Category Archives: Meeting Minutes

March 18, 2024 Meeting Minutes

Maymont Civic League Meeting 

Maymont Westover Building

7pm

Information sent out ahead of the meeting via email:

PLEASE NOTE NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: maymontcivicleaguerva@gmail.com

Maymont Civic League Meeting this Monday March 18, 2024 

7:00PM at 1000 Westover Road – the Maymont office building by the Children’s farm. You can drive in the gates and park in the children’s farm parking lot. Our agenda will include updates from the City on infrastructure, as well as the 3rd police precinct.

We have some neighborhood things to discuss: the Weekly Wednesday Walks are back! Music at Maymont is coming soon, and we will talk about tickets and how it works. 

As always there will be cookies. See you there!!!

Our next meeting will be May 20, 2024 at 7pm.

Meeting Attendees:

Leah Hopper (Vice President), Jan Hatchard (Membership Coordinator), Kirk Millikan (Secretary), Gloria Bouldin, Mark Brandon, Elise Corliss, Robert Halsey, Toni Halsey, Art Hatchard, Mary Anne Hensley, Arenzo Jefferson Jr., Stephanie Lynch (5th District Councilmember), Anne Mace, Lieutenant Marvin Marsh (City of Richmond Police Department), Hugo Mendoza, Emily Morris, Ethan Smith, Kelsey Thayer, Lee Williams

Meeting Notes:

  • Updates from 3rd Police Precinct, Lieutenant Marvin Marsh:
    • 2 major crimes reported in the last 28 days in/adjacent to Maymont neighborhood:
      • A shooting took place in the 1800 block of Carter Street; this was an isolated incident with no threat to the community; no crime scene was located in the vicinity and the investigation is still on-going. 
      • A domestic aggravated assault took place in the 1700 block of Colorado Avenue.
    • Motor vehicle thefts in our neighborhood are down; Kias and Hyundais are still being targeted in the Randolph and Fan neighborhoods.
    • The Richmond Police Department’s Motor Vehicle Theft Task Force is now on patrol two nights a week (Wednesday nights and Friday nights, which are the most common nights for vehicle thefts) to deter theft and break-ins.
    • Steering wheel locks have been distributed by RPD recently.
    • A neighbor said they have heard gunshots from the Texas Beach area recently. Stephanie Lynch said it is likely coming from across the river along Riverside Drive.
  • Updates from 5th District Councilmember Stephanie Lynch:
    • Good news: Funding for Riverview Park playground is anticipated this year and should be in the mayor’s budget. The goal in the 5th District is for every neighborhood to have a playground within walking distance.
      • A neighbor recommended that an inclusive playground that could accommodate wheelchair users would be nice.
    • Richmond Department of Public Works is continuing work on the neighborhood sidewalk projects.
    • Stephanie mentioned her legislation to extend the property tax bill due date to 45 days.
    • Stephanie mentioned her legislation for seniors to retroactively enroll in the senior relief tax credit program.
    • Stephanie mentioned her legislation for residents to look at all tax bills together to see what your balance is across all city taxes.
    • Stephanie gave a shout out to Lee and Joy for helping with distributing senior bags recently.
  • Neighborhood updates from the Civic League Board:
    • Weekly neighborhood walks will restart next wednesday March 27th at 7pm at the corner of Greenville Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. The walks are an opportunity to meet neighbors. Families and dogs are welcome.
    • Music at Maymont concerts are coming up this summer and fall.
      • The Maymont Civic League receives 20 tickets per concert from Maymont. 
      • Requests for tickets can be sent to maymontcivicleaguerva@gmail.com. We will do our best to make sure people can attend at least one concert, but it might not be your first choice depending on demand. 
      • Two tickets can be requested per household.
      • Neighbors must be a Maymont Civic League member to be eligible for tickets.
    • Maymont Civic League Membership – memberships will be annual, with all memberships expiring on December 31st each year. Yearly membership is $10/household. Contact maymontcivicleaguerva@gmail.com to pay membership dues.
    • Garden Glow at Maymont – let the Civic League board know if you have any input to provide Maymont ahead of this year’s event in the fall.
    • Upcoming Maymont events that will bring more traffic to the neighborhood:
      • Family Easter at Maymont on Saturday March 30th
      • Herbs Galore on Saturday April 27th
  • Open discussion:
    • Neighbor asked if there is any plan to put in a parking lot in Sundial Park with the big tree taken down last year. Parke Richeson (Maymont Executive Director) was not in attendance to provide an answer. 
    • Neighbor asked if there is interest in a neighborhood yard sale; could hold it at Sundial Park with a small registration fee given to the Civic League. The board will look into this.
    • Neighbor mentioned that it would be great to do more for National Night Out in the summer. They were impressed by what Lois Harrison-Jones Elementary School had for National Night Out (fire trucks, bounce house, ice cream truck). We will discuss National Night Out details at our next meeting in May. 
    • Neighbor asked if there could be a hybrid format for Civic League meetings going forward. The board will see if this is feasible. If you are unable to make a meeting, feel free to email any neighborhood concerns or questions to maymontcivicleaguerva@gmail.com prior to the meeting, and the concerns or questions will be brought up. 
    • Neighbor asked that for Maymont’s Jazz Festival, maybe there could be parking passes given to neighbors and towing could take place for cars without parking passes. This can be discussed with Maymont in the future.
    • Neighbor mentioned that several trees below power lines have been cut down in the neighborhood recently on Colorado Avenue and Greenville Avenue. Stephanie Lynch said that Dominion Power likely cut down the trees without coordination with Richmond’s Department of Public Works.
    • Neighbor recommended that folks attend Stephanie Lynch’s 5th District town hall meetings to learn more information and meet with many employees from City of Richmond, such as their utilities department. Stephanie said to contact her for anyone you would like to see at future town halls.

