Richmond envisions more modest homes for old and young

RICHMOND — A notable appearance was made by Mayor Mike Hall, the City Council, the General Plan Committee, and a representative from J-U-B Engineers at Tuesday’s Planning and Zoning meeting.

Their attendance was due to the scheduled workshop reviewing the draft of the proposed new General Plan for the Richmond. Once adjourned after a very brief, ten-minute meeting, the commission, guests and community members gathered in the “big room” around three long tables and metal chairs, equipped with a hard copy of the updated General Plan.

The binder was decorated with maps that predict future land-use, potential parks and trails, and updated land and water boundaries within Richmond

Cindy Gooch from J-U-B Engineers, led the discussion regarding this “guiding document,” and began, “we bring the council and planning and zoning together to discuss this plan. We’ll present it to the public when it’s ready, and it will be posted online for citizen review and critique.”

After the residents’ concerns are addressed, the planning and zoning commission will hold a public hearing, and after, for the update to be official, council’s approval is necessary. The General Plan also included guidelines for what may be necessary for the small city to continue to flourish.

Gooch, after spending a few months worth of work and time with the local General Plan committee, announced her thoughts about housing within the community. "You need more small homes for younger generations and seniors.

“People want their kids to come back, and we want to keep your seniors here. Sometimes we lose that rich history and culture, because there isn’t enough small, moderate-income housing for them here.”

Gooch referred to this as “life-cycle housing,” or homes that are built in response to the human life cycle The group decided that it is important to evaluate moderate-income housing, as well as senior housing within the city. The General Plan was last drafted in 1999, making this update necessary.

“It should be updated every five years,” Gooch said. “When someone asks for rezoning and it is approved, we need to keep the maps updated.”

Aside from minor grammatical and remedial errors, the group was already pleased with the work displayed in the binder. The plans are expected to be revised and ready for public viewing by May, during the annual Black and White Days.

Planning and Zoning meets next on May 6, in the council chambers at 6 West Main St.

Published in cooperation with the Hard News Cafe. Original story is here.