February 2017
In This Issue
Parker Agelasto
5th District Councilmember

Dr. Patrick Sapani
5th District School Board Representative 

Amy Robins
5th District Liaison 


Monday, February 13th
City Council Meeting
6:00 p.m.

Monday, February 27th
City Council Meeting
6:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 23rd  
5th District Meeting
Patrick Henry School
6:30 p.m.

Calendar for Committees
Virginia General Assembly 

The General Assembly convened on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 for a short session. 

You can track Senate and House bills through the Virginia General Assembly website.  
 Richmond Public Schools

Richmond Public Schools online application for preschool begins February 1, 2017. Children eligible to enroll in preschool must be three or four-years old by September 30, 2017. For more information please call 804-254-6182. 

Tax Relief for the Elderly & Disabled Program
The real estate tax exemption program for the elderly and permanently disabled has been simplified. The tax exemption amount for which the elderly or disabled property owner is qualified will be based solely on the income of the property owner and others living in the household. 

Links for more information:
The filing Deadline is Friday, March 31, 2017. 
Public Comment: VCU Pump 
House Survey
Joseph Costello is  graduate student at VCU in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning program. He is working with the City of Richmond's Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities to create a plan for Pump House Park and the historic Pump House.  

He is asking for public feedback for his project through a quick survey. 

Citizen's Police Academy
 Richmond Pets

Residents are required to register their dogs and cats with the Richmond Animal Care and Control. An application form is available for download on the City's website

The cost is $10 per animal per year.  Funding from the licenses goes to support the shelter and services. 

For those interested in raising chickens, the RACC is also responsible for these permits. More information can be found in a brochure about the program.
Food donations make up a critical foundation of Feedmore's feeding efforts. To help ensure that food is available when and where it is most needed, FeedMore must obtain as much food as possible at little to no cost. This takes the contributions of individuals, groups, and food industry donors, who  host food drives , provide food in  local drop boxes , and  donate products  for distribution. More Information...
Monument Ave 10K Sign Up

RVA's signature running event takes place Saturday, April 1, 2017.  Registration costs $32 for adults through December 31 then increases on January 1, February 1, and March 1.
Enjoy block after block of great local music and spirit groups. Revel in the crazy costumes, or dress up yourself. Raise money for VCU Massey Cancer Center and Kids Run RVA! Celebrate the new season, and show off your community pride! 

Pat Asch Fellowship for Social Justice
This coveted  Fellowship was created in memory of former YWCA Richmond executive director Patricia Morris "Pat" Asch, to grant a woman of at least 50 years of age with up to $17,500 to continue her pursuit of social advocacy later in life. Women of this age residing or working in Richmond City, Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, Goochland or Powhatan County are eligible to apply. Please CLICK HERE to learn more. All applicaiton materials must be recieved no later than 5:00 p.m., February 15, 2017. 
Winter Heating Safety

Winter Heating Safety
A big blast of cold air is coming to RVA next week and the Fire Department has some timely reminders in their latest bulletin. 
  • Have your furnace inspected and serviced by a qualified technician.
  • Chimneys and vents should be cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional once a year if used. 
  • Have a covered metal container ready to use to dispose of cooled ashes from the fireplace or woodstove. 
  • Ensure children stay at least 3 feet away from the fireplace, woodstove or space heater. 
  • Portable electric space heaters should be plugged directly into an electrical receptacle. They should also be placed at least three feet from anything that can burn. 
  • Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector to make sure each is working properly.
Also, in winter it is very important to know Carbon Monoxide Safety tips. Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as wood, 
coal, natural gas, propane, and oil) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.

Disaster Survivor Day

Graffiti Removal

Graffiti, unfortunately, is a common expensive urban crime that blights property and neighborhoods.  If you see graffiti on public property, call 3-1-1 OR use SeeClickFix and report it. 

If graffiti is on your property and visible from a public right-of-way, such as street, sidewalk, or alley, the city will remove the graffiti free of charge in the next fiscal year starting July 1, 2017. Please fill out the  Consent to Enter and Release of Liability Agreement form. 

Several communities are working with police to install extra cameras and organizing graffiti removal with volunteers. Please see your local NextDoor.com postings. 

Richmond's Bicycle Master Plan

The City of Richmond's first ever Bicycle Master Plan is now complete. There was extensive public comment with nearly 3,000 responses to the online survey and several hundred comment and markups made with the online mapping tool. 

