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In a 2008 data review by University of Maryland and University of Alberta, researchers found that “sports subsidies cannot be justified on the grounds of local economic development.” In addition, a 2012 Bloomberg News analysis found that taxpayers have lost $4 billion on such subsidies since the mid-1980s. Link

The same is true for part of Main Street several blocks before and after the 17th Street Farmers’ Market. Trash blowing along the sidewalks and accumulated in gutters gave an almost abandoned air to the area. How hard would it be for business owners to keep the sidewalks in front of their establishments a little cleaner? Link

There are now other responsible proposals on the table with financial plans. As the time draws nigh for decision-making, we hope that Richmond City Council can appoint an independent ombudsman to study objectively the competing financial ideas and move us forward: It’s time for Plan B. Link

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.

–Alice Walker

For years neighbors told CBS 6 tall trees and high grass covered an unfinished alleyway near Spings Rd. They said the city recently finally cut everything down but left the trash that had been piling up. Link

The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.

–Thomas Jefferson

 

This is a letter from city watchdog Charles Pool to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 6:15 PM
Subject: 1650 Overbrook two-story addition built in 1956

Dear Julie,

I very much appreciated the generous time that your helpful staff spent with me sharing Louis Salomonsky’s application for historic tax credits for the project at 1650 Overbrook Road.  As I mentioned, because Salomonsky also submitted the nomination report for the Hermitage Road Warehouse District, it is important for DHR to check and verify the documentation regarding the construction date for the two-story addition to 1650 Overbrook Road.

As it turns out, the information provided by Salomonsky and his consultant is not accurate.   While the report prepared by Salomonsky’s consultant indicated that the two-story addition to 1650 Overbrook Road was built “ca: 1962,”  the two story addition was actually constructed in 1956, during the stated period of significance for the historic district.

Attached to this e-mail, please find a copy of the building permit –  documentation that the two-story addition to the Export Leaf building was built in 1956.  The 1956 building permit number 39931-A [Alteration] is found on Reel No. 310, Accession No. 37533, in the City of Richmond records at the Library of Virginia.

Before the historic district gains final approval by the National Parks Service, I request that the National Parks Service and the Department of Historic Resources make the corrections that the two-story addition to the Export Leaf building at 1650 Overbrook was constructed in 1956, during the period of significance of the district and that the two-story addition to the Export Leaf building at 1650 Overbrook contributes to the Hermitage Road Warehouse District.

Now that it is documented that the addition was constructed during the historic district’s period of significance,  I urge the DHR and the NPS to not allow the applicant to receive historic tax credits if he damages the historic significance of this two-story addition at 1650 Overbrook Road by the plan to cut over forty new window and door apertures in the addition, while converting the building from a two to a three story structure.  I also urge the DHR and the NPS to not allow the applicant to receive historic tax credits if he makes permanent holes in the roof of the original building at 1650 Overbrook.  This would compromise the integrity of the building by the removal of significant historic fabric and by unnecessarily opening the interior of the historic building to damage from snow, rain, wind and sleet.

In the next week, I plan to send DHR and NPS a more detailed report on this, but I wanted you to receive a copy of the building permit for the two-story addition as soon as possible.  I understand that the Hermitage Road Warehouse District and the historic tax credit application for 1650 Overbrook Road are currently under review.

Thank you again for the helpful cooperation of the very talented staff of your department.

Sincerely,

Charles

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The rental inspections would apply in special districts created by the city with a high volume of renters and a risk of blight. As envisioned, the program would focus on student-heavy historic neighborhoods such as the Fan District, Oregon Hill, Jackson Ward and Carver, but the exact districts would be drawn later by city officials. Link

The city of Richmond has agreed to pay $12,000 to settle alleged violations of Clean Water Act regulations that protect waterways from polluted stormwater runoff. Link

“All this resolution asks the EDA to do is to find out what it would take to consolidate the property known as the Loving pieces so we have a better understanding of what it will take to develop the land,” Baliles said.

But the original wording of his resolution went a bit further. The text states that the council believes it’s in the “best interest” of the city for the development authority to “make efforts to acquire the land in question” and develop it for commercial enterprise. Link

Also, Why is a Richmond City Councilman playing Donald Trump?