Maymont Civic League Meeting

Maymont Westover Building


Information sent out ahead of the meeting via email:

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

Select topics for the meeting:

Speed limits and what we can do 


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