Meeting adjourned at 7:50pm

January 22, 2024 Meeting Minutes

Maymont Civic League Meeting 

Maymont Westover Building

7pm

Information sent out ahead of the meeting via email:

Meeting time and location: 7pm at 1000 Westover…. the Maymont office building by the Children’s farm. You can drive in the gates and park in the children’s farm parking lot. 

Please join us for the first meeting of 2024!

Our agenda will include updates from the City on infrastructure: what’s going on with the Texas Beach bridge, as well from the 3rd police precinct. We have some neighborhood things to discuss: we are switching to a Gmail email system, which should be more user friendly, as well as a new website platform. As always there will be cookies, and more to discuss about Garden Glow, and upcoming events. 

See you there!!! Our next meeting will be March 18 at 7pm 

Meeting Attendees:

Joy Rogers (President), Leah Hopper (Vice President), Gayle Goldberg (Treasurer), Kirk Millikan (Secretary), Mark Brandon, James Browne, Carla Childs (City of Richmond Department of Public Works), Elise Corliss, Joe Goldberg, Robert Halsey, Toni Halsey, Arenzo Jefferson Jr., Elisabeth Linka (Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office), Allen McCown (City of Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities), Hugo Mendoza, Burton Morris, Emily Morris, Elizabeth Reed, Susan Rischewski, Amy Robins (5th District Councilmember Liaison), Clara Russell, Maudene Sherman, Ethan Smith, Hannah Stewart

Meeting Notes:

  • Treasurer’s Report from Gayle: no dues collected in December; $256 spent in December with $150 in donations to FeedMore and the rest spent on the New Year’s Day gathering.
  • We will be updating the email distribution from MailChimp to Gmail, and the new email address will be MaymontcivicleagueRVA@gmail.com.
  • The Maymont Civic League website will be moved to WordPress to reduce annual costs.
  • Update from Elizabeth Linka, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Richmond:
    • USPS town hall will be planned in February or March to address mail delivery and package thefts; USPS has declined to participate.
  • Updates from Carla Childs, City of Richmond Department of Public Works:
    • The City is working towards its goal of installing 200 speed humps across the city (156 currently installed)
    • The City is working with the Richmond Police Department to install photo enforcement in school zones.
    • There are currently 2,900 open requests for concrete sidewalk repair and 600+ requests for brick sidewalk repair. 
    • Regarding Maymont neighborhood sidewalks: 
    • Phase 1 was completed in September 2023.
    • Currently moving into Phase 2, which will install sidewalks on the south side of Colorado Avenue (from Hampton to Georgia and from Greenville to Carter); also will include installing curb ramps on Pennsylvania Avenue but no sidewalk work is planned on Pennsylvania Avenue. 4 trees will be removed on Colorado Avenue, all of which are growing into power lines and need to be removed anyway.
      • Phase 2 sidewalk plans are at 90% completion.
    • Neighbor asked how to submit requests for sidewalk repair. Ms. Childs said they should be submitted through 311. The response time could be up to 6 months.
    • Neighbor asked about planting new trees as part of sidewalk Phase 2. Ms. Childs said she would look into that.
    • Neighbor asked about the City cleaning new curb ramp areas that collect debris and ice. Ms. Childs recommended submitting a 311 ticket for that work.
  • Updates from Allen McCown, City of Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities:
    • The repair work for the Texas Beach pedestrian bridge is at 90% design.
    • A new temporary access road down to the bridge will be needed in order to complete repairs.
    • The goal is to bid and start the project by summer 2024.
    • Significant coordination with CSX that will take time.
    • The goal is for North Bank Trail to remain open as much as possible during construction. The construction duration is to be determined.
    • There are currently two James River Park System park rangers for education and monitoring of parks without a police presence. Aimee Bushman, Park Ranger Supervisor, can come speak to us in the future if desired.
  • Updates from Amy Robins, 5th District Councilmember Liaison
    • City administration has agreed to let seniors into elderly tax relief program with payment plans.
    • Stephanie is going to introduce a plan to retroactively let seniors access the tax relief program.
    • Currently there is a 14 day time period to respond to owed taxes, and this will most likely be moved to a 30 day period because it can be hard for residents to plan for unexpected property tax bills).
    • The Riverview Park playground is on the radar of City of Richmond administration for Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) funding.
    • Homelessness in the city is on the rise with an increasing eviction docket.
    • Funding has been added for the resource center at the new homeless shelter on Chamberlayne Avenue.
    • There will be repaving of asphalt alleys throughout the city (not converting gravel alleys to asphalt but repairing and repaving asphalt alleys).
    • Traffic calming is the biggest issue that folks reach out to Amy and Stephanie’s office for.
    • Fox Elementary School is planning to reopen in the Fan in 2025. The Colorado Avenue speed humps will not be removed when Fox Elementary School is relocated.
    • Neighbor said that there is a water leak in the alley between the 1500 block of Meadow Street and the 1500 block of Hampton Street. It has been leaking for at least two months, and the alley has turned into a sheet of ice with the recent cold temperatures. 
    • Neighbor asked if seniors have to apply every year for the tax relief program. Amy said that seniors have to recertify every year to confirm the number of people in their household, any changes to income, etc. Stephanie is trying to move recertification from every year to every two years.
  • Joy asked if any neighbors would be interested in being on an event committee to coordinate neighborhood concerns with Maymont prior to Maymont’s events. Anyone interested should email maymontcivicleaguerva@gmail.com.Neighbor reported seeing someone driving around with a recorded dog barking on exterior speaker, flushing a herd of deer on Kansas

Meeting adjourned at 7:55pm

November 20, 2023 Meeting Minutes

Maymont Civic League Meeting

Maymont Westover Building

7pm

Information sent out ahead of the meeting via email:

We will meet at 1000 Westover Road! Come through the gates of the Maymont Children’s Farm and park in front of the building to your left. 


