The Urban Design Committee is reviewing a new conceptual design for a new Police Equestrian Center in the East End this Thursday! What is it: The Equestrian Center will include a barn to house the Richmond Police Department’s mounted patrol unit as well as administrative support space for the officers who are assigned to the mounted unit. There will also be site amenities to support training and care for the horses including a training ring, pasture and parking areas. BACKGROUND As early as 1894, mounted officials patrolled the outskirts of the city, thus establishing the Richmond Police Mounted Unit as the oldest mounted unit in the Commonwealth. The Mounted Unit relocated to the present location at 801 Brook Road in 1972. The current building has significant operational deficiencies and substantial ongoing facility maintenance problems. In 2004 and 2008, tropical storms hit the city causing a 3-4 foot high water, mud and sewage cascading through the stables. Horses were trapped and there was substantial damage and/or loss to the structure, equipment, vehicles and furnishings. The mounted stable has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer an acceptable workspace for employees nor does the building provide a healthy and safe boarding environment for the work animals. SITE PROPOSAL The site is located in the Oakwood Cemetery Neighborhood, just north of both Gillies Creek and a Norfolk Southern Railroad. Nestled among a group of trees, the proposed site straddles an area zoned residential and an area zoned light industrial, and is adjacent to an area zoned heavy industrial. It is predominantly surrounded by a forested area in close proximity to residential, single family homes.