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The Final Richmond 300 : A Guide for Growth Master Plan, Executive Summary, and Supporting Reports can be downloaded as a high-resolution or low-resolution PDFs. Links below to documents that are larger than 8MB take you to We Transfer to download the PDF.
Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth Executive Summary
16-page Executive Summary
Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth Master Plan
256-page Master Plan
Includes the Insights Report, CURA Analysis Reports (demographics, land use, market analysis, projections, and urban design), and the Draft Parking Study Report - Supporting Reports PDF (47 MB)
Interactive Future Land Use Map
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PDR wanted to share with you some concerns that have been raised regarding Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth and our responses to these concerns. We hope to clear up any misunderstandings you may have regarding the Plan; and if you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to Richmond300@richmondgov.com or (804) 646-6348.
Comment: Once Richmond 300 is adopted everything in the Plan will be implemented immediately and everything in the City will change.
Response: No, Richmond 300 is a long-range plan that provides guidance for how the City should manage growth over the next 20 years. This long-range vision will take years to implement. Chapter 7: Implementation of Richmond 300 includes 6 Big Moves for the City to advance over the next five years. After Richmond 300 is adopted by the City Planning Commission and City Council, the City will commence to implement strategies outlined in the Plan by allocating staff resources and City budget accordingly. Local businesses, the development community, non-profits, and the public may also use Richmond 300 to make decisions on how and where they want to grow, invest, live, play, and work in Richmond.
Comment: Once Richmond 300 is adopted there will be no more public engagement around planning, development, and growth management issues. Response: This is simply untrue. PDR believes active public engagement in shaping and guiding development and land use decisions is essential in realizing the vision outlined in Richmond 300. Goal 5 of the plan outlines many strategies related to expanding community engagement in Richmond. Furthermore, there are many laws related to public notice that PDR must follow.
Comment: Once Richmond 300 is adopted it can never be amended.
Response: False. The Master Plan can be amended. PDR, the City Planning Commission, or Council can call for an amendment and PDR will develop the amendment with community engagement and present it to the City Planning Commission and Council for adoption. Past amendments to the Master Plan include the Riverfront Plan, the VUU/Chamberlayne Plan, and the Pulse Corridor Plan. The Implementation Chapter and Goal 5 of Richmond 300 also call for PDR to create Annual Reports to track progress on implementation of the Master Plan and to update the plan every 5 years.
Comment: If Richmond 300 is passed, my zoning district will change.
Response: False. After Richmond 300 is passed, all zoning districts will remain the same. Zoning districts change with a zoning amendment, which must be adopted by City Council. Zoning changes are made with extensive community engagement. A “Big Move” identified in Richmond 300 is to re-write the Zoning Ordinance (pp. 184 186). The re-write of the Zoning Ordinance is a three to five year process that will include, and demand, extensive community engagement.
Comment: Neighborhood Mixed-Use is a not a residential category.
Response: False. The Neighborhood Mixed-Use future land use category is applied to areas that are predominantly residential. “Existing or new highly walkable urban neighborhoods that are predominantly residential with a small, but critical, percentage of parcels providing retail, office, personal service, and institutional uses.” (p. 56)
Comment: The Future Land Use Category for my neighborhood
includes an intensity description with a range of building heights that means all the future buildings in my neighborhood will be the maximum height listed in the description.
Response: No, the range of intensity is intended to describe the range of heights that may be found in an area, just as we find throughout the city today. All buildings throughout an entire Future Land Use Category will not all be uniformly the maximum height allowed and none of the Future Land Use categories correspond to one single zoning district. For example, the Scott's Addition Future Land Use category in the Pulse Corridor Plan was Industrial Mixed-Use and Destination Mixed-Use. When Scott's Addition was rezoned in 2017, the neighborhood became 7 zoning districts to meet the vision of the Pulse Corridor Plan for that area. Today, buildings are not uniformly built to the maximum height allowed by zoning in each zoning district; but rather there is a variety of height throughout the city. PDR fully expects this variety in the built urban environment to continue. The exact location of where taller buildings may be allowed in the future will be determined through the rezoning process, which will be developed with extensive community participation.
