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Petition circulating to stall proposed Glenwood Ridge apartments

Folks along Glenwood have launched a petition to stall the proposed Glenwood Ridge apartment complex:

Glenwood Ridge is an 82 unit mixed income apartment complex slated to break ground in January of 2018, yet very little awareness seems to have been raised by local government and the lack of transparency is concerning.

It goes without saying that affordable housing is an absolute necessity, but putting an 82 unit apartment complex at the intersection of Government Rd and Glenwood Ave on a 3.2 acre lot is a poor decision.

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MJ 10/12/2017 at 12:08 PM

It is possible that the legal standards for informing the public and soliciting their input have not been met.

Chimbo Resident 10/12/2017 at 12:52 PM

Cynthia Newbille and Kimberly Chen have agreed to a final community meeting this Monday, Oct 16th at 630pm. The Neighbo rhood Resource Center at 1519 Williamsburg Rd. Please attend if you can.

Chimbo Resident 10/12/2017 at 12:56 PM Reply
Jean 10/12/2017 at 12:57 PM

The above is the link to the petition. ?

John M 10/12/2017 at 1:02 PM

Link is at top, the “Folks along Glenwood have launched a petition to stall the proposed Glenwood Ridge apartment complex”

Brian 10/12/2017 at 3:02 PM

Spread the word!

donald funk 10/12/2017 at 4:58 PM

At least theres new construction of housing that average people can likely afford. The company building this doesn’t seem to really have any ghetto properties by the looks of it either

Brian 10/12/2017 at 7:08 PM

@Donald – The buildings aren’t the worst things, but the management is the company’s biggest problem. There is a list of complaints on Nextdoor.

AB 10/12/2017 at 8:18 PM


Depends on what your definition is… because his properties are actually known for heinous management and neglect leading to everyday occurances of this flavor…

Eric S. 10/13/2017 at 8:53 PM

I think Mark Holmberg sums up the issue that we have going on…

Where is the Church Hill Association or do they not care since it is not blocking the river view?

Dubois2 10/13/2017 at 9:38 PM

Does the east end not have enough public and section 8 housing? Do Dr Newbille and others simply want ‘more low income housing’ or is there a goal in mind? How much is the right amount?

crd 10/14/2017 at 12:07 PM

@10 Eric S., The Church Hill Association was very concerned way back in the spring when this first came up. Unfortunately, the parcel is zoned for multi-family housing and thus the developer has ‘by-right’ rights to build multi-family housing there.

See pages 32-33 of the May CHA newsletter.

I agree with the idea that this development is a bad idea, but I don’t see what can be done legally to stop it and wish the petition all the best of luck.

lanny 10/14/2017 at 2:30 PM

#11 – No, the east end does not have enough public and section 8 housing…

At least according to the 7th district elected representative, who stated in a public meeting that the 100% low income Better Housing project underway in Union Hill represents her “vision for the east end.”

The proposed Glenwood Ridge project is sure to also represent her vision for the east end….

Come on – get with her program!

JD 10/14/2017 at 8:51 PM

I know these “not for profit developers” are pitching their projects and everyone is patting themselves on the back – as low income or section 8 but charging some one $900-$1200+ is not low income housing it’s market rate. Maybe instead of kids shooting each other daily in the projects the City could develop a jobs program and teach people a trade so they can start their own businesses and break the cycle of permanent poverty and welfare instead of locking generations into it.

A YIMBY That Loves the James 10/15/2017 at 11:07 PM

This project will likely increase pollution in the James River and Chesapeake Bay. I would be extremely surprised if this project had received the environmental review required by city/state regulations.

This is new development inside of a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area, specifically a Resource Management Area. (This is visible on maps at The builder must follow strict rules to prevent their property from polluting the James River and Chesapeake Bay even further.

With so much vegetation being removed and such a massive parking lot being built, I really don’t see how it’s possible that these rules are being followed. All of this new paved surface for cars acts like a conveyor belt, sending large quantities of nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment into Gillies Creek and the James River, causing algal blooms and dead zones further downstream in the Chesapeake Bay.