Please join our Facebook group “Maymont Civic League” or email
info@maymontcivicleague.org to be added to the email list and stay up to date!

We will have our 5th district representatives, Stephanie Lynch and her liaison Amy Robins, and a representative for the 3rd police precinct. We will have a discussion about Garden Glow, and check in with everyone and Maymont to see how the overall effect was on the neighborhood. We will also talk about Christmas wreaths, having a holiday gathering after Christmas, and overall neighborhood concerns. 

Meeting Attendees: 

Joy Rogers (President), Leah Hopper (Vice President), Gayle Goldberg (Treasurer), Jan Hatchard (Membership Coordinator), Kirk Millikan (Secretary), Diane Christian Bowman, James Browne, Elise Corliss, Carla De Lellis, Joe Goldberg, Toni Halsey, Art Hatchard, Arenzo Jefferson Jr., Kristina Kazanjian, Stephanie Lynch (5th District Councilmember), Anne Mace, Parke Richeson (Maymont Executive Director), Susan Rischewski, Amy Robins (5th District Councilmember Liaison), Daniel Vetter (Maymont Director of Park Operations and Facility Management), Lee Williams, Craig Wise

Meeting Notes:

  • Updates from 5th District Councilmember Stephanie Lynch:
    • Focus for her has been homeless services; homelessness has increased 37% since 2019; many folks are coming into homelessness for the first time; 100-150 people on eviction docket every week; reached goal for a year-round shelter and expanding options for women with children; going into place over the next year.
    • Another big issue she has been working on is making life more affordable, particularly for seniors; pushing for a 60 day window to pay real estate taxes (it is currently 14 days); goal is to give people as much time as possible to pay that unexpected bill.
    • Legislation to allow for seniors to retroactively enroll in senior and elderly tax relief program; also available for folks with disabilities and veterans; eligible if you are 65+ with less than $350,000 in the bank; helps keep people in their homes; enrollment is open year-round.
    • Traffic safety: an omnibus piece of legislation that will mirror what Fairfax County is doing, capturing near-miss accidents that are not captured in current statistics; allows citizens to log near misses and roads that are problematic, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians.
    • Traffic calming infrastructure investment: you will see/have seen speed tables, bump outs, narrowing of roads.
    • Urban Forestry Commission (AKA Tree Commission) is starting up in December; Michael Webb is the city’s new urban forester and working on a city-wide master plan for trees.
    • December 11th – a yard waste legislation will be coming through to address illegal dumping of invasive species; goal is to prevent the spread of english ivy in city parks.
    • Small Business Saturday coming up this Saturday; contact Amy or Stephanie if you want to be featured in the 5th District Newsletter as a small business.
    • Zero fare update for GRTC: commitment is there for 2024-2025 but not guaranteed because federal funding is running out; will need to advocate for more money from City’s general fund or Central Virginia Transit Authority.
    • Neighbor asked what has caused tax assessments to go up; Stephanie said a lot of it is people moving into Richmond, particularly from larger urban locations with larger salaries.
    • Income-based tax relief program will be proposed in the General Assembly next year (need permission from the General Assembly first).
    • Neighbor asked why tax assessments are going up if more people are moving into the city; Stephanie said not enough to keep up with needs – cost of labor and infrastructure have gone up a lot recently.
    • A long term owner occupancy tax relief bill in the General Assembly has been filed unsuccessfully the past 3 years.
    • There will not be a 5th District holiday party this year because of maternity leave for Stephanie; there will likely be a 5th District party around February 2024.
  • Voted to move the January 2024 meeting from January 15th to January 22nd.
  • Historically the Civic League has donated to FeedMore for Thanksgiving; voted to write a check for $150 to FeedMore.
  • Lowering neighborhood speed limits – Joy will draft up a letter of support that the civic league will review in the future.
  • Orange tags for Halloween were well received; some neighbors had the most trick or treaters this year than years past.
  • The costs for holiday bows to be placed along neighborhood streets can be reimbursed by the Civic League.
  • The November 4th fire pit with s’mores was very successful; Jan has volunteered her house again for a New Year’s Day gathering, 4pm. 
  • Neighbor asked about Texas Beach bridge status; Joy said the latest update she has received is 2025 for completing construction to repair and reopen.
  • General Maymont update from Parke Richeson (Executive Director of the Maymont Foundation):
    • On track for 750,000 visitors in 2023; second highest, with the most being in 2021 during covid; Nature Center on track for 40,000; mansion tours on track for 16,000; 16,000 students served by Maymont’s educators with 25% from Title 1 schools; Merry Market is coming up on the first two weekends (Fridays and Saturdays) of December.
    • Less than 10% of Maymont’s budget is funded by the city ($460,000 from Richmond, $10,000 from Hanover, $50,000 from each of Henrico and Chesterfield).
    • When Maymont was donated to the city, the donation did not include an endowment for its maintenance.
  • Discussion about Garden Glow
    • In the 6th year this year; shows off the gardens, engages communities and families; Garden Glow was 19 days this year.
    • Daniel Vetter, Director of Park Operations, was in attendance.
    • Joy mentioned neighborhood concerns: confused drivers; lots of traffic; people moving cones and parking in handicap spots; lots of noise; lights shining into houses on Hampton; lots of trash in the neighborhood.
    • Less than 3,000 people each night which is less than a typical Maymont day, but it is all compressed.
    • Neighbor asked if multiple entrances could be used or if a shuttle could be used, such as a shuttle similar to the Jazz Festival.
    • Neighbor said that she feels like she needs to stay home to keep a watch out in front of her house near Maymont.
    • Neighbor said that people were parking in Sundial Park and that could create dangerous situations; neighbor said that a police car was parked in Sundial Park as well but they were not there the whole night.
    • Neighbor said the event could potentially close streets to only residents like the Jazz Festival.
    • Neighbor said the fumes from the generators were a lot living so close to Garden Glow, recommended electric-powered generators in the future that wouldn’t have fumes.
    • Neighbor requested that Maymont staff pick up trash on more blocks on Mondays during Garden Glow.
    • Multiple neighbors mentioned the significant trash left throughout the neighborhood after Garden Glow.
    • Neighbor said that it would have been very hard for an ambulance to get through with all of the traffic.
    • Neighbor said that the heavy traffic on the streets near the Maymont entrances is similar to the heavy traffic that Texas Avenue sees during summer weekends.
    • Neighbor said that some lights from the Garden Glow entrance were shining into the houses in the 1500 block of Hampton; requested that the lights be pointed away from houses.
    • Neighbor requested that school buses not idle in the parking lot.

