New service request features for Richmond ‘311’

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RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Richmond’s 311 phone and online service request tool has added features to accept reports of any obstructed right of way, and construction suspected to be operating without a permit.

Residents can report these issues to city communications representatives via the 311 cell phone app, website or by calling 3-1-1.

Peter Breil, director of the city’s Department of Citizen Service and Response, says the additional features come down to safety.

“If somebody sees an unsafe situation. For example, if a sidewalk has