Landscaping plans move forward for Monument Avenue circle despite no meeting

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – A big build up, with no action during Richmond’s Urban Design Committee meeting. Thursday morning, the group didn’t have enough members present at city hall for a quorum.

“So with that this body will not be able to meet,” said Kevin Vonck, Richmond Director of Planning.

The temporary plan for the circle along Monument Avenue includes a lot of landscaping. The city says it should cost no more than $100,000.

That includes irrigation system work, planting design and the removal of barriers. The site is currently surrounded by fencing.

“I know people who came here today were anticipating being able to speak so that’s always a disappointment if you put in time in having your views shared,” said Katherine Jordan, Richmond City Council.

UDC was supposed to make a yes or no recommendation on the plans and send it to the planning commission for final approval.

“This body makes recommendations to the planning commission. As you’ve gone through this process generally have things up here first before going to the planning commission but also in the interest of timelines for some of our applicants I want them to continue on through the process,” said Vonck.

The state transferred the land back to the city after the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in September of last year. If approved, work is expected to start later in this case.

“The planning commission will decide whether or not they want to send it back to the committee or they feel that in the best interest of time one or both papers can be voted on at that time,” said Jordan.

The city expects a permanent solution down the road.

Meanwhile, plans for a new George Wythe High School, which were also supposed to be heard, will move forward.

The planning commission will take up both plans on September 19 at 1:30 PM.

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