Category Archives: Minutes

September 21, 2020 Virtual Meeting

The Civic League September meeting was a virtual Zoom meeting which you can view above. Highlights include:

  • 311 app update
  • Elias Franz’s tree project at the Amelia Street School
  • Guest Andrew Grigsby discussing his non-profit Veridiant which helps homeowners find energy savings (andrew.grigsby@veridiant.org or go to veridiant.org for more information)
  • Lt. David Naoroz introduced himself as he is new to our sector and precinct but not the City
  • Treasurer’s report
  • Stephanie Lynch gave her councilperson report which included topics such as 311, GRTC route changes, elderly tax relief program, polling location and absentee voting updates
  • Betsy Carr gave House of Delegate report on the budget which should be public and circulated to the public soon

MEETING MINUTES JANUARY 20, 2020

I. Mark Brandon called the meeting to order at 7:05PM. 31 neighbors were in attendance.

II. Justin [last name?] was voted in as the new Treasurer to replace outgoing Treasurer Davis Barry.

III. Joy gave the Treasurer’s report:

  1. Beginning Balance: $4,527.15 ($704.98 stipend)
  2. Deposits: $20.00
  3. Withdrawals: $83.52
  4. End Balance: $4,463.63 ($705.00 stipend)

IV. Parke Richeson with Maymont advertised the African American experience exhibit. For additional information or to see the flyer, please email info@maymontcivicleague.org or visit Maymont Park.

V. Allison Andrews spoke on behalf of the Monroe Park Conservancy. She spoke about the Friends of Monroe Park organization which is an organization that is fully self-funded and has many projects that they would like to do. She encouraged donations to that group and also encouraged the group to visit the park to see all of the features in it. The Portal will be in Monroe Park through March and hours can be found on sharedstudios.com/Richmond

VI. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Mark read a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote and neighbor Jennifer Edwards said a prayer.

VII. Jennifer Mullins with the Navy Hill Development Team gave an update on the Navy Hill project. Her presentation included the new map of the mixed-use development showing the current plans and potential tenants. There is a bill currently in the House of Delegates involving a proposed sale tax for that area. Currently, City Council has held its last public comment and they have reviewed third party consultant reports. City Council will vote on the project on February 24.

VIII. Neighbor Ida Cheatam is celebrating her 100th birthday and the group voted to donate towards her birthday party on February 1.

IX. Chris Liesfield reported back to the group regarding his property covering parts of Greenville and Carter. He is now going to donate the land to a conservation easement and with the exception of his house which will be built on Carter Street, the rest of the property will not be developed. Former Councilman Parker was there on behalf of the conservatory to answer questions. Chris is planning to purchase parts of the west side Carter Street alleyway from the City so that the entire property can be donated to the conservatory.

X. Neighbor Leslie spoke up against the Navy Hill project and encouraged opposed neighbors to sign her petition.

XI. Stephanie Lynch and Amy Robbins spoke about the Navy Hill project and mentioned the tremendous amount of pressure Councilmen have experienced regarding this proposed project.

XII. Todd Woodson of the Oregon Hill Civic League spoke to the group about his work with the Monroe Park tree ordinance. The canopy of trees is a protected asset and his group is working to have it be restored.

XIII. The meeting adjourned at 9:08PM.

MEETING MINUTES NOVEMBER 18, 2019

I. Mark called the meeting to order and introduced the Board members present.

II. Lt. Woo presented a neighborhood police report:

  • Property crime is down 38%
  • The leading crime is larceny – especially from sheds and vehicles
  • There are no major crimes to date
  • He encouraged neighbors to keep sending videos of crimes
  • He mentioned the gunfire reports and the police are trying to track these down; they have mostly been in Forest Hill
  • There is a special program, Light Up the Night which focuses on neighbors keeping on porch lights during dark hours (consider changing to 500 lumens)
  • Lt. Woo is on NextDoor if you need to contact him

III. Lori Markum gave an update on the 1901 Georgia property

  • If the single family home has a 25 foot setback on both Kansas and Greenville, that only leaves 20 feet to build
  • The proposal is a 16 foot setback off of Kansas (9 foot setback reduction)
    • The Board of Zoning Appeals meets on January 2
  • The proposed house is less modern with no rooftop deck. It is more of a farmhouse/craftsman style home.