Those who love our river need to act quickly to make sure this project does not continue without major changes. Even allowing trees to be removed could have a negative impact on water quality.

Pixie Rivers 10/16/2017 at 10:31 AM

I’m sure they’re ONLY concerned about "institutionalized segregation" and this is definitely not a racist and classist effort to keep their property value up and those pesky undesirables out of "their" neighborhood. What I’m saying is, this is gross and hypocritical. But what do I know, I’m just some sketchy low income person.

Neighbor 10/16/2017 at 11:48 AM

Are you serious right now? People cannot even afford to feed their themselves and their children in Church Hill and you want people to care about some water pollution in the James River or the Chesapeake Bay?

When the numbers of people on section 8 housing, buying food with EBT, and kids are not on free and reduced lunch at our schools then maybe people will have the luxury to focus on your non essential issues.

Clay Street 10/16/2017 at 7:59 PM

Pixie Rivers, the developers didn’t even have a playground in their plans until pressure was put on them by the community via meetings over the past year—and it’s a family-oriented development so….what’s that all about? Because there aren’t any sidewalks going up to Chimborazo Park. No one wants ill-conceived concentrated poverty. Everyone’s issue has always been over the size and scale of the apartment complex, especially at that site–are you familiar with the issues of that location and the conditions of Glenwood Avenue? Have you been to the meetings where both black and white folks who are longtime Fulton residents are strongly opposed? This isn’t just about Church Hill O&H crowd getting their feathers in a ruffle. I would call it out if it was.

Clay Street 10/16/2017 at 8:06 PM

Repeatedly said at the meetings: could these be townhouses instead of apartments? Can there be 30-40 units instead of 82? Can there be sidewalks and lighting installed by the developer that improve that intersection so that folks are safe and able to traverse to and from in all kinds of weather? The developer has consistently said “nah, no, that’s not my responsibility.” And the city doesn’t have the resources to completely re-do the cityscape over there. Montrose and Fulton residents are really not happy–they are not anti-development, but they want SMART and HEALTHY development where people can walk safely to and from where they live, work and play, and not be completely disconnected/cut off from the neighborhoods surrounding them. Because THAT scenario is institutional racism at work.

Paul 10/17/2017 at 8:16 AM

I attended the nearly 2.5 hour meeting last night.

I can’t possibly wrap up the whole meeting in one long comment. So I will primarily just focus on a few disconcerting things said by our planning director Mark Olinger.

On concerns of the ills concentrated poverty from the crowd:

“We have to play the card we were dealt”

“Design is not Destiny.”

[Paraphrasing] “Some times you just have to let things happen and see how they play out” (crowd moans)

On the composition of the 82 unit development

“There are only 20 Section 8 units in this development. The rest is 60% of county median.”

To which several replied that have higher occupancy and that 3 or 4 adults in poverty could pool together to meet the $30K threshold.

“It is illegal to have 4 or more unrelated adults in a dwelling unit. You could report that situation.”

The crowd groaned at that solution. We all know that is not enforced in this city. Plus how is someone living across the street in a SFH on Glenwood supposed to know how many adults are in each of the 82 units. If these were townhouses maybe. But not some big apartment complex.


A woman from Fulton chastised the crowd for not being receptive enough to any and all affordable housing. Saying her recent college grad son cannot afford to live Church Hill and suggesting that is wrong.

Newsflash lady. I couldn’t reasonably afford to live on my own without roommates until I was 32. I wasn’t just handed a condo or home. I rented as cheaply as I could for as many years as I could paying off student loans, building my credit score, and saving a mortgage downpayment. I would venture others made similar sacrifices to own a home in Church Hill. And to this day now as a 42 year old I still couldn’t reasonably afford to live in the Fan. But I don’t attend meetings in the Fan attempting to put down or slander the residents of that neighborhood.

lanny 10/17/2017 at 10:36 AM

Attendance at last night’s 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. meeting was much higher than had been anticipated…standing room only…not enough seats; and finally attendees were politely asked to leave at 9 p.m. so that the facility could be closed up.

