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Northside Councilman Chris Hilbert announces 2020 schedule of public meetings

Richmond City Councilman for the 3rd (Northside) voter district, Chris Hilbert, announced this week the schedule of public meetings for 2020. Dates, times, and locations are all subject to change.

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Richmond City Councilman for the 3rd (Northside) voter district, Chris Hilbert, announced this week the schedule of public meetings for 2020. Dates, times, and locations are all subject to change.

 Thursday, January 23, 2020; 6:00-7:30 p.m.         
Richmond Public Library – North Avenue Branch
2901 North Avenue; Richmond, Virginia

Thursday, February 27, 2020; 6:00-7:30 p.m.            
Richmond Public Library – Ginter Park Branch
1200 Westbrook Avenue, Richmond, Virginia

Thursday, March 26, 2020; 6:00-7:30 p.m.                  
Richmond Public Library – North Avenue Branch
2901 North Avenue; Richmond, Virginia

Thursday, April 23, 2020; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Richmond Public Library – Ginter Park Branch
1200 Westbrook Avenue, Richmond, Virginia

Thursday, May 28, 2020; 6:00-7:30 p.m.                     
Richmond Department of Fire and Emergency Services – Fire Station 14
2932 Hawthorne Avenue; Richmond, Virginia

Thursday, June 25, 2020; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Virginia Union University – Ellison Hall, Wall Auditorium
1500 Lombardy Avenue; Richmond, Virginia

Thursday, July 23, 2020; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Virginia Union University – Ellison Hall, Wall Auditorium
1500 Lombardy Avenue; Richmond, Virginia

Thursday, August 27, 2020; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Richmond Department of Fire and Emergency Services – Fire Station 14
2932 Hawthorne Avenue; Richmond, Virginia

Thursday, September 24, 2020; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Richmond Public Library – North Avenue Branch
2901 North Avenue; Richmond, Virginia

Thursday, October 22, 2020; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Richmond Public Library – Ginter Park Branch
1200 Westbrook Avenue, Richmond, Virginia

November/December Joint Meeting TBA

For more information, contact Councilmember Hilbert’s office at 804.646.6055 or [email protected].

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Henrico endorses proposed $2.3 billion GreenCity ‘ecodistrict’ development at Parham, I-95, I-295

The $2.3 billion ‘ecodistrict’ is planned around former Best Products headquarters; the project would generate nearly 2.3 million square feet of office and retail space, 2,400 housing units, 2 hotels, a 17,000-seat arena at no financial risk to taxpayers.

RVAHub Staff

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Henrico County officials are endorsing a developer’s vision for GreenCity, a $2.3 billion private, mixed-use “ecodistrict” development that would promote economic development and environmental sustainability as well as include a 17,000-seat arena for major concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment.

Officials with Henrico and GreenCity LLC announced plans for the development today at the county-owned former headquarters of Best Products, which is northeast of East Parham Road’s interchange with Interstate 95 and where the 250-acre community would extend north to Interstate 295.

“We are thrilled to endorse this bold, visionary opportunity as it is in sync with everything that Henrico County stands for and has been working hard to achieve – inclusion, resiliency, mobility, innovation, and job growth,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “We’re talking about a new kind of community that is intricately planned, inclusive for all, and thoughtfully designed to be not only livable but also to set new standards for environmental sustainability. GreenCity will be a community that preserves, embraces, and showcases open space, and it will drive economic development and tourism in new and exciting ways while remaining respectful to county taxpayers. The arena will put this region back on the entertainment map. It also will provide tremendous benefits to our county while creating no financial risk to our taxpayers.”

Envisioned as an “ecodistrict,” GreenCity would be designed around principles that promote environmental sustainability, civic engagement, and inclusion. The development would integrate extensive parks, trails, and open spaces among about 2 million square feet of office space, 280,000 square feet of retail space, 2,400 housing units, two hotels, and a $250 million arena.

The arena is planned to be the greenest arena venue in North America and would accommodate up to 17,000 patrons in flexible seating configurations to accommodate touring concerts, family shows, and potentially new sports teams, including ECHL Hockey and G-League Basketball.

The former Best Products headquarters, including its iconic Art-Deco eagle statues, would be renovated and repurposed to Living Building Challenge standards, which features the world’s highest level of sustainability design and operations. “Living buildings” provide net-positive energy and water, and produce zero waste.

The developers anticipate a formal submission of plans and an application for rezoning to the UMU, or urban mixed-use, classification in early 2021.