IV. Greenville/Carter rezoning has to go through the Planning Commission

  • Chris Leesfeld and wife, Jodie are requesting the City to vacate part of the end of the road on Greenville as well as the west alley Carter Street
  • They will live on a lot there and develop the other 4 lots.
  • Concerns about sewage and future development were brought up.
  • Sewer from the end on Carter would cause potential issue and each house would have a grinder pump.
  • Questions were raised about how to mitigate and avoid wetlands and how to get back to original grade.
  • Mark and Chris will plan an organized walk there as a site visit.
  • A public comment will take place at the Planning Commission meeting and then at the City Council meeting.
  • For additional information, please contact a Board member or email info@maymontcivicleague.org for a map.

V. The Greater Byrd Park Geese Management Task Force reported on their plan to limit the goose population in the Byrd Park area. There is a summary report that is available to neighbors upon request (info@maymontcivicleague.org).

VI. Stephanie Lynch, City Council member-elect spoke on several upcoming events and her plans in office.

  • The first week in January there will be an open community member forum/listening session forum for Navy Hill. This will be in collaboration with other civic leagues around the City.
  • Her goal is to provide objective, non-biased education about the Navy Hill project including the VCU study and Davenport study that have been done.
  • She will be at Albert Hill on Wednesday, November 20 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.
  • She can be contacted at: stephanie.lynch@richmondgov.com; electstephanielynch@gmail.com; and 703-945-4619.
  • Amy Robins will stay on with Stephanie and can be contacted at amy.robins@richmondgov.com or 804-646-5724.
  • There will be a Holiday/Farewell/Welcome Party at the Randolph Community Center on Thursday, December 12 from 6:00 – 8:00pm.
  • A cleanup will be coming up for parts of Harrison and a date is TBD.

VII. The next meeting will be January 20, 2020 at 7:00 pm.

MEETING MINUTES SEPTEMBER 16, 2019

September 16, 2019 – 7:00PM (48 neighbors and friends of the neighborhood in attendance)

I. Mark Brandon, President, introduced the Board.

II. Parke Richeson gave an update on Maymont. Currently, the park is working on an exhibit to tell the story of Maymont during the Jim Crow era.

III. An update on the geese in Byrd Park will be presented in the November meeting.

IV. The tax abatement program was summarized. For more information or assistance on applying, please contact the Maymont Civic League Board and we would be happy to assist.

V. The Maymont Civic League gave approval on getting a P.O. Box. More details to come.

VI. Lt. Woo presented his neighborhood report: crime has continued to decrease. Car thefts are the biggest issue (3 thefts in Texas Beach parking lot cameras have been installed). Texas Beach looks good overall. The Richmond Police has been working with VCU to educate students. He reminded the neighborhood to call in any report.

VII. Amy Robins presented a report on behalf of our City Council member, Parker Agelasto. She reminded the neighborhood of the RVA 311 app for problems around the City, especially regarding potholes. She informed the neighborhood of several important dates: October 24 – Navy Hill report at St. Andrews; September 25 – City Council candidate forum at Richmond City Democratic Committee building. She mentioned the City’s tax abatement for personal property tax program and said they are fixing the brochures and should be circulated around Thanksgiving time. The City’s lead paint program is not getting much attention from City residents so please contact Parker’s office for information on how to qualify for this program as well.

VIII. The Maymont sidewalk issue is being resolved as there were concerns about disruption of the trees on Pennsylvania.

IX. Crystal with RRHA discussed Project Homes and Habitat for Humanity houses in the neighborhood. 18 homes in Phase 1 are almost complete. There will be a dedication for a home on Kansas Street in November and it would be nice to see a neighborhood presence. 16 homes will be part of Phase 2. There are many volunteer opportunities which can be found on the Habitat for Humanity website (or checking the Maymont Civic League Facebook page).

X. Three City Council candidates shared their backgrounds, platforms, and their reasons for running for the 5th District City Council seats. These included Mamie Taylor, Robin Mines, and Thad Williamson.

X. A proposal was presented to the neighbors by Lori Markum about the property on 1901 Georgia (corner of Kansas and Georgia). The builders are requesting a special exception to the setback rule because of several unique features of the property (corner lot, empty lot behind it). The plans show blueprints for a modern house and many neighbors expressed concerns about the aesthetics. Direct neighbors expressed concerns about the height of the proposed house. There will be a meeting on October 3 with the City and the neighborhood’s opinion will be taken into consideration. Neighbors brought up points about this exception becoming a slippery slope of exemptions while others expressed concerns with never allowing exceptions becoming an issue in the future. The neighbors were unable to come to a full agreement on the issue.

XI. Two more City Council candidates shared their backgrounds, platforms, and their reasons for running for the 5th District City Council seats. These two included Jer’Mykeal McCoy and Stephanie Lynch.