Frequently voiced was a complaint about communication, about getting the word out, particularly about meeting dates and times. Several stated that the reason previous meetings were so poorly attended (like 5 at one earlier meet) was because nobody knew about the meetings; and more than one person stated that had Sub Rosa not had notification pinned up they’d not have made it to last night’s meeting.

Also pointed out was that the city site, which recently underwent a massive update, is not user friendly and certainly not equipped to let people know what’s going on. And so it was reported that additional methods of communicating with residents are being used, sometimes including hand delivery of information by city staffers to people who live close to the project.

Near the end of the meet, the 7th district councilperson was asked if she could not use her office and position to “get the word out”…a request she stated she would try to make happen. Such as the announcement last night of an extension for public comment period to November 1 re: mitigation, which some said was not enough time – resulting in the council person stating she would be in communication with city staff about the possibility of extending the comment period even further than November 1…and letting people know.

We’ll see

Lani 10/17/2017 at 12:23 PM

Where can you go to publicly comment on this project? Is there a link online or on the city’s website?

Ian 10/18/2017 at 2:32 PM

@crd What gets me about the “By rights” development argument is that the parcel’s zoning regulations, for R-63, state “the intent of the R-63 district is to encourage development of medium density neighborhoods comprised of a mix of residential uses and to promote a pedestrian oriented urban environment” as well as to ensure “safe vehicular and pedestrian circulation”. (

Given all of that language I don’t understand how we could even consider granting permits for R-63 construction that would have 0 pedestrian connections off the lot and would funnel 100+ new cars onto a street that is too narrow to drive on when a bus is going the other way. If that isn’t enough to give the planning office leverage, at least in determining if the lot has sufficient side walk and road access to ensure “safe vehicular and pedestrian circulation” given the scale of the proposed development, then something is seriously wrong with the regulations.

That is completely putting aside the issues about the shady developer, the concentration of poverty, the historic building, or the impact on the river pollution.

crd 10/18/2017 at 10:58 PM

@23 I agree with you, but that appears/seems to be the way the city interprets it. Talk to Mark Olinger and see if you get anywhere then post back here, I’d be really interested in hearing about that conversation.

John M 10/19/2017 at 7:42 AM

Neighbors upset over new Church Hill housing complex

L 10/19/2017 at 9:01 AM

Is this area not subject to any sort of architectural review? Cause that thing looks like it belongs in an office park somewhere well past the city line (I use “belongs” loosely, since the prudent thing would be to not build something like this anywhere, but can we at least keep it out of the city?)

crd 10/19/2017 at 3:16 PM

@26 L, the answer is no, it is not part of any historic district that would subject it to architectural review.

crd 10/19/2017 at 5:27 PM

@26 L, I stand corrected. In so far as the proposed buildings, the city building code would dictate certain things. But as to architectural review affecting the site and any structures on it, there is the Section 106 review, which does include architectural as well as other features for any existing structures on the site, this is when the trolley barn comes in. While it is not on the National Register, it is eligible for listing hence is subject to a 16 review, which I believe is ongoing now.

Here is a short version of what a 106 review does.

mjn 10/20/2017 at 8:11 AM

It floors me that study after study has been published about the awful effects on the city of its concentrated low-income developments and yet they continue to approve them! The experiment was done and we know the results – how can they expect any different this time? Isn’t that the definition of insanity?

Where is the mayor in this? I would hope he would stand up for the city but I guess he is too busy with cataloging photo ops in preparation for his run for Governor.

Sean Stilwell 10/20/2017 at 9:05 AM

Can I assume the late model F-150 and literal RANGE ROVER in the rendering are the developers leaving the complex as it finishes construction?

lanny 10/20/2017 at 2:50 PM

#29 – I have no idea where the mayor stands on continued concentration of low income residents; but I attended a meeting when Cynthia Newbille, the 7th district council representative, said that a low income project that “Better” Housing Coalition is currently doing in Union Hill…represents her vision for the 7th district.

At least what’s planned for Glenwood is not all low income – but the low income tax credit application submitted by BHC states that residents of the Union Hill project will be 100% low income.