Meeting adjourned at 8:25pm

SEPTEMBER 18, 2023 MEETING MINUTES

Maymont Civic League Meeting

Maymont Westover Building

7pm

Information sent out ahead of the meeting via email:

Please join our Facebook group “Maymont Civic League” or email

info@maymontcivicleague.org to be added to the email list and stay up to date! 

Select topics for the meeting:

Speed limits and what we can do 

Halloween

Sidewalk updates

Local representative reports – police, City Council, state representatives

Neighborhood concerns will be addressed

Meeting Notes:

  • Welcome and Introductions
    • Joy welcomed everyone to the meeting, and a few new faces at the meeting introduced themselves.
  • Police Report – no police staff at meeting
    • Neighbors mentioned one car was stolen in the neighborhood recently; a couple of cars were rifled through recently.
  • Staff from Maymont were guests at the meeting: Krista Weatherford, Kathy Garrett-Cox, and Parke Richeson
    • Maymont got a $10 million grant and working with the U.S. Economic Development Administration to plan out how to use the money. Goals for the project:
      • preservation (of the Dooley Mansion – updating roof, HVAC system, fire suppression system)
      • education (building out different spaces for wildlife engagement – expanding bobcat exhibit; fox is getting new holding area; reconstructing rapture valley to prevent it from being slick; adding a behind the scenes area to view the bears; two new species coming – porcupine exhibit across from the fox in a new habitat (porcupines used to be native to VA) and coyote exhibit, highlighting why they are found in VA now; DWR naturalized coyotes in VA a few years ago)
      • accessibility around Maymont (connecting different parts of Maymont that will be more ADA compliant – less steep and better for kids and strollers)
    • Start date is when EDA signs off on Maymont’s proposal and then the work will be contracted out.
    • Not losing any species to make room for the new ones.
    • Not doing an energy audit at this time but looking into grants to evaluate energy Maymont-wide.
    • Most of Maymont animals came from animal rehabbers and Department of Wildlife Resources and are no longer releasable.
    • 100th Anniversary of Maymont will be 2025-2026. As part of the celebration, Maymont is conducting an oral history project – looking for stories of how folks engaged with the estate over the years; photos and stories would be great; hoping to inform future exhibitions; would love to talk to long-time residents of our neighborhood.
    • Maymont is supportive of the city improving safety at the Shirley Street entrance, but no specific improvements are planned right now.
  • City of Richmond guests: Torrence Robinson and Carla Childs (employees from City of Richmond Dept. of Public Works)
    • Starting October 1st – leaf collection of bags can be placed at the curb (10 bags or less); the city is requesting residents use biodegradable bags; in November, you can pay $30 for the city to vacuum up leaves along your curb and this is available until March; the city encourages composting to dispose of leaves; in November and December there will be unlimited leaf bag collection from the curb; the city is preparing now for snow season, the goal is always to clear the roads within 48 hours.
    • Sidewalks updates:
      • Maymont Neighborhood Sidewalks Phase 1 project is completed
      • Phase 2 project is under design – installing sidewalks on Colorado (Hampton to Georgia; Greenville to Carter); working with city arborist to impact as few trees as possible – neighborhood side streets are on hold due to impacts to existing trees
      • Phase 3 is in the funding stage right now; may be able to install rubberized sidewalk that would work better with tree roots
    • Trees – large limbs have fallen on Georgia recently; City said they are still in clean-up mode from the storm a few weeks ago, 240+ trees in the city were damaged from the recent storm; the 311 app is helpful to report large brush piles that the city needs to remove.
    • Speed tables in the neighborhood are expected to be installed by June 2024, including two on Hampton Street; neighborhood has requested one on Texas Avenue leaving Texas Beach parking lot.
    • Riverview Park – adjacent field is future home for a playground; neighborhood has requested regular mowing next to community garden and moving of boulders to make room for playground.
    • DPW cleanup for Zone 7 will be rescheduled because of recent storm; date TBA.
  • 5th District updates from Stephanie Lynch (5th District Councilmember) and Amy Robins (5th District Councilmember liaison)
    • Keep cars locked. If you have a Kia or Hyundai, consider a wheel lock.
    • Thanks for coming out to Ms. Ida Cheatham’s honorary street naming in the 1800 block of South Meadow Street over the summer, it was well attended by current and previous neighborhood residents. 