CLICK HERE to view the Richmond Bicycle Master Plan. 
Granicus Legistar Tracking System
The Richmond City Clerk's Office has completed its transition to the Granicus Legistar system making access to meeting agendas and information more available. For the first time, citizens can see a centralized calendar of public meetings (please note that not all 72 Boards and Commissions have been set up at this time) that allows for easy navigation between agendas for the Planning Commission, Urban Design Committee, Public Arts Commission, as well as City Council formal and informal sessions and standing committees.

A citizen can now search the content of an ordinance or resolution or other paper and see the complete history of when and where the issue has been on an agenda and the minutes of the particular meeting. Likewise, a citizen can now access more of the supporting documentation such as site plans and letters of support/opposition to particular zoning matters. 

VCU's Master Plan

On Monday, December 12, 2016 neighborhood liaisons met with Virginia Commonwealth University planners to learn about the beginning phases of the new VCU Master Plan. It is anticipated that a consultant will be hired in Spring 2017 to assist in the master planning process, which should launch in Summer 2017.
Anyone who would like updates can sign up by emailing masterplan@vcu.edu
Supreme Court of Virginia: Self-Help

If you have ever found yourself in need of legal advice or self-help support, the Supreme Court of Virginia has launched the website Virginia Judicial System Court Self-Help Resources for Self-Represented Litigants. There is significant information about Legal Aid, law libraries, forms, and databases for Circuit Court and General District Court cases.

Reporting Neighborhood Issues

There are multiple ways that you can report neighborhood issues that you need us to address. 

1. You can call the city's Customer Service line at 3-1-1

2. You can log on and use 
SeeClickFix  to report issues such as potholes, non-functioning lights, bulk pick up requests, etc. 
3. You can also log in to the 
RVAOne to report more serious needs (or again, call my office).

4. You can call my office (804-646-5724) and speak to either me or my liaison, Amy.

5. You can email me AND my liaison at the emails listed above. 


I encourage you to share this information with neighbors. However, if you know someone who would like to receive these e-mail updates via U.S. Postal  Service , please contact Amy Robins and provide the recipient's name and address.

Dear Neighbors,

The new year has started with plenty of excitement and activity. I am delighted to welcome Mayor Levar Stoney and four new members of City Council, Andreas Addison, Kim Gray, Kristen Larson, and Mike Jones, to City Hall. There is new energy that shall help to move Richmond forward in a positive direction.

A major component of this transformation is the execution of bus rapid transit and a new citywide transit plan. Thank you to those that have previously participated in the review of this important change to GRTC bus service. If you have not submitted feedback, we will be hosting two additional meetings in March (see below). At the highest level, the Richmond Transit Network Plan is exciting for the 5th District and increases high frequency public transportation for our residents and visitors. Route 4 will serve Carytown/Uptown/VCU to downtown on Main/Ellwood and Cary Streets every 15 minute. Similarly, Route 1 on Hull Street from Southside Plaza to downtown will also operate every 15 minutes. Semmes Avenue, Forest Hill Avenue, Midlothian Turnpike, Westover Hills Boulevard, Belt Boulevard, as well as Route 10 will operate every 30 minutes while the Route 65 in Randolph/Maymont will operate every 1 hour. At the neighborhood level, I encourage bus riders to evaluate the proposal and voice your feedback soon if you feel there should be a change to the proposed fixed route.

Meanwhile, City Council is preparing to enter the biennial budget review for FY18 and FY19. This will be a critical, two-year look at the City's finances, its growth in revenues and appropriation of limited resources. I am assured that my colleagues share our values that Richmond must focus on accurate and timely financial reporting, improvement of basic core services such as leaf collection and pothole repair, as well as investments in public safety, public education, and infrastructure. This biennial budget will also highlight changes that City Council has required the Administration to provide in their presentation of the budget and departmental expenses. This will provide better evaluation and transparency on the use of taxpayer funds. As I prepare for this important task, please do not hesitate to contact me with your budget priorities.


Parker C. Agelasto
5th District Councilman
Black History Month Events Around Richmond
The Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia

February 23, 2017 - A history professor at Virginia Tech and the author of "Tell the Court I Love My Wife: Race, Marriage, and Law-An American History," Dr. Wallenstein will discuss the landmark civil rights decision Loving v. Virginia. 6 p.m.; Free. Donations welcome.  Register  here .

African Dance & Drum Workshops * Sunday, February 12, 2017 -  Join Elegba Folklore Society's African dancers and drummers in two special workshops, Feel the Beat, on Sunday, February 12, in the Dominion Arts Center, 600 E. Grace Street, downtown in Richmond, Virginia. Tickets are $5 for each session.  

