I feel sure there are many of our neighbors that don’t know about it.
There are a lot of our residents that only read the newsletter.
One more question, I think I saw where someone posted our city council representatives sometimes do what they feel is best for our district/common good (correct me if I misunderstood). However, does the person who made such a post not realize the city council representatives are working for us. We hired them to represent the districts, and they can be fired at the voting booth.

Dave 04/23/2017 at 6:13 PM

Does anyone have any update on this development?

Eric Huffstutler 04/28/2017 at 2:19 PM

Yes, what is the final outcome? Did the developer throw in the towel on this location? If so, what is next for the trolley building people want to protect?

Dave 05/04/2017 at 12:49 PM

According to the Times Dispatch today, Dr. Newbille has allocated $90,480 for “Glenwood (sidewalks, curb cuts, street repair and gutters)”. NOT GOOD for those of us who know sidewalks and temporarily repaired pot holes will be of little consequence for neighbors and future tenants whos lives will be negatively affected by this development.

crd 05/04/2017 at 4:55 PM

@26 wasn’t that an amendment to the budget, and if so, did it get passed by the full council and has Stoney signed off on it? I did see the reference in the T-D online edition, just not sure if it’s final.

mary 05/04/2017 at 5:57 PM

#26…At this point in the game I don’t know what options are available for change or even input but remember…projects like this are, by her own statement, what Newbille’s vision for the district is.

Her statement to a group of Union Hill residents was a bell ringer – when she said that a ‘warehouse’ apartment project proposed by BHC fit her vision for the district.

It’s not about you or your neighbors or your neighborhood. You’re all just along for the ride.

Ron 05/04/2017 at 11:03 PM

@Mary, All of you living in Union Hill need to remember Cynthia Newbill works for us. We employ her in the voting booth, and she can be removed at the next election.
There’s one thing that confuses me if so many people are dissatisfied with her. Why is she still our representative?
The reason Trump won the election is that Americans were tired of politicians doing things more to suit themselves than the people (republican and democrat alike).
They work for “We the People.”

Dave 05/05/2017 at 8:39 AM

@27…I’m not exactly sure. Either way, it’s clear that she is supporting this development.

mary 05/05/2017 at 1:19 PM

#29…Thanks. Preaching to the choir here.

Dave 07/16/2017 at 7:39 PM

Does anyone have any news about this project?

Nia 07/17/2017 at 8:41 AM

Fun Fact: Glenwood now has a large new asphalt “patch” at the end of the road where it becomes Leigh Street. Is this what you get for $90+k?
The For Sale signs are down off the Glenwood Ridge location. It’s back to being a peaceful meadow. The Trolley Barn appears to have lost its tenant, but I’m not 100% certain.

Leigh 09/03/2017 at 8:50 PM

Updates on this whole thing? Anyone?


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