XII. The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be Monday, November 18, 2019 at 7:00PM.

MEETING MINUTES MAY 20, 2019

27 neighbors and community members were in attendance.

Mark Brandon, President, introduced the Board.

The Treasurer reported $4,202.94 in the account.

Mark Brandon reported that the Byrd Park geese task force has a report on their findings and the report is now available.

Parke Richeson, Maymont Executive Director reported the following: 
– Maymont was voted many “bests” in Virginia Living magazine
– This school year, 9,000+ students visited Maymont
– 180 Girl Scouts participated in environmental education
– 147 schools were hosted (47% Title 1)
– There are many upcoming events at the park (June 8 – Vintage Market and Mimosas at Maymont; June 9 – Carriages by Candlelight; Music at Maymont outdoor concerts on June 21, July 13, July 20, and September 20; June 22 – Bumble Bee Jamboree; August 10 – 11 – Jazz Festival)

Parker Agelasto notified the group of the special election that will be held in November for his City Council seat. His last day will be November 30. He reported on the following: 
– The FY 2020 budget was adopted by City Council. Schools and roads make up the biggest items along with salary increases for City employees and starting salaries for police officers. The real estate tax rate will remain the same. 
– Progress is continuing for the houses on Kansas Street.
– Texas Beach traffic and parking are becoming issues as the weather gets warmer. Be vigilant and lock your doors. 
– June 8 is the neighborhood cleanup.

Dr. Ghazala Hashmi, candidate for Virginia Senate and Thad Williamson, candidate for City Council spoke to the group about their backgrounds and campaigns and answered questions.

Neighborhood issues brought up: groundhogs and cats.

The neighbors shared interest in a block party to coincide with National Night Out on August 6. The block party will take place near the skate park. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the planning committee should talk to Joy Rogers.

The meeting concluded. The next meeting will be held on September 16. 

Meeting Minutes March 18, 2019

22 neighbors and visitors were in attendance.

Mark Brandon, President, opened the meeting by introducing Lt. Woo, our neighborhood police officer. Lt. Woo reported the following:
– Crime is low and there has been a 64% decrease in crime
– Police officers are unable to see everything posted on NextDoor, please be aware of this.
– An Internet security system which will notify police through a new app will be up and running soon (more to come in the future)
= Texas Beach continues to have a police presence

Park Richeson, Executive Director of Maymont gave a report on Maymont:
– Last quarter 25 educators for project-based learning were educated at Maymont
– 625 students attended Girls Day and STEM Day at Maymont
– 3050 City kids have been educated at Maymont, many are Title 1
– Upcoming activities at Maymont include: Spring Break (first week in April), Family Easter on April 20, Herbs Galore on April 27, Beer and Wine Classic, Mother’s Day Tea on May 11, Music at Maymont will include Trampled by Turtles (June 21), Carbon Leaf (July 13), and others which will be announced in the future
– August 10 – 11 is the Jazz Festival

Betsy Carr, our House of Delegates representative provided an overview of the most recent session.

Mark reported the following:
– 911 texting will soon be available in Richmond
– New bus routes allow our neighborhood to go straight to Carytown – everyone was encouraged to take it for a ride.

Joy Rogers, Vice President, gave a playground update.

A Randolph neighbor attended to deliver flyers for the Randolph Farmer’s Market which is starting back up on May 7 and will be held each Tuesday from 3:00pm – 6:30pm in Randolph Park.