Go figure…more enlightened communities all across the country are doing things different. At least one city began breaking up the pockets of concentrated poverty 20 years ago.

Richmond? Not happening.

When our elected officials say it’s good to pick up a group from one low income housing project and plop them down in another low income housing project is “her vision”…something’s wrong at a higher level than mine.

Jean 10/20/2017 at 3:54 PM

The city has now decided to include all 3 civic associations in the shape of the housing project.

The community input deadline is now November 18th.


J Trinity 10/20/2017 at 3:59 PM

I read that the city now understand that they failed to include the citizens in this entire process.

The city
The developer
The community

Now we all get to weigh in.

The Greater Fulton Civic Assoc, The Church Hill Central District and the Church Hill Assoc have all been invited as of today, to participate as “consulting parties”

Now you know who to contact….make your voice heard

Paul 10/20/2017 at 7:35 PM

@lanny (#31)

“At least what’s planned for Glenwood is not all low income”

I think different commenters and different articles aren’t consistent in what they mean when they say low income vs affordable. That causes confusion.

But Glenwood is using the same low income tax credit program that BHC Citadel of Hope is using and is going one step further down the rung in also having Section 8.

Neither Glenwood or BHC Citadel of Hope have any market rate units. If you aren’t happy with the Citadel of Hope income mix you definitely shouldn’t be happy about the Glenwood income mix. It is worse.

Clay Street 10/21/2017 at 9:31 AM

I just reread the whole thread from January of this year, because I couldn’t recall offhand and I wanted to find the info. Section 8 will be preferred for the entire development, unless something’s changed.

It’s also clear to me now the Newbille, for all of the public meetings and interactions with her constituents, really has not increased visibility or transparency at all on this or the process of development in general. Not a lot of meat to the info she shares.

Considering the new GRTC routes that will happen with the BRT, where will the nearest bus stop be?

LI 10/21/2017 at 4:23 PM

Chimbo Mart. But I don’t think it takes you to The Pulse.

sam 10/21/2017 at 9:52 PM

The BHC project has Section 8 vouchers, too.

lanny 10/22/2017 at 6:16 AM

#38 – Yes indeedy it does.

LI 10/22/2017 at 9:50 AM

But the BHC is a real, local and responsive management company. In speaking with someone at the Better Housing Coalition, they have expressed concerns about Glenwood’s management company.

If you have unhappy tenants, whether they are section 8 or other subsidized residents, that cannot be a good thing for them or the community.

Ron 10/24/2017 at 2:52 PM

There is another meeting this evening to discuss this development at the First Fire Station @ 308 N. 24th. St & is starting @6Pm.
So, please pass this information along to as many people as possible and show up! The meeting this evening might be our last chance to try and stop the demolition of the Trolley barn, save the Chesapeake Water Shed and prevent the developer from building that hideous looking development.

Laura 11/01/2017 at 9:41 AM

I was out of town on October 24th and wasn’t able to attend the meeting at the First Fire Station. Are there any updates from that meeting?

Harry M 11/09/2017 at 2:59 AM

I don’t want to be that neighbor… But who said housing has to be affordable for everybody? You have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… Not affordable housing for everyone everywhere. If it’s too expensive, pick a different neighborhood. But the idea that neighbors that can afford certain pricing should have diminished abilities in order to force a mixture, can’t be the answer. Some neighborhoods are just expensive and others aren’t. It’s not even about section 8 or the projects… It’s the idea that certain people think every type person should live in a every neighborhood. Why is Churchhill always forced into a mixed category? Has anyone ever have this issue on Monument Avenue? Some neighborhoods are just more expensive… That’s life. That does not mean the neighborhood is negative or the homeowners are at fault… The idea that everyone should mix simply to appease perception is crap. I’d like to see someone try this on Monument Avenue. But you know they won’t, because it’s monument Avenue and people expect it to be expensive. Churchhill is simply out of some peoples price range, that doesn’t mean that the rest of us are at fault and are kicking people out… It just means the neighborhood is more expensive. People need to stop trying to appease perception and simply accept that some places are just more expensive and that’s OK. If you really care about lower income families, section 8 residents and families in the projects… They should have programs that help people raise their chances and build future success. Job training, Community programs, better schools, Play grounds, vocational training, putting funding into things that actually improve the community… But trying to force a mixture for the sake of perception doesn’t help anybody. It brings down the whole, just so some builders can make money.

lanny 11/09/2017 at 9:33 AM

#43 – Good for you…and you don’t have too far to get the rest of the way.

