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City turns zoning focus to Monroe Ward’s abundance of surface parking lots

RICHMOND, Va. — With city zoning in and around Scott’s Addition recently updated to accommodate denser development, Richmond planners now are shifting their attention to another district along the bus rapid transit corridor that’s largely driving the changes.

The Richmond Planning Commission today is set to take action declaring the city’s intent to rezone several properties in Monroe Ward, the part of downtown between Belvidere and Ninth streets, and south of West Broad Street to the Downtown Expressway.

Existing zoning, which includes light industrial and auto-oriented commercial classifications, would be consolidated to create just two zoning districts: B-4, the business zoning that already covers much of the ward; and TOD-1, the “transit-oriented nodal district” that the city last year applied at Scott’s Addition, primarily along Broad Street and the Boulevard.

The changes would allow for taller building heights and encourage development that could replace the ward’s abundance of surface parking lots. The TOD-1 district generally would fill the ward’s southwest quarter, from Main Street southward and Third Street westward, while the rest of the neighborhood would be zoned B-4.