The proposal to change the zoning for Hull Street in order to attract more businesses and residents is gaining momentum.
The open question is whether a change of the zoning for Hull Street between Commerce and Cowardin/Jeff Davis Highway from UB2-PE1 to B-5 should be approved. The reason for the proposed zoning change is to allow for restaurants, food service, and specialty grocery stores to open along the Hull Street corridor without having to tear down adjacent buildings to secure the required parking. New infill construction along the corridor would also gain parking relief, as would multifamily residential buildings when compared to the current UB2-PE1 requirements. Lastly, the change to B-5 would also increase the maximum building height to five stories from the current limit at three stories.
After a presentation by the City of Richmond Planning and Development Review Director Mark Olinger at the Manchester Alliance meeting as well as a community meeting held at Plant Zero several months ago, the Hull Street rezoning initiative went to the Planning Commission. The zoning change passed unanimously.
Councilwoman Ellen F. Robertson requested that a second community meeting be held at the Hull Street Merchants Association regular meeting location at the Richmond Mid-Atlantic Properties office located at 1417 1/2 Hull Street on Tuesday, November 14th at 6 PM. After an overview from City staff members and questions from those in attendance, Councilwoman Robertson asked for a show of hands from those in support of the rezoning. Ms. Robertson also asked for a show of hands from those not in favor of the proposed change. Everyone in attendance voted unanimously in support of the rezoning.
The next step in the process it to take the proposed rezoning to City Council for a vote. If successful, the rezoning is tentatively slated to be in place by January of 2018. Were that to occur, there will be one less hurdle in the way for entrepreneurs who want to open up restaurants/food stores and thereby increase the number of food options available to Manchester’s Hull Street.