NBC12 Viewpoint: Community response on Carytown Place

Editorial by Adam Houck, city resident
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Discussions about rezoning an office building for high-intensity retail in Carytown miss the point. It's not just about Carytown.

My wife and I don't just shop in Carytown. We live in the historic Museum District near the proposed redevelopment.

Most of our neighbors feel the way we do. We're against retail stores only 20 paces across narrow streets from the front porches of single-family homes. A loading dock will regularly put 18-wheelers on residential streets. Increased traffic will fundamentally change the character of the neighborhood.

Can anyone think of a similar intrusion anywhere else in the City? This rezoning violates the City's Master Plan and zoning that have functioned effectively for years. Both are designed to protect the Museum District from retail encroachment.

Ellwood Avenue is really West Main Street, so we are used to commuter congestion, but this SUP would triple our traffic during afternoon rush hours.

And for what? A 4th grocery store and two new restaurants? Thanks, but we can already walk to three supermarkets, five grocery stores and 40 restaurants.

Is this the best redevelopment we can get? No, it's not. It's already zoned for multi-family apartments, a much better fit for the adjoining residential Museum District.

As for Carytown, those new families would be what it needs most: More good customers.

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