The following events are with Virginia Commonwealth University
Hump Day Dialogue on "The Public Consumption of Black Women's Bodies and Space," with Yolanda Avent, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
Date:  Feb. 1
Time:  Noon-2 p.m.
Location: Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, University Student Commons, room 215 

Sponsor: Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

Racial Disproportionality, School Discipline and Future Directions: A Community Conversation
Date:  Feb. 6
Time:  4-5:30 p.m. symposium;  5:30-6:30 p.m. reception;  4-7 p.m. art installation
Location: University Student Commons Theater
Sponsor: VCU School of Education

15th Annual VCU Library Black History Month Lecture Series with Colson  Whitehead, author of "The Underground Railroad"
Date:  Feb. 9
Time:  7-9 p.m. (doors open at  6:30 p.m.)
Location: James Branch Cabell Library, Lecture Hall (Room 303)
Sponsor: VCU Libraries
To register, visit  www.library.vcu.edu/about/events/black-history-month/black-history-month-lecture-2017.html

Screening of Ava DuVernay's film "13th," which explores the connections between American incarceration and slavery
Date:  Feb 18
Time:  2:30 p.m.
Location: MCALC 1107

American political activist, academic scholar and author Angela Davis
Date:  Feb. 24
Time:  5-6 p.m.
Location: University Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballroom
Sponsors: Afrikana Film Festival and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
Note:  Tickets will be required to attend this event.  Tickets will be made available to the general public on Feb. 18. 

The following events are free with museum admission:

Saturday, February 4th:
11:00AM - Elijah Coles-Brown reenacting Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech
1:00PM - Elijah Coles-Brown reenacting a speech by Frederick Douglass

Saturday, February 11th:
11:00AM - VCU musicians present a jazz performance
1:00PM - VCU musicians present a jazz performance
3:00PM - VCU musicians present a jazz performance

Saturday, February 18th:
11:00AM - An interactive dance performance with Ezibu Muntu African Dance and Cultural Foundation
1:00PM - An interactive dance performance with Ezibu Muntu African Dance and Cultural Foundation

Saturday, February 25th:
11:00AM - The Uncle Devin Show presents a dynamic performance highlighting the history of percussion
1:00PM - The Uncle Devin Show presents a dynamic performance highlighting the history of percussion

This is not an exhaustive list of all of the events happening through February. 

Richmond Environmental Film Festival

On February 6 through 12, 2017, the  Enrichmond Foundation , the  Sierra Club - Falls of the James Group , the  Capital Region Land Conservancy  and  Viridiant  will partner to present the 7th Annual RVA Environmental Film Festival. In 2017, the festival will take place at several locations including the  University of Richmond VCU , area libraries,  Visual Arts Center The Byrd Theatre  and  The Science Museum of Virginia . The week long event will showcase local and national films selected to raise awareness of environmental issues relevant to the Richmond region, our nation, and our planet. For more information....
Public Comment: Public Art Commission

Department of Public Utilities: New Bill Design
Coming soon, your utility bill will look a little different. These changes will be implemented to enhance your bill, making it easier to read and understand. 

  1. Account information -- Account number, bill date, next date your meter will be read, next bill date
  2. Payment due date - Your bill is due on or before due date
  3. Bill Summary - Previous balance, payments received, balance forward, current charges, total charges due
  4. Stormwater Details - Current stormwater charges. More details on back of bill.
  5. Water/Wastewater Details - Current water and wastewater charges. More details on back of bill.
  6. Water Historical Usage -- Water usage from last year, last month, current usage and number of days in billing period
  7. Gas Details -- Current gas charges. More details on back.
  8. Gas Historical Usage -- Gas usage from last year, last month, current usage and number of days in billing period.
  9. Remittance Stub -- Part you detach and mail back with your payment.

Please visit Richmond DPU's blog for more information on their services. 

Public Comment: Richmond's Draft Transit Network Plan
Based on input from the public and associated stakeholders, the Richmond Transit Network Plan study team, in close collaboration with GRTC Transit System, developed a draft recommended bus route network that redesigns the transit service to provide higher frequency service in areas with more activity and coverage service in areas that are less populated. The City has been hosting a series of public meetings and other outreach efforts to educate the public on the recommended bus network and to get feedback from the community. Public feedback and comments will help them refine the Network Plan. The City expects to implement changes to the bus routes later in 2017.  

You can still provide feedback via an online survey that will be active throughout the end of June 2017. 

