Some West End neighbors are throwing a penalty flag against the city for its deal to bring the Redskins training camp to town.
They vented their frustration at a public hearing Tuesday night which, at times, resembled a raucous stadium crowd.
It was clear that the room was divided. Many were in favor of the plan. But those who were opposed think Bon Secours is getting too much for too little.
It was a meeting that, at times, tested the patience of those who attended. But one by one, their opinions were heard loud and clear inside St. Mary's Hospital.
"I think we're gonna welcome the Redskins to Richmond."
"How does this benefit the Westhampton neighborhood?"
"The big losers here tonight are the Richmond City Public Schools."
At issue: a $5,000 annual lease of the old Westhampton school property to Bon Secours; a piece of land that neighbors contend would be worth millions to a buyer.
It's the crucial component to the deal that would bring the Redskins training camp downtown, to the Science Museum of Virginia - with Bon Secours paying millions to develop and name that site.
Earlier in the day, city council members also were briefed on the plan, and they too had questions about whether the city was giving up too much.
"I see why they would take the deal. I don't see why we would take the deal," said council member Marty Jewell.
"We looked at it from selling the land or leasing the land to see which way the deal would work. The deal wouldn't work if we sold it," said Byron Marshall, chief administrative officer of the city.
There were no changes made to the plan Tuesday night. Also, no votes.
The biggest step yet awaits city leaders after the holiday.
The land transfers are expected to come up for a vote Monday at the next city council meeting - and the clock is ticking.
Developers want to start work next month on the Leigh Street site so the fields can be ready by next July. A development timetable for the Westhampton school site is unclear.
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