Meeting Minutes January 21, 2019

January 21, 2019
11 neighbors present (on a very chilly evening)
Mark welcomed the group and called the meeting to order.
Leah Schubel was introduced as the new Secretary.
In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Mark shared a quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Joy shared the Treasurer’s report on behalf of the Treasurer, Davis Barry.
Guest Nikki D’Adamo-Damery of the Maggie Walker Land Trust spoke about the partnership the Trust has with Habitat for Humanity and Project Homes. 5 new homes in the Maymont neighborhood will be part of this land trust (3 are on New York and 1 is on Kansas, ?? on the 5th one). She briefly described how the Maggie Walker Land Trust goes about acquiring properties, specifically noting that tax delinquent properties are easier to acquire for their group because there is less competition. There will be a potential homeowners meeting on January 30.
Guest Parke Richeson of Maymont shared good news that Maymont had given over 19,000 tours through the holiday season and 7,000 students had participated in their holiday programs with many of those students being Title 3. The Jazz Festival is scheduled for the second weekend in August.
Guest Amy Robbins who works for Councilman Parker Agelasto highlighted several key dates for the group. The James River Parks System Master Plan will be revealed and discussed on Thursday, February 7 at 6pm at the Patrick Henry School. On February 28 at 6:30pm, Parker will hold a meeting at the Round House in Byrd Park to answer questions pertaining to the North of Broad Coliseum project and provide tax relief applications. She said Parker’s cleanup dates around the area would be forthcoming and the speeding problem in the neighborhood and the increase in car break-ins were on his radar.
Bill (last name?) and Ryan Ginsberg gave an extremely informative presentation on invasive plants. They shared an alarming case study on the James River showing the harm of invasive plants. They are part of the invasive plants task force and provided the anyone present with a book illustrating which plants are native and which are invasive to this area. They host a variety of volunteer events and gather weekly at Reedy Creek between noon and 3pm to pull out invasive plants. For additional information, www.jamesriverpark.org/invasive or email invasiveplanttaskforce@gmail.com. The week of February 24 is National Invasive Species Week and there will be a variety of activities everyday that week so they encouraged the group to look into any activities of interest. They also encouraged each person to remove English Ivy from trees in their own yards (the proper removal technique is to cut the vines around the base of the tree and a chunk about shoulder height and it will die on its own).
The Board will provide neighbors with notice prior to running races or other events taking place in the neighborhood which may cause disruption or additional traffic.

Meeting Minutes January 20th, 2017

Meeting Started at 7:00pm

10 Neighbors in attendance

 

  • Patrick Sapini stopped by to thank the Constituents

He shared that he is looking forward to collaborating with all of the neighborhood associations

  • Amy Robbins stopped by as well from Parker Agelasto’s office

She addressed issues with the drainage in our neighborhood

  • We introduced the new President of the Maymont Civic Association, Mark Brandon who reminded us to call 311 to make reports about the neighborhood
  • Maymont Children’s Farm opens in March and Maymont will also expand its parking by 50%
  • Construction of sidewalks will continue in the neighborhood with priority on the Dakota and Nevada cross streets
  • Sidewalk construction has been halted on Pennsylvania Ave due to trees
  • New Business:

Playground title Riverview Park is slated for opening in the fall

Civic League voted in favor of a Block Party to celebrate the opening of the Park and Playground in the fall

Civic League to consider the proposal to re-form a Welcome and Remembrance Committee

  • Amy Robbins provided information regarding a neighborhood yard sale in April for which ad space can be purchased in the Richmond Times Dispatch
  • Discussed Alley Cleanup for 2017 and a list of participants is requested to volunteer, date is TBD
  • Parke Richeson shared that Maymont’s educational offerings have grown by 32%

2/28 will be the Winter Tree Walk in Maymont

3/25 will be the Children’s Farm Open House in Maymont

  • Amy Robbins that the property tax relief available to the Elderly & Disabled is available and paperwork must be completed by 3/31

 

Meeting Minutes November 21st, 2016

20 Neighbors in Attendance

Meeting began at 7:01pm

  1. Greeting with Thanksgiving poem: Gloria Bouldin
  2. Reading of the Minutes: Secretary Libby Germer and Treasurer Leah Page-Jean
  3. Maymont Park Open House: December 4th from Noon-5pm (lots of holiday events, see website)
  4. Red Holiday Bows: Informal poll among attendees showed that we are still interested in hanging the bows and multiple volunteers raised their hands to assist with the hanging of the bows.
  5. Feed More: A motion was passed by all attendees to donate $100 of MCL funds to local, needy families for a Thanksgiving meal.
  6. New slate of nominees for Civic League recommended for the vote by Joy Whitney-Rogers:
    1. President: Mark Brandon
    2. Vice President: Andrea Almond
    3. Secretary: Thomas Hanson
    4. Treasurer: Davis Barry
    5. Financial Secretary: Caleb Harris
  7. Lieutenant Woo: Update from the police department Precinct 3 … 7 car break-ins have occurred in Maymont, Randolph, and Byrd Park areas over the last month, but have only included small items and petty cash. One indication that it may be homeless people is that Monroe Park has recently been closed to itinerant people. There were also home robberies on Meadow St. and a break-in on Texas Ave. Lots of nighttime gun fire has been reported and the only tip the police have is an “older silver four-door car” and the police request phone calls whenever we hear gunfire.
  8. Other matters:
    1. Progress on Riverview Community Park: the ground is set to be broken this spring on a new playground
    2. RRHA: seems to be moving slow, but have promised to auction off homes in our neighborhood (map on Civic League website)
    3. Christmas Decoration Competition: a motion was passed to create a competition between neighbors who want to decorate their homes in creative ways for the Holidays
    4. Sidewalks: continuing to be constructed throughout the neighborhood. A neighbor is going to speak to the homeowner whose mulberry bush is overgrown on the corner of Meadow and Pennsylvania.
    5. Bus routes: are they being changed throughout the neighborhood? We should pay attention to the changes being made
    6. Cheryl Williams-Boney made a donation in the amount of $28.43 on behalf of the MCL to the family of Mr. Henry Smith, deceased.

