What do you know about the story of Richmond? How it grew? How it developed? How it became a place that we love to live, work, and play in? What is your vision for the city in 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years from now?
One of the ways we plan for the future is through the City’s Master Plan. The last master plan was created and adopted in 2001. We’re approaching 20 years since then and the city has changed A LOT. It’s now time for a new plan.
The Mayor’s Office along with various city departments, especially city planning, are working on a new master plan. It’s affectionately referred to as the Richmond 300. The idea being that the new master plan will plot the course of the city through its 300th birthday which will be in 2037.
So what topics does the master plan cover? Mark Olinger, a Church Hill resident and the director of the Department of Planning and Development, said “..think of it (The Master Plan) as the story that you want to tell about how you see the city developing over the next 20 years”. It includes things like public parking, transportation, the use of public land, capital improvement projects (for city buildings), zoning, public works projects (road improvements, parks, etc), fire, and police.
Why is it important? Richmond is one of the fastest growing cities in Virginia. Over the past 6 years, according to Mayor Stoney, Richmond has added an average of 8.7 net residents per day. Almost 20,000 people over the last 6 years. Keep that in mind the city of Richmond is only 62.5 sq. miles. A plan is important not only to accommodate these new residents but to make sure that the needs of existing residents are met.
To facilitate this process an advisory board of citizens has been created. There were 173 original applicants. Originally intended to be 15 members, two of which were from the city planning commission, the council ended up being composed of 21 individuals (19 applicants and 2 city officials). This group is made up of people from different backgrounds, age groups, ethnicities, socio-economic status, and localities.
Several members of the advisory council with the mayor
I was fortunate enough to meet a few of these advisors along with the mayor and representatives from Department of Planning and Development yesterday and ask some questions about the Richmond 300 and where it’s going. Here is the low down.
The advisory council will be expected to meet until early 2020. That will be when the final draft of the new master plan is completed. The draft will then need to be approved by relevant bodies (city planning commission and city council) with a new master plan expected to be in place by mid 2020.
The city hopes to to engage at least 6,600 residents (roughly 3% of the population) and have conversations with them about what they want their city to look like. Looking to speak with not only the people that show up to town halls and district meetings but the people that don’t usually get out to community meetings. They want to hear from everyone. This will be accomplished through community town hall style events. The first round is tentatively scheduled for Sept 20th through Sept 29th. We will publish final dates/times once that has been shared by the city.
In addition to these public events the city will also be conducting parking studies, reviewing land use, and demographic information.
We encourage you to get involved! This is your opportuntiy to make sure that the Richmond you love continues to be a place you want to be. Stay tuned to CHPN for further details as the dates for community events are solidified and more information becomes available.
You can also visit Richmond300.com for additional information.