Last month this from Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan who summed up what a lot of people think when he said “And I tell you the people who get up every day and go to work here in Macomb County, they’re tired of hearing how they owe everybody else something because they get to go to work everyday.”

This from CNN in 2012 when it was estimated that all the money you earned during the first 107 days of that year went to taxes.

You might have thought at the start of 2012 that you could get new tires for your car or put a coat of paint on the house; but no, those things had to come out of your earnings for the rest of the year you got to go to work:

urbngrilla 11/09/2017 at 10:31 AM

@43, you wrote “just so some builders can make money.”

What about Councilperson Newbille? Don’t you think she stands to make some money on this project, too?

Newbille’s good buddy running the Better Housing Coalition surely compensated her (indirectly, of course,) for ignoring citizens who fought the BHC/Citadel of Hope project on Venable Street.

Newbille’s power base in the EastEnd is Section 8 and RRHA projects, as it has always been with the “Marsh Machine” politicians.

Former Mayor Leonidas Young (once a shining star of the EastEnd,) got caught taking money from BHC contractors/consultants during the construction of Jefferson Mews.

We’re gonna keep getting more of the same in the EastEnd till we vote Newbille out of office.

MarkN 11/09/2017 at 12:53 PM

What is the current status of this project? There’s still another meeting left? Where does this stand? Is it going to go through?

lanny 11/09/2017 at 4:40 PM

#45 – Well, whether the 7th district council person actually benefits financially from the business done by BHC, the perception is certainly there. The ties are really tight among the head of BHC and at least three elected officials. For example:

“SisterFund was founded in 2015 by several committed and passionate individuals including Veronica Fleming, The Honorable Cynthia Newbille, Greta J. Harris, Evette T. Roots, The Honorable Ellen F. Robertson, and The Honorable Delores McQuinn.”

(Close enough for Desenex: Greta Harris, President and CEO of BHC; Ellen Robertson, 6th District Representative; Cynthia Newbille, 7th District Representative…and outside the sisterhood there is Chris Hilbert, President of our city council, who “Outside of the Council, Hilbert is a Senior Community Housing Officer with the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). He serves as the Authority’s non-profit liaison and underwrites rental projects for multifamily residences.”)

John M 11/09/2017 at 7:33 PM

Or, just perhaps, they share an interest in affordable housing?

lanny 11/09/2017 at 10:36 PM

#48 – just perhaps….

broad neighbor 11/10/2017 at 11:58 AM

Baseless and false personal attacks on the only folks around here doing anything to preserve affordability (so residents aren’t displaced from their neighborhood as renovation marches north) are not consistent with an inclusive, democratic, tolerant, just neighborhood.

bill 11/10/2017 at 2:47 PM

personal attacks are “very Richmond”