Comment: If Richmond 300 is passed, a very tall building or inappropriate use will appear in my neighborhood tomorrow.
Response: No, any proposed project that does not meet the current zoning will need to go through the SUP process. If an SUP comes along, the applicant will have to work with staff and the community to make sure their project aligns with the intentions of Richmond 300 (the Future Land Use Map, the Nodes Map, the Future Connections Map, and strategies in the plan).
Comment: My property is shown as “under developed” in Figure 9. This means that the City is out to get my land.
Response: False. Figure 9 on p. 16 titled “Vacant Buildings and Vacant & Under Developed Land” illustrates the case that the city can already absorb a significant portion of future, expected population growth without drastic changes to existing neighborhood character, whether through new development on vacant parcels, or redevelopment of vacant buildings or “under-utilized” parcels in certain circumstances. The identification of under-utilized parcels, where the ratio of improved value to land value is less than 2.0 (i.e., a parcel with a land value of $50,000 and an improved value of less than $100,00) is for reference purposes only. There are no specific strategies or policies in the plan that tie directly to these identified parcels, which in the vast majority of cases are privately owned. Typically, these identified parcels are very large with a small amount of building footprint on them, or are in areas with high land values that would be appropriate for more dense development (such as Downtown). The Richmond 300 plan does not advocate for using eminent domain and there is no such connection between that and the identified “under-developed” parcels in Figure 9. The City of Richmond is of course able to purchase land from a willing seller at an agreed upon price to further specific goals, such as the creation of new public open space, but that would be done through a traditional property transfer.
Comment: The Plan shows a bridge/interchange on the Future Connections Maps, this means that a new infrastructure will be built, and the public will have no say in the matter.
Response: False. There are several new bridges/interchanges and improvements to bridges/interchanges proposed in Richmond 300. These are all long-range projects that will be developed in coordination with VDOT (where applicable), the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization, adjacent localities (where applicable), and the community-at-large. Many of these proposed connection improvements will require further study and planning.
Comment: If Richmond 300 is passed, Richmond’s historic neighborhoods will be at risk for demolition.
Response: False. Richmond 300 celebrates Richmond’s authenticity and the Plan upholds the preservation and enhancement of historic neighborhoods. The Plan includes many recommendations related to preserving and enhancing the authentic character of Richmond’s historic neighborhoods:
- Obj. 1.1.c Evaluate zoning districts in historical areas that were developed prior to the advent of zoning regulations to ensure new construction similar in form to the historical context is allowed. (p. 84)
- Goal 3: Historic Preservation Support growth that preserves the historical urban fabric and enhances understanding of Richmond's multi faceted past. (p. 91)
- Obj. 3.1: Preserve culturally, historically, and architecturally significant buildings, sites, structures, neighborhoods, cemeteries, and landscapes that contribute to Richmond's authenticity. (p. 93)
- Obj. 3.2 Reduce the demolition of historical buildings. (p. 95)
- Goal 4: Urban Design: Establish a distinctive city comprising architecturally significant buildings connected by a network of walkable urban streets and open spaces to support an engaging built environment. (p. 96)
- Obj. 4.1.a Develop zoning districts that support protect and enhance neighborhood character, especially in areas that are not protected by City Old & Historic Districts. (p. 100)
- Big Move: Re write the Zoning Ordinance Direct growth to appropriate areas while maintaining existing neighborhoods as well as creating new authentic neighborhoods adjacent to enhanced transit. (p. 184)
Beauty: A new Zoning Ordinance should include measures to preserve the authentic character of Richmond's older neighborhoods and to create new neighborhoods with design elements that create a distinctive city. These measures could include form-based elements such as massing and fenestration requirements, as well as open space and yard requirements to create a walkable, engaging built environment. (p. 185)
High Quality Places: Obj. 1.1 calls for rezoning the city in accordance with the Future Land Use Plan in order to establish a city of complete neighborhoods that have access to Nodes connected by major corridors in a gridded street network. Obj. 4.3 calls for reviewing the Zoning Ordinance to change open space requirements and definitions. Obj. 4.1 calls for various recommendations to create and preserve high quality, distinctive, and well designed neighborhoods and Nodes throughout the city. (p. 185)