In anticipation of those filings, the Board of Supervisors will consider at its Jan. 26 regular meeting a proposed transfer of the Best Products site to the county’s Economic Development Authority (EDA). The EDA anticipates entering into an agreement to convey the land to the developers pending approval of the rezoning. The developers would then finalize the purchase of the land at $6.2 million – the amount Henrico paid when it bought the property in 2011.

GreenCity would seek the creation of a community development authority, or CDA, to finance the construction of the arena through a sale of bonds. Under the financing model, certain taxes generated onsite by the GreenCity development would be used to make debt payments over a period of 30 years. Once the debt is retired, all taxes generated by the development – an annual amount estimated at more than $20 million – would go to the county’s general fund.

Henrico officials expect to conduct a detailed review of the financial projections as part of its due diligence of the proposal.

“In Henrico, we have extensive experience with CDAs and understand how they can help deliver large-scale development projects that are rich with amenities and potentially transformative for the community,” Vithoulkas said. “CDAs have been used successfully in the development of Short Pump Town Center, White Oak Village, and Reynolds Crossing. Each of these projects either met or exceeded its revenue targets and now makes significant tax contributions that help us fund schools, public safety, and other core services.”

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Crime

New report says legal state marijuana sales could overtake illegal trade by year four

Virginia’s commercial marijuana market could yield between $30 million to $60 million in tax revenue in the first year, according to a new report by the state’s legislative watchdog agency.

Capital News Service

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By Sam Fowler

Virginia’s commercial marijuana market could yield between $30 million to $60 million in tax revenue in the first year, according to a new report by the state’s legislative watchdog agency.

The Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission released a report this month that explores how the commonwealth could legalize marijuana. The agency, however, did not give its take on legalization. Shortly after the report was released Gov. Ralph Northam announced that “it’s time to legalize marijuana in Virginia.”

The state’s tax revenue could grow to between $150 million to more than $300 million by the fifth year of sales, according to JLARC. The revenue depends on the tax and demand of marijuana products.

 Most states with commercial marijuana markets tax the product between 20%-30% percent of the retail sales value, JLARC said. Colorado, one of the most mature and successful U.S. marijuana markets, currently has a tax rate close to 30%, showing that while the tax may be high, the market could still be successful, said Justin Brown, senior associate director at JLARC.

“But in reality, there’s no magic rate that you have to use, and I think that’s one thing that the other states’ experience shows,” Brown said.

Virginia decriminalized marijuana possession earlier this year. The substance is still not legal, but possessing up to an ounce results in a $25 civil penalty and no jail time. In the past, possessing up to half an ounce could lead to a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.

If the Old Dominion makes marijuana legal, it will follow in the footsteps of 15 states.

The legal marijuana market should overtake the illegal market in marijuana sales by the fourth year of legalization, JLARC said. The legal market could likely have two-thirds of sales by the fifth year of legalization. JLARC looked at the reported use rates compared to the use rates of other states to determine this figure, Brown said.

“In the first year the minority of sales will be through the legal commercial market,” Brown said. “But then over time, particularly if supply and demand works out, you’ll capture at least the majority of the full market through the legal market.”

JLARC said that if the General Assembly legalizes marijuana, the total sales tax would come out to around 25%-30%. This figure also came from the analysis of other states and how they taxed marijuana.

The industry also could create over several years between 11,000 to more than 18,000 jobs, JLARC said. Most positions would pay below Virginia’s median wage.

The revenue would cover the cost of establishing a market by year three, according to JLARC.

Northam said in a press release last week that his administration is working with lawmakers to finalize related legislation in preparation for the upcoming Virginia General Assembly session, which starts Jan. 13.

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Government

City Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule

RVAHub is not a city-run production but just like most of the city services we’ll be taking a break and be back on Monday.

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City of Richmond government offices, including City Hall, will be closing at noon on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 and will remain closed Thursday, November 26, through Friday, November 27, 2020 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. City offices will reopen at regular business hours on Monday, November 30, 2020.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities’ administrative offices will operate from 8 a.m. until Noon on Wednesday. All city community centers will operate from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday and will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Richmond Animal Care and Control is currently only available by appointment and will be closed Thursday and Friday. All city libraries will be closed Thursday and Friday. All library branches will resume normal scheduling on Saturday.

This closing will also affect the city’s Solid Waste Management Division. Refuse collection will take place on Wednesday off Thursday and Friday and resume on Saturday, November 28, 2020 at regular schedule from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The East Richmond Road Convenience Center will be closed Thursday and Friday and resume on Saturday, November 28, 2020 on a regular schedule from, 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

For more information on city services and schedules, please visit RichmondGov.com.

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