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‘It’s their turn to listen to us’ residents sound off during first Boulevard meeting

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Encouraged by the Flying Squirrels baseball team, hundreds of fired-up fans packed into the DMV to give their take on where baseball should be.

"We've sat here and listened to the city, now it's their turn to listen to us," said Ann Marks.

Emotions ran high Tuesday night at the first public meeting to talk about the future of the Boulevard. The consultants had planned to have those who attended the meeting Tuesday to break out into group discussions with guiding questions.

Ann Marks

Ann Marks

But after outrage, there was a change in plans where people spoke directly to consultants about what they want.

"Utilize your facility, repair it for a few million dollars and you got your ball Diamond," said one man.

Many Tuesday expressed their desire to have the Flying Squirrels be part of the redeveloped Boulevard.

"There are more businesses getting ready to open in the area, and I think taking the Diamond from it's current location would not help that at all and would hurt it," said one Richmond resident.

diamond2

Consultants have stated that baseball on the Boulevard doesn't have the highest or best economic impact.

However, by a show off hands almost everyone at Tuesday night's meeting wants baseball to be a part of the redevelopment on the Boulevard.

"We lost the Braves because of this, don't be a bad dog and chase the squirrels out too," said one woman.

Tuesday's meeting was the first of a series of public hearings scheduled. The other meetings would take place in January and February:

  • January 20, 6 p.m. Southside Community Center, 4100 Hull Street Road
  • January 26, noon, Huguenot High School Community Center, 7945 Forest Hill Avenue
  • January 26, 7 p.m., Thomas Jefferson High School, 4100 West Grace Street
  • February 4, 9 a.m., Richmond Main Library, 101 East Franklin Street
  • February 4, 6 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, 1000 Mosby Street