Reedy Creek Coalition calling for action against proposed stream restoration plan

With Ordinance Number 2016-217 being introduced opposition to the plan increases pressure.

Photo: Reedy Creek Coalition

The Reedy Creek Coalition sent out the following email outlining their opposition to current plans involving Reedy Creek. More details on their opposition can be found on the Reedy Creek Coalition website.

PROPOSED REEDY CREEK RELOCATION & DEFORESTATION UPDATE

NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!!

Ordinance Number 2016-217 was introduced at the September 12, 2016 City Council meeting seeking approval for the proposed Reedy Creek relocation project.  The proposal involves digging completely new channels for Reedy Creek and Crooked Branch, a tributary located in the middle of Crooked Branch Ravine Park.  The plan calls for the complete deforestation of 7.4 acres of some of the best stream-side habitat in Richmond which would literally tear the heart out of a neighborhood treasure.  424 large trees would be destroyed as well as thousands of smaller trees and shrubs that have grown up naturally over the last several decades.  This is a highly diverse forest that supports an array of wildlife and provides a remarkable, peaceful greenspace.

In addition to deforestation of public lands:

  • The proposed relocation will NOT treat the causes of the eroding banks and poor water quality.  Polluted runoff from upstream is the culprit.
  • The proposed relocation is NOT part of any comprehensive planto restore Reedy Creek.
  • The site for relocation was selected for convenience because the city owns the property and does not have to get easements.  The site was not selected based on science and best environmental practices.
  • The proposed project is high-risk because it is located immediately below a long concrete channel that carries massive volumes of polluted runoff.
  • At a taxpayer cost of $1.3 million (50% Richmond/50% state), the proposed project will have little benefit for the James River or Chesapeake Bay.
  • The proposed project will actually degrade water quality in Reedy Creek and Crooked Branch for years.  The loss of tree canopy will lower dissolved oxygen levels and encourage growth of nuisance algae.
  • The city has a poor record of maintenance on related projects (dead trees and damaged banks along Albro Creek, no routine removal of polluted sediment from Forest Hill Lake as promised by City staff 7 years ago).
  • Two new archeological sites were discovered recently in the proposed project area.  Historical and cultural resources would be permanently destroyed and/or damaged.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Planning Commission

The Planning Commission has to review and approve the project before it goes to a City Council vote.

  • Write an email to the Planning Commission and tell them you oppose the project and why.  (See contact table on our website.)
  • Attend the Planning Commission meeting on Monday, September 19 (1:30 pm) and sign up to speak against the project.

2. City Council

Although we hope a vote by City Council will be delayed, they could vote as early as the next meeting on Monday, September 26.

  • Write an email to the City Councilor from your District stating your opposition to the project and why.  It would also be useful to “cc” your District liaison and the other City Council members.
  • Attend the City Council meeting on September 26 and sign up to speak against the project by calling the Office of the Clerk at 804-646-7955.

3. Candidates for Mayor and City Council

  • Attend candidate forums, ask questions, know where the candidates stand on the proposed Reedy Creek project.  This project has city-wide interest because it demonstrates a lack of transparency, a lack of citizen input, and a lack of sound, long-term planning.

4. Neighbors and Friends

  • Inform your neighbors and friends and encourage them to take action to help stop this poorly selected project.  Use social media to engage those that care about our dwindling natural resources.

Visit the Reedy Creek Coalition website for email addresses, letter templates, meeting details, and further explanation of the many reasons to oppose this destructive and wasteful project: https://reedycreekcoalition.org/stop-the-stream-restoration-2/

About Richard Hayes 1170 Articles
Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game and/or beer.

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