    • Looking to strength senior (65+) tax assessment abatement – putting measures in place to keep folks in their home; Stephanie requested that enrollment in elderly tax relief be extended year-round rather than just a 3 month window; Stephanie is hoping a new law will go into effect allowing retroactive enrollment in senior tax credit; also working to make leaf collection for seniors free rather than paying the $30 fee
    • E-cycle biodegradable bags will be given out 9/30 from 10am-2pm on Robinhood Road; can recycle household hazardous waste, printers, etc; 
    • There is also a service for seniors where the city will come to your back door to take the trash rather than from the alley. You can enroll online.
    • October 2nd is last day to contest your 2024 tax assessment – forms are easy to access online.
    • Big focus for Stephanie is homeless services – working on sustainability and homeless in Carytown; this Thursday there is a 5th District meeting in the Byrd Park roundhouse to discuss anything and everything related to the 5th District.
    • Texas Beach bridge update – the plywood blocking access is continuously removed/cut; cameras at the gate have been installed at the bridge by RPD; the contract to redesign the bridge has been put out for construction companies to bid on with goal to start construction in spring 2024; $2.1 million has been secured to repair the bridge.
  • Neighborhood speed limits:
    • There is state legislation where localities can lower speed limits below 25 mph
    • The city does not have the police resources to enforce speed limits outside of the high injury network, which does not include our neighborhood
    • Richmond DPW said it would cost $2.3 million to install new speed limit signs on every block because the statutory speed unposted for neighborhoods is 25 mph, and that will not be funded due to high cost; our state delegate will try again for localities to request lowering statutory speed limit below 25 mph
    • You can request a speed limit sign change in the 311 app from 25 mph to 20 mph
    • A neighbor requested a flashing pedestrian crossing light at Kansas Avenue and Texas Avenue.
    • As a neighborhood, we need to decide if we want to request lowering speed limit to 20 mph and then we can send that to Stephanie and our state delegate; could also say we want to expand photo speed ticketing in addition to speed zones and construction zones (currently tied up in procurement for that ticketing); we will vote on this at the November Civic League Meeting
  • Neighborhood business:
    • Garden Glow is starting up soon, running from October 19th to November 12th Wednesday-Sunday; Maymont is providing free tickets to neighborhood residents; be prepared for more folks in the neighborhood.
    • A few neighbors have passed away recently. If you hear someone has passed away, please contact the Civic League board, and we will send the family a card.
    • Halloween is coming up – planning to pass out orange door tags to indicate your house is passing out candy; there is a small but dedicated group of trick or treaters in the neighborhood.
    • A neighbor mentioned that Meals on Wheels through Feed More is looking for delivery drivers if anyone has some spare time.
    • A neighbor said she prefers meeting at the Westover Building because there is better lighting in the parking lot.
    • Our January civic league meeting is traditionally on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Since that is a holiday for city employees, we have decided to change the date of the meeting. New date TBA.
    • A neighbor asked about the new meeting signs saying Maymont Neighborhood Meeting instead of Maymont Civic League Meeting. Joy said that sometimes there is confusion calling it a civic league meeting, but we are still officially the Maymont Civic League.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30pm

MAY 15, 2023 MEETING MINUTES

Maymont Civic League Meeting

Maymont Garden Hall

7pm

Information sent out ahead of the meeting via email:

Maymont Civic League Meeting Today! Monday the 15 at 7pm
We will meet at the Maymont Garden Hall, which is down the walkway from the Hampton gates of Maymont. Please join our Facebook group “Maymont Civic League” or email
info@maymontcivicleague.org to be added to the email list and stay up to date!

Agenda Items are: 

  • Fire Department will talk about safety in older homes
  • 3rd Precinct police updates  – there was some turnover which is why we didn’t have someone at the last meeting
  • 5th district updates from Amy Robins
  • Speed Limit discussion – option to go down to 20mph
  • Loud Concert at Maymont – how to address?
  • Sidewalks going in!
  • Any other concerns 

We hope you will join us!

Minutes taken at the meeting:

Attendees: Joy Rogers (President), Leah Hopper (Vice President), Gayle Goldberg (Treasurer), Jan Hatchard (Membership Coordinator), Kirk Millikan (Secretary), Rebecca Fischer, Michael Glass, Joe Goldberg, Kim Griffin, Tony Halsey, Art Hatchard, Lily Jones, Debbie Ladd, Alexander Lawson, Elisabeth Linka, Stephanie Lynch (5th District Councilmember), Lieutenant Marvin Marsh (Richmond Police Department), Hugo Mendoza, Emily Morris, Parke Richeson (Maymont Executive Director), Ethan Smith, Hannah Stewart, Lee Williams