Meeting Minutes: September 19, 2016

Meeting Commenced at 7:04pm
35 in attendance

  1. Vice President Mark Brandon introduced Mayoral Candidate Jack Berry, Maymont Park CEO Parke Richeson, Lt. Woo from 3rd Police Precinct, a representative for Mayoral Candidate Jon Baliles, and 5th District School Board Candidate Dr. Patrick Sapini. All of whom gave a short updates to those present.
  2. Secretary Libby Germer spoke about the history of the neighborhood, credited the strong commitment of several elderly neighbors who can’t be with us tonight, and shared the May 16th meeting minutes.
  3. 5th District Councilman Parker Agelasto spoke about his candidacy for a second term in office. He mentioned successes as our neighborhood clean-ups, sidewalk creation, and budget reforms in the area of schools and park funding, as well as tough talk for delinquent tax payers who are now paying up.
  4. Gloria Bouldin introduced our Maymont Civic League Nominating Committee process and requested three volunteers. Thomas Hansen, Joy Rogers, and Toni Halsey volunteered their time and energy to select community members for the Maymont Civic League Board. Elections for the board will be held at the November meeting.
  5. RRHA Real Estate Devt Rep. Marcia Davis came to update us on the status of RRHA-owned homes in our neighborhood and all over the city. As of May 2016, a decision has been made that 33 homes will be purhcsedby either Habitat for Humanity or Project Homes and the other 33 will be auctioned off at market value (public bidding). RRHA is now waiting 120 days for HUD’s approval. Ms. Davis then took questions from the floor. All houses in our neighborhood will be owned by one of the non-profits (Habitat for Humanity or Project Homes) and will be sold at low-cost to qualifying buyers. Parker Agelasto’s office will follow up when HUD approves the disposition. The list of homes being sold by RHHA is uploaded to the Civic League website here.
  6. Treasurer Leah Nevada Jean read her financial report.
  7. Leah Nevada Jean also introduced two guests from the Richmond Area Skate Alliance and updated us on the status of the Riverview Community Park. Councilman Agelasto spoke about the strong possibility of the City’s easement being lifted, so that the Parks Dept. can officially name the Riverview Community Park and begin the community garden, walking trails, and playground. The Kiwanis Club and other partners will be contributing labor and materials. Creation of the park’s footprint will begin as early as this October. Great news! The skate park portion of the project may take more time as expanding the skate park will expand the impermeable surface in the park and will require changing the current conservation easement boundaries. Leaders of the Skate Alliance spoke about the long timetable of their project and their interest in speeding up its closure.
  8. Woo spoke about a greater police presence at Texas Beach. Six major operations, one involved a water landing, ended in 45 arrests at one point but only 12 at the last “sting”, a sign that the message is getting out that alcohol and off-leash dog laws are being enforced. The only remaining issue is a nudity violation that went all the way to court and if we, the neighbors, see “The Yeti” at Texas Beach, we need to report him because he is banned from all city parks.
  9. Crime Alert: We have had 8 stolen vehicles found in our neighborhood in just the last month and folks at the Skate Park have noticed the contents of stolen cars dumped by trash cans.
  10. Financial Secretary Daria Christian spoke about the purpose of membership fees and asked folks to pay tonight ($5 for individuals/$10 for household).
  11. Vice President Mark Brandon invited neighbors to participate in our Neighborhood Cleanup on Saturday, Oct. 15th. He also spoke about local physical improvements to the neighborhood. From the floor, the issue of dead branches and trees was raised. A local tree steward may come and help us identify trees needing pruning. The public works budget needs to be raised, so that they can address these issues. But in the meanwhile, neighbors should report dangerous limbs and branches so that the City is liable if/when our property is damaged by their trees.
  12. Councilman Parker Agelasto updated us on regional issues. He also credited Parke Richeson of Maymont Park with helping to obtain 18 scholarships for elementary students at John B. Cary for park programming over the summer.

Meeting adjourned at 8:24pm