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Mayor’s Shockoe baseball resolution passes city council

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)—Monday night brought out hundreds of citizens to city hall for public comment on Mayor Dwight Jones’ Shockoe Bottom baseball stadium proposal.

After five hours of discourse council members voted 6-3 in favor of the resolution, which only supports further negotiations on the Shockoe Bottom plan. Next the mayor works on a final proposal to present, likely in a month.

Voting against the resolution were Charles Samuels, Reva Trammell, and Parker Agelasto. Voting in favor were Ellen Robertson, Jonathan Baliles, Chris Hilbert, Kathy Graziano, Cynthia Newbille, and Michelle Mosby.

Revitalize RVA is the name for the entire proposal, which includes development of Shockoe Bottom and North Boulevard. The cost, not to exceed $79,625,000, includes a new baseball stadium; a Slavery and Freedom Heritage Site; private mixed use, commercial, retail, and residential development; and related public infrastructure improvements.

Resolution No. 2014-R29 can be read here in its entirety. 

Three council members Samuels, Newbille and Baliles introduced amendments to the resolution on Monday.

None of Samuels’ four amendments passed, which could be due– as he underscored –to the fact that his changes would delay the plan.

One was to include a new traffic study (after the mayor’s study came under fire). One was for an archaeological excavation before the project begins.

One was a call for a concise redevelopment plan for the Boulevard. The last was some type of contract that holds developers responsible and keeps taxpayers off the hook for extra charges, this was similar to Baliles, concerning performance guarantees from developers, which did pass.

His amendments were struck down, 4-5. In favor were Samuels, Hilbert, Agelasto, and Trammell. Against were Newbille, Robertson, Baliles,  Graziano, and Mosby.

Baliles introduced an amendment of financial guarantee. His amendment was to create a language that keeps tax payers from being stuck with the tab. His amendment was passed unanimously.

Baliles requested that amendments that put a level of responsibility on developers, with performance guarantees and personal bonds suggested. This passed unanimously.

Newbille’s proposed amendment requests firm financial commitment to pay for the slave heritage site, before council offers final approval to any other parts of the Revitalize RVA plan. This was passed unanimously.

Both sides were given one hour during the comment period and each person was allotted two minutes. The turnout was big enough to warrant an overflow room, after people were turned away at the door.

Hundreds followed along online, via the CBS 6 livestream and also on Twitter. You can read #RVACouncil to catch up on a long night of debate and comedy.

“Tonight’s vote was a vote to support our efforts to find ways to generate new tax revenue for our city, to create jobs and opportunity, and to honor our heritage,” Mayor Jones said after the vote in a press release, that thanks council members for their hard work over the past few months.

“Ultimately, I’m hoping that we can bring a final proposal forward that will generate willingness from all to embrace growth and to use culture as a bridge rather than a barrier,” he concluded.

32 comments

      • athynz

        So you find backroom deals, using loopholes to swing the vote for this thing a certain way, using a loophole in the law to avoid bringing this whole thing to a public vote, and blatant bribery to be democratic? Or is it that you find that sort of behavior okay because they are democrats? Fact is that this whole thing is hinky.

      • PCNews

        Love the little boys that pull pig tails and NEVER grow up or man up
        to make a rebuttal, argument or defense of the Politically Correct-Mess.

  • Adam

    Becky’s comments and Paul Golman’s articles really merit a full investigation in the mayor’s and city councils financial motives, it all smells really fishy.

  • Becky

    NO Inspector General’s Investigations, NO AG Investigations, NO
    City Attorney Investigations, NO Media full-fledged, incessant, around the clock Investigations or FOIA requests.
    ALL part of parcel of the RAMROD Democratic Party Machine.
    Over, around, through and right on over WE THE PEOPLE as
    they usurp, circumvent, and derail OUR Government.
    It’s PERFECTLY PC to “Allow, Flaunt, Propagandize, and Publicize
    DEMOCRATIC CORRUPTION, COLLUSION, GRAFT AND
    INCESTUAL BUY INS FOR BIG PAY OFF BY RICH DONOR FRIENDS GETTING BIG PAY OFFS, ADVANTAGES, ENRICHMENT….
    AT THE TAX PAYER COFFERS.
    “Mine doesn’t stink. I’m “inclusive to party only”, loving, caring,
    beautiful and oh, so benevolent to my Friends and Favorites.”