GRTC will be meeting with all of the districts throughout the city to discuss the details of where the bus stops should be along the new bus routes. The 5th District Office has set up the following meetings:

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 6pm-8pm 
    Round House in Byrd Park
    Intersection of Lakeview & Davis
  • Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 6pm-8pm
    Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist
    3700 Midlothian Turnpike 
Byrd Theatre Improvements
Built in 1928, the 1300-seat theatre is on the State & National Historic landmark lists. In 2017, Theatre-goers will see some upgrades. The movie prices have gone up from $1.99 to $4 per ticket with credit cards being an option of payment. That increase will help with the multi phase seat renovation starting in the Spring. The first phase will add a wheel chair platform making the theatre ADA complaint for the first time. 
For a listing up upcoming films CLICK HERE

Richmond Food Cooperative

  The Richmond Food Co-op will be a member-owned full service grocery store providing affordable, local, sustainable and healthy food options. They will be opening their store at 1200 Westover Hills Boulevard in Summer 2017. 

Richmond Kickers

The Richmond Kickers 2017 schedule has been announcedThey will play their 25th Anniversary season in the 15-team Eastern Conference. 
Pulse Corridor Plan

After being extended to January 9th, the public review and comment period for the Pulse Corridor Plan is now closed. The city hopes that the extra time allowed for a more thorough review of the draft document to be represent the community's vision. 

If you would like additional information or have any questions and comments, please send them to:
5th District Community Service Highlights

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day the community and RVA Clean Sweep volunteers joined in on Groundwork RVA's tree planting and trash cleanup event. Eight trees were planted along Crutchfield and 20+ bags of litter were collected from the surrounding area. 

Keep Virginia Beautiful hosted it's 3rd Annual Shiver in the River event last Saturday. The event starts with a community cleanup and included a 5K walk/run and a River Jump to help raise funds for the non-profit.

Do you have a community service event in the 5th District that deserves to be highlighted on social media or within this e-newsletter? Please email Amy Robins the 5th District Liaison at amy.robins@richmondgov.com 
City of Richmond's Master Plan 
The Dept. of Planning and Development Review is going to launch a 2-year process in the first quarter of 2017 to update the citywide Master Plan. The Master Plan (also known as the Comprehensive Plan) establishes a vision for the growth of the entire 62.5-square-miles of the City and outlines place-based policy recommendations to guide the physical development of the City. The Master Plan is the document that guides the decisions of the City Planning Commission, which oversees changes to the zoning ordinance, reviews the Capital Improvement Budget, and reviews public projects.
Since the last Master Plan was developed in 2001, Richmond has added 30,000 new residents and the way we live, work, and shop has changed significantly. The new Master Plan will be developed with extensive public outreach. Later this winter or early Spring, PDR will launch a Master Plan website and social media, collect existing conditions data, and establish an Advisory Team to guide the development of the plan. To add your name to the Master Plan contact list, contact Maritza Pechin at maritza.pechin@richmondgov.com or 804-646-6348.

Leaf Collection Program Schedule

Vacuum leaf collection is currently happening throughout the 5th District. This program is weather dependent and delays have occur. The no parking signs for collection are posted 48 hours in advance. The online schedule will be updated every two weeks moving forward. 

City of Richmond Vacuum Leaf Collection
City of Richmond Vacuum Leaf Collection

Get Involved in your Neighborhood Association

Byrd Park Round House  
621 Westover Road
Saturday, February 11th
Unity Church
800 Blanton Ave.
2nd Tuesday of each month
Facebook (closed group)
Facebook (closed group)
Koinonia Christian Church
3600 McRand St.
1st Monday of the month

208 N. Strawberry St. 
Monday, February 6th

Stone Barn at Maymont Park
3rd Monday of every other month
(except summer months)
Temple Beth El
3300 Grove Ave

St. Andrew's Church  
236 S. Laurel Street
4th Tuesday of each month  
Facebook (closed group)

Randolph Community Center
1415 Grayland Ave
Monday, March 20th
3rd Monday - Odd Months
Every of other 4th Tuesday
Retreat Hospital Conference Room
2621 Grove Ave

Facebook (closed group)

March 2017 Date/Time: TBD
Location: TBD
Facebook (closed group)

Location: TBD
1st Tuesday of every month

Woodland Heights Baptist Church
611 W. 31st
February 21st

Don't see your neighborhood? Please look HERE  to see if you have a formal civic group or if you would like to formalize your group.

Talk with your neighbors on Nextdoor.com about starting one. 
Connect with Neighbors on Nextdoor.com
Nextdoor is FREE. Please sign up and connect to your neighbors. Nextdoor does ask for confirmation that you live in the neighborhood. You can do this with the post card option if it feel safer. Click HERE to sign up.