Planning officials unveil conceptual renderings of a future, higher-density Scott’s Addition

Richmond planning officials unveiled a preliminary vision for the Greater Scott’s Addition neighborhood Tuesday evening at Diversity Richmond. The meeting was the third of four held by the Richmond 300 commission studying ways to encourage smart growth, best and highest use cases for future development and redevelopment, and create recommendations for zoning and planning policies that foster cohesiveness neighborhood-wide.

While the committees are studying areas around the city, the Scott’s Addition neighborhood is unique in its areas of opportunity, including nearly 30 acres of largely vacant land around The Diamond. Using input from over 1,000 respondents to a survey asking residents and other stakeholders what characteristics future development in the neighborhood should have, planning officials unveiled high-level renderings and cordoned the neighborhood off into six distinct districts. For the purposes of this study, Scott’s Addition encompasses approximately 800 acres and stretches from I-195 on the western bound to Lombardy Street on the east; I-95 on the north to West Broad Street on the south.

The largest and most dense, the Gateway District, would see the encouragement of cohesive, high-density development along Arthur Ashe Boulevard near the Diamond site. Other areas including the “core” of the Scott’s Addition Historic District would remain mixed-use industrial to allow for a variety of uses from single story warehouses to six-to-twelve-story buildings as is currently the case.

The plan emphasizes tenets including open space, affordable housing, walkability, density, and access to transit. De-emphasized are lower density uses like single-story buildings and parking lots, which are no longer allowed as “by right” developments per code.

The renderings were presented on printed boards, charette-style, for attendees to reflect on and leave feedback via sticky notes. Planning officials including Director of Planning Mark Olinger were on hand to answer questions and give clarification. Mayor Levar Stoney opened the meeting with his thoughts on cohesive development, and Second District Councilmember Kim Gray was on hand as well.

After gathering additional feedback from stakeholders, planning staff will create draft recommendations that will guide future growth and development and present a final plan in May.

See the full presentation (PDF) here.