  • Joy opened the meeting with introductions of the board.
  • Lt. Marvin Marsh from the 3rd Precinct (which includes our neighborhood) provided updates. Lt. Marsh has been with the Richmond Police since 2000. He graduated from Armstrong High School and Virginia State University.
    • For the Maymont neighborhood, there have been no violent crimes year to date; no theft from motor vehicles reported this year; one stolen vehicle this year. 
    • For the sector as a whole (which also includes the Fan and Randolph), statistics are not as good as our neighborhood, but they are not bad overall. Shoplifting has increased a lot, specifically at the ABC Store on Broad Street. Breaking and entering reports have increased from 5 to 10 year-to-date. There has been an uptick in catalytic converter thefts again. The illegal dumping on Texas Avenue is an on-going investigation; the dumping was identified as a hair product. Fraud alert – starting to see an uptick in fraud phone calls, particularly calling elderly folks with fake “ghosting” numbers. 
    • Elisabeth Linka introduced herself and provided her contact information (804-646-2905, elisabeth.linka@rva.gov). Elisabeth is an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Richmond, and she is the 3rd Precinct prosecutor. She provided updates on the illegal towing in Richmond. The substantial investigation is on-going with fraud in addition to property crimes. On-Time Towing and No Limit Towing are the towing companies being investigated. $175/day is the maximum cap for a tow company charging per day, and these companies are charging $400+ per day. If you think you are a victim of illegal towing, you should call the police non-emergency number – the most important thing is to provide pictures of where you parked, any towing signs put up, and any other documentation. 
    • Can call or email Elisabeth to check on the status of crime cases if you have been the victim of a crime.
    • It was asked if the No Parking signs on Westover Road can be removed per current codes and with some Byrd Park streets closing on the weekends. Lt. Marsh said he would look into it.
  • Steve Brown, one of the fire marshals in Richmond, provided fire safety updates. He has been a firefighter for 29 years.
    • Working smoke detectors are extremely important. On www.rva.gov, there is a fire marshal’s page where you can request free smoke detectors. The smoke detectors will be installed by the Richmond Fire Department in your house, and they now have a battery life of 10 years. After 10 years, the smoke detector needs to be thrown away. Recommend testing smoke detectors once a month.
    • Cooking is the number one cause of house fires. Mr. Brown recommends having a mat in front of the stove where only one person is allowed to stand. If you are cooking, he recommends you do not leave the stove mat while the stove is on. If the cook needs to walk away from the stove, the stove should be turned off. Cooking with oil is the most dangerous thing.
    • EDITH: Exit Drills In The Home. The most important thing is having an evacuation plan to exit your house. You should have two paths out and a designated location outside to meet. Everyone leaves the house once. Get out and stay out, never go back in (especially never go back in for pets). Call 911 as soon as possible, and the fire department will arrive quickly.
  • Parke Richeson provided an update about Maymont.
    • Year to date, Maymont has served 10,000 students, including teaching the Jim Crow and Gilded Age history of the estate. Year to date, the nature center has seen 32,000 visitors, and the mansion has seen 15,000 visitors. Overall Maymont is on track to see 750,000 visitors in 2023. This is down from a record 876,000 visitors in 2021 when more people visited local outdoor parks due to covid.
    • The mansion’s audio tours have recently been recorded in Spanish, and Maymont is working on making signs in the park dual language (Spanish and English). 
    • In September, Maymont’s curator will be speaking about the park’s 100 year anniversary in 2025. Maymont would love to hear stories of folks growing up in our neighborhood over the years.
    • Recent loud music at Maymont was from a fundraising event that had a DJ playing music. Parke apologized for the noise and has noted it for future events. The fundraising event raised over $400,000 for Maymont.
    • Maymont’s Summer Kick-Off Concerts are June 16th and 17th. Maymont provides some concert tickets to neighborhood residents. You must be a member of the civic league to apply for tickets, and you can apply by contacting info@maymontcivicleague.org.
  • Stephanie Lynch provided updates about the 5th District and city council.
    • The city budget was recently passed. Money towards affordable housing and homeless services were highlights of the budget. There are currently 91 families living on the street in Richmond. $1.75 million was allocated for homeless services. $50 million was allocated for affordable housing. $12 million was allocated for park maintenance, but there is $35 million in deferred maintenance. $21 million was allocated for Vision Zero traffic calming. There is a Family Crisis Fund now available that can provide $2,500 per family to avoid evictions. Negotiations on the budget started before the mayor’s budget was released, and that helped to keep the budget process on schedule. 
    • Paving is resuming in the neighborhood next week.
    • There is a “20 is Plenty” campaign for 20 mph speed limits. The locations and timeframe for implementing 20 mph speed limits is to be determined.
    • Regarding repairing the pedestrian bridge to Texas Beach, the Request for Proposal (RFP) for contractors to repair the bridge is going out this week. CSX negotiation is on-going. Hopefully, the project to fix the bridge will finish in one year.
      • Joy mentioned there is an increase in trash and spray painting down at Texas Beach. Stephanie said that the city may be able to put cameras in the Texas Beach parking lot to help deter crime.
    • The city was able to hire two park rangers. One will be stationed at Belle Isle, and the other will be stationed at Shiplock Park.
    • A neighbor asked why it seems like more people are working in city hall now with fewer police and park staff. Stephanie said that allocation is done by the mayor, his administration, and his budget.
    • You can break up your property tax bill into quarterly payments if desired.
    • A neighbor asked about striping Maymont’s parking lot to fit in more cars. Parke and Stephanie said they would look into it.
    • A neighbor asked about replacing trees that have recently been cut down. Stephanie said there is an “adopt a tree” program if folks are interested in that. With the current sidewalk project, the neighborhood should get new trees planted.
    • Regarding the potential neighborhood playground next to the skate park, Stephanie said that Lincoln Saunders (the city’s Chief Administrative Officer) is willing to do a walking tour of the proposed site. Currently, there is an issue with an easement on the property. There is potential funding for the playground in the budget.
      • Joy said there is approval for the playground but no funding has been secured. Grant funding may also be available.
      • Joy mentioned that neighborhood kids cannot safely cross Colorado Avenue by themselves to reach playgrounds behind Amelia Street School or Maymont Preschool.
    • Neighborhood resident Ida Cheatham recently turned 103, and an honorary street sign will be placed for her on her 1800 block of South Meadow Street this summer. Ida is one of the original residents of the neighborhood, and she used to work in real estate. She negotiated the real estate lots in Byrd Park.
  • Joy mentioned that the civic league will vote on whether or not to request 20 mph speed limits in our neighborhood at our September meeting. 
  • Joy said that weekly walks are on-going, meeting on Wednesdays at 7pm at the corner of Greenville Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30pm

