Virginia Supreme Court upholds Capitol Square gun ban

Richmond redevelopment: Should ‘Historic Manchester’ expand into Blackwell?

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Recent zoning changes have increased allowable heights for new buildings along the Old Town Manchester corridor. (Jonathan Spiers)

RICHMOND, Va. — A delayed vote on a requested boundary expansion of an historic district in Manchester has prompted the local development team behind the proposal to threaten to halt construction and further investment in the area – even though the state agency reviewing the proposal said it supports the plan.

Julie Langan, director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, said she is in favor of the proposed broadening of the Manchester Residential and Commercial Historic District requested by Michael Hild, despite the fact that she requested pushing back the vote that had been scheduled for last Thursday.

Langan said she did so in response to concerns shared by members of the public and City Council representatives that residents in affected areas had not been adequately notified or informed of the proposal. While notifications are sent to affected property owners, Langan said, people who rent properties are not required to be notified and cannot submit formal objections.

The expansion would extend the existing 75-acre district – an area generally southeast of Cowardin and Semmes avenues – to properties generally to the south and west, roughly tripling the size of the district to include parts of the nearby Blackwell and Swansboro neighborhoods.

The expansion would add 155 acres spanning about 60 city blocks to the district, allowing many properties in that area to be eligible for state and federal historic preservation tax credits.

Langan said the proposal would help property owners in light of expected development interest.

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