Reality 12/05/2017 at 1:41 PM

@Bill and Broad Neighbor, so, let me see if I understand you correctly? Since Harry and others have a different opinion from you, they are attacking (with words) low-income people and some of our city officials. Right?
Oh, how sad people are displaced because the renovations are moving further north, Glenwood Ridge development isn’t headed north it’s headed east within four blocks of a sizeable (already) low income densely populated development.
Perhaps the others are tired of paying low-income people’s way because they work every day for a living and are tired of more and more of their income going toward paying for others to sit home and do nothing or work jobs that pay so little they live on the system their entire lives.
People like you think it’s fair to require people like Harry, lanny, and urbngrilla to work every day pay high taxes so others can only live?
I disagree, it is very unfair to require Harry, me, you or anyone else to pay for others to live.
My dad taught me as a child “Life isn’t fair, and if anyone in life does you a favor you always say thank you and never expect something for nothing.” The part about life not being fair is the most crucial part.
I have a friend who lived in the Bronx and he at one time was able to afford a 34 unit apartment building (he used to live in), but he refused to make the owner an offer knowing the owner wanted to sell. So, he lived in the building for almost ten years, and when he realized the building had been sold for far more than he could have gotten it for he was furious.
He called me and whined on the phone for almost an hour telling me how he and the other people living in the building were being displaced.
I disagree, if you don’t own a property you cannot be displaced, no matter how modern-day terminology tries to convince us that it is so unfair to require people who pay rent to move.
We live in America where we still have a few rights left, and one of those rights is called property rights. The person/people who own property have a right to sell to anyone he/she/they want to sale too.
Life isn’t fair and the poor people who are forced to live in those projects I genuinely feel sorry for them, but some (note I typed some) of them as we know make it a way of life and instead of trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. They choose to whine and blame others for their misfortunes.
We cannot all be lawyers, doctors, CPA’s, etc. some of us have to be janitors, nurse’s assistants, and teacher’s assistant, etc. Never making a lot of money, but it’s not my fault those people made bad choices in life or were forced to possibly quit school (example) to help raise their smaller brothers and sisters. Every one of us is forced to live with the cards that are dealt us, and if we’re better players than some, it’s not the winner’s responsibility to support the rest of the people playing.
When the two of you were in school, would you have thought it fair for you to take a lower grade because someone in your class might not be as smart, or merely a goof-off?
I heard a joke once, a girl came home from college at the end of her first semester and complained about how one of her friends partied almost regularly during their first semester and how he was being placed on academic probation. She was stunned that her friend would be placed on academic probation after just one semester of school. So, her dad asked her why don’t you go to your advisor and ask if there is a way you can take a lower grade in English so your friend will at least get a D. Her response was are you crazy dad, I worked hard to earn my A in English. What has he done to deserve part of the grade I worked so hard to make? Her dad said welcome to the real world where nothing worth having is ever given to you.
I have worked since I was 15 years old, and I paid my way through school, and I don’t mean college I mean high school because the public high school I had to attend was horrible. So, I applied for a worker’s permit and bussed tables at a restaurant all summer, washed cars, cut grass, walked people’s dogs, I steadily worked that entire summer only to come up short.
So, I happen to hear through the grapevine there was a very affluent private school that needed a janitor because the existing janitor didn’t want to retire altogether but did want to cut his hours. So, I had my dad take me to that school, and I met with the principal and asked him if there was a way for me to do the rest of his duties to help pay for my tuition.
He met with the board, and there was a way for me to do it. So, I worked from 2:30 – 3:45 every afternoon at school, and at 4 PM I went to work at a store as a cashier and pumped gas until 10 PM every night, and Saturdays 9 AM – 10 PM. Also, on the weekends I cleaned a church Saturday nights when other kids were out partying I was working to make extra money. So during school from my sophomore year in high school through my senior year, I worked an average of 45 hours a week and still graduated seventh in my class.
The real kicker in my situation is my parents could afford to pay my tuition, but refused to do it.
You see I believe where there is a will there is a way, and as Harry pointed out why don’t they have after-school programs for these kids so they can learn a trade as well as having some trade school for low achieving children? So they can finish knowing how to find a job once they graduate?
I’d be willing to pay taxes to go toward people bettering themselves in life, but I am against paying taxes so people can make living in low-income housing a way of life.
The proposed development Glenwood Ridge is all going to end up being section-8, and we’ll have 82 units of section-8 apartments being poorly managed (read the management company’s reputation). And not only are we expected to pay their rent we’re supposed to pay for all those tax credits the developer makes a fortune on from our tax dollars.
I am sure you’ll attack me and accuse me of being hard-hearted, but my response to your attacks and whining is you need to face reality.
Someone always ends up paying for it in the end and someday if we continue giving away expecting nothing in return no-one is going to have anything left to give anymore.


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