MARCH 20, 2023 MEETING MINUTES

Maymont Civic League Meeting

Maymont Garden Hall

7pm

Information sent out ahead of the meeting via email:

We will meet at the Maymont Garden Hall, which is down the walkway from the Hampton gates of Maymont.

Please join our Facebook group “Maymont Civic League” or email

info@maymontcivicleague.org to be added to the email list and stay up to date!

Tonight we will get neighborhood updates, take $10 membership dues (we have the official membership cards to hand out), introduce the official new board members, and hear neighborhood business. 

We hope you will join us!

Minutes taken at the meeting:

Attendees: Mark Brandon, Ann Condon, Elise Corliss, Gayle Goldberg, Joe Goldberg, Jan Hatchard, Cindy Higgins, Leah Hopper, Lily Jones, Hugo Mendoza, Kirk Millikan, Elizabeth Reed, Amy Robins, Joy Rogers, Ethan Smith, Lee Williams

  • Joy introduced the new board members.
    • President: Joy Rogers
    • Vice President: Leah Hopper
    • Treasurer: Gayle Goldberg
    • Secretary: Kirk Millikan
    • Membership Coordinator: Jan Hatchard
  • Joy provided a few general updates:
    • Moving forward, the plan is to not drop off fliers for meeting notifications and instead use signs at neighborhood entrances as well as notifications via email and social media.
    • In April, we will be restarting weekly Wednesday neighborhood walks at 7pm meeting at the intersection of Greenville Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • Amy Robins (liaison for Stephanie Lynch, city councilmember for the 5th district) provided updates:
    • Overall, crime statistics are down in our sector of the city.
    • Texas Beach bridge update:
      • Dollars have been allocated to the repair of the bridge.
      • Repair is likely now rather than replacement that was previously discussed.
      • The city is currently working on getting an estimate for the repair.
    • Improvements will also be coming to the Potterfield Bridge from Brown’s Island to Manchester to reduce any bouncing.
    • The city is in budget season now. The proposed playground next to the community garden was not funded.
    • Stephanie, Amy, and their team are putting together senior bags, which will be delivered to seniors in our neighborhood in late April.
    • Ida Cheatham will have an honorary block named after her on South Meadow Street. She recently celebrated her 103rd birthday and will be honored in May. She was a founding member of the Maymont Civic League and still lives in the neighborhood.
    • Regarding spray painting, the city will likely be installing walls in a public space to encourage spray painting in designated areas.
    • Monday March 27th at 6pm is public comment for the budget for FY24, which starts July 1st.
    • Speed humps are proposed in the neighborhood when paving comes through the neighborhood this year. Proposed locations in and near the neighborhood are:
      • On S Meadow Street between Amelia Street and Colorado Avenue
      • On Hampton Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and New York Avenue
      • On Hampton Street between Dakota Avenue and Nevada Avenue
      • On Colorado Avenue between Sumpter Street and S Lombardy Street
      • On Colorado Avenue between Randolph Street and Meade Street
    • Amy discussed the possibility of changing neighborhood speed limits from 25 mph to 20 mph. A bill from Betsy Carr (the state delegate who represents the neighborhood) to make the statutory speed limit 20 mph did not pass the House of Delegates this year.
    • Neighborhood sidewalks – For Phase 1 of the Maymont sidewalk project, the contractor should be working on installation this spring.
    • Photo speed ticketing will be taking place out front of Fox Elementary (in the old Clark Springs Elementary building) in the near future.
    • Amy reviewed 3 policy changes going through city hall right now: eliminating minimum parking requirements; allowing ADUs (accessory dwelling units) by right; and updates to Airbnb regulations in the city.
    • Amy mentioned that bike lanes will be installed on Colorado Avenue and S Allen Avenue when those streets are repaved this year.
  • Joy reviewed upcoming events at Maymont:
    • April 8th – Family Easter (free but needs tickets)
    • April 29th – Herbs Galore ($7/person, free for members)
  • Joy opened up the meeting for general comments
    • A car was stolen at night from the Maymont parking lot recently.
    • A neighbor brought up concerns regarding 1404 George Avenue. Amy mentioned that by code, a house can have a maximum of 3 unrelated adult tenants. The house is currently vacant.
    • Jan reiterated that a neighborhood directory would be very helpful to stay in touch. Information will not be shared outside of the neighborhood.
    • A neighbor asked if Maymont had any plans for Sundial Park after the recent tree removal. The Maymont executive director was not in attendance to provide an update.