  • BIll

    Just read these comments – the people that are screaming about this proposal don’t know if they are walking or riding. Same goes for many of the folks protesting outside City Hall. Developers are drooling over the boulevard site for retail. The City will receive 1% back from the state in sales tax as well as collect property tax on 60 acres of currently untaxed land. Meanwhile in the bottom, acres of parking lots and weeds will be transformed into baseball, apartments, a kroger, a hotel and a slavery museum. This is a no brainer. Shoot this down and ten years from now enjoy the same vacant parking lots.

    • PCNews

      It is Perfectly Politically Correct to take away the voice, will, vote and
      say from the People for down and dirty, back room, closed door
      hidden Incestual “Dealings” between Democratic Donors and their
      Democratic Party Leaders?
      It’s cause for Party/Media systematic Attack and character assassinations if the opposition party is accused of much, much less
      Corruption, Collusion, Friends with Benefits, and Buy Ins for Pay Offs?
      What are you drinking, Bill, Democratic laced Kool Aid, while smoking
      pot?
      What the heck is the difference except one is Heralded as The
      Democratic Way.

      • BIll

        Becky, babes, we all know it’s you! Would you consider taking lessons at the senior center on how to use a computer? You don’t need to start every sentence on a new line.

      • Bill

        The only folks that are whining are the ones that so desperately want to save a crappy old parking lot. Take a look at the pictures of some of the people “protesting” this plan, it doesn’t matter what the details are they are simply looking for something to complain about.

  • Dustin Cavanaugh

    Idiots. There are already parking issues downtown. Trying to force people to get parking tickets. One thing that’s being done. Number two, a double a crappy baseball team WILL NOT make any decent sum of money. Number 3, this city is run by idiots and I am glad to be moving next month while they continue to run it into the ground.

  • jackburton77

    Bill, and a few others have it figured out.

    If anyone watched the meeting on PBS you’d really have seen that the peoples voice was heard and the message sent loud and clear. A few anti-stadium folks quoted stats that it was 3 to 1 in favor of NOT having a park. Well…the anti’s spoke for about 45 mintues (everyone went over their allotted time of course) and the pro’s went about 1 hour and 45 minutes and was filled with pastors, students, professionals and business owners. I agree that council needs to see the whole thing before they pass it but that’s exactly why they just passed the resolution to obtain information last night..that’s all it was lol. These tea party animals don’t even get that.

    To the fools talking about parking…you are just that. This area is closer to the 95/64/76 area than any other.

    Oh and dum dum Cavanaugh strikes again…this isn’t solely about a baseball team and the majority of revenue comes from the other businesses in shockoe and boulevard areas. Freaking read dude.

    • jackburton77

      Serving as a state of the art physical therapy center for local colleges and doctors.

      Is also being used for sporting events for inner city youth, etc.

      Pretty great place. Oh wait you were being sarcastic lol…that failed.

      • stoppasswords

        No events on the web page,,,

        Serving as a state of the art physical therapy center for local colleges and doctors.
        Is also being used for sporting events for inner city youth, etc.

      • jackburton77

        They don’t announce that they are using the field house on the webpage…

        Anyway, this is deflecting and I can’t wait for the stadium to be built and when it does I’ll buy you a nice pint of shut the h@ll up on opening day. Dbag

  • Marcus

    Gridlock traffic. Would be impossible for residents to find a place to park when there are games. Folks peeing everywhere, no wait they already do so scratch that. Minor league double A team.

  • jackburton77

    Any hater of this proposal needs to read this site. Look at the numbers, relative to the areas, and this ballpark (financially) makes tons of sense.

    Then look at the towns…Richmond should be so lucky to be mentioned in the same breath. Seriously Dwight Jones, at the end of the day, will be remembered for changing the Richmond landscape.

    The Redskins will stay for YEARS to come. New businesses will thrive here (we are already becoming a beer mecca) and the fickle nature of Richmonders in general will transform into solid patronage because people are proud to be a part of the revitalization of a very historic area. I, for one, am very proud to be a part of this!

  • PCnews

    Amazing Council could or would pass a “Plan/Deal” that was inept,
    incomplete, unsubstantiated, insufficient and undocumented.
    The elite experts in the Coalition couldn’t even present their plan with any effectively; clarity, transparency.

  • PCnews

    Passed, regardless, as pre-planned, orchestrated, set up and contrived, As Expected, as Programmed. Carte Blanche Party Rule.
    Can’t expect anything more or anything less. Besides, NO
    accountability for the responsibility IS the RULE.

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