Meeting adjourned at 7:50pm

NOVEMBER 15, 2022 MEETING MINUTES

  • Joy started the meeting
  • Sgt. McWhirter provided the police report
    • Traffic is an issue with speeding especially on Meadow
    • 2 aggressive assaults occurred in the area by known offenders (neighbor dispute)
    • 2 burglaries occurred
    • He reminded neighbors to lock your car doors and not leave Amazon packages out on the front steps for quick and easy theft
  • Colette McEachin, Commonwealth Attorney came to introduce herself and provide her personal background
  • Amy Robins provided the 5th district report on behalf of Stephanie Lynch
    • Texas Beach Bridge repair – expect 3-5 years before reopening
    • Leaf collection and street cleaning updates – street cleaning occurs twice a year and leaf collection takes place upon request.
    • Infrastructure – sidewalks are coming and a diagram will be shared to show where repairs will be done
    • 5th District Holiday Party is December 15 from 5:30 – 8
  • Maymont Happenings
    • December 2 & 3 – Merry Market
  • Bring leaves to the community garden!
  • December 3 from 1pm – 3pm will be a community garden workday
  • Reminder to decorate your block with Christmas bows – the Civic League will reimburse neighbors for costs
  • Our neighbor Jan is looking to create a neighborhood directory – more details to come in 2023
  • Compost bins are in Randolph Park – it is a great place to take your compost
  • Tax relief/rebate information is also being sent out to neighbors so be on the lookout if that is applicable to you or contact Stephanie Lynch/Amy Robins for more information

MAY 16, 2022 MEETING MINUTES

  • Joy started the meeting and introduced the Board (Joy Rogers, President; Justin Patterson, Treasurer; Leah Hopper, Secretary; Mark Brandon, Community Liason)
  • 31 neighbors and guests were in attendance
  • Bill Shanabruch of Reedy Creek Environmental LLC was a guest speaker who discussed native plants
    • Native plants – before European arrival
    • Invasive plants are plants that disrupt the native ecosystem
    • Mistaken Identity was a recommended read
    • He discussed where to plant native plants and encouraged the neighborhood to volunteer with the Invasive Species Task Force to learn how to identify and remove invasive species
    • He discussed the importance of native planting
  • Marc Wagner and Joanna Knight of the Department of Historic Resources shared with the neighborhood that we are qualified for the honorary designation of being registered on the National Register Historic District. This designation is just an honor, there are no restrictions as part of this honor.
    • Neighbor Kirk Mullican submitted the application and it succeeded Board review and can move on to the formal approval process if the neighborhood agrees.
    • Next steps include the formal application and architectural survey. The City may have funds available to assist with this and the VDHR has a grant program.
  • Erin and Max of Dominion Energy discussed the Strategic Underground Program which is proposed for parts of Georgia Avenue. They are asking for a 15′ easement and they were available to explain the project in further detail and answer neighbor questions and address concerns.
    • Concerns included sizes of yards, the large boxes required for every 3-4 homes, among other process concerns
  • Parke Richeson of Maymont reported on Maymont reported that since our last meeting in March, 5,200 mansion tours have taken place, the nature center has seen 9,800 visitors, and 1800 students for educational programs (500 of which were Title 1 students)
    • Mutts at Maymont is coming on June 18
    • Music at Maymont kicks off on June 9 (Guster & the Wood Brothers)
  • The neighborhood voted unanimously to consider participation in National Night Out on August 2
  • The neighborhood also voted unanimously to consider hosting a “Maymont Mile” to raise funds for a playground near the skatepark.
  • REMINDERS: We are always looking for flyer deliverers before meetings and neighborhood walk and talks take place every Wednesday at 7pm (meet on the corner of Greenville and Pennslyvania)

January 17, 2022 Meeting Minutes (via Zoom)

  • The Civic League Board is looking for a Vice President
  • Betsy Carr gave her General Assembly report:
    • The General Assembly met on Wednesday online
    • Her priorities this session include: healthcare, criminal justice, improving VEC, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) recommendations, No Child Left Behind, environmental education, and speeding
    • They will be adopting a budget this session
    • If anyone is interested in meeting with Betsy, a meeting via Zoom or in person can be setup
  • Amy Robins gave her report on behalf of Stephanie Lynch for the 5th District:
    • Snail mail flyer with Council meeting dates is coming soon
    • Elderly and disabled tax relief applications are now open
  • Neighborhood announcements:
    • A new, more collaborative Facebook group has been created “Maymont Civic League”
    • Leaf removal is coming (no further information)
    • The North Bank Trail fence may need repair – the James River Park Service will check out
    • A historic district designation update will be coming in March or May

November 15, 2021 Meeting Minutes (via Zoom)

  • Lt. Naroz gave his police report:
    • YTD the Maymont area has had 1 violent crime and 8 property crimes (down from 12 last year)
    • He reminded everyone to be extra vigilant with shopping season approaching
  • Parks Richeson gave a report on Maymont:
    • Visits were up 20% last year and they are up an additional 20% this year
    • 15,000 visits last quarter
    • The Mansion will have Christmas audio tours available
    • The 3rd floor will hold an interactive orientation to the Jim Crow era
  • Betsy Carr gave her General Assembly report:
    • The session will begin the second Wednesday of January
    • This session will be 2 months and will be held in-person
  • Amy Robins gave her report on behalf of Stephanie Lynch for the 5th District:
    • Lower speed limits are being introduced to residential areas
    • New sidewalks are coming in Spring 2022
    • Senior bags will be distributed in the coming months and she needs neighborhood volunteers
    • Police and fire pay and benefits are being adjusted to be more competitive with nearby localities
  • Joy Rogers gave an update on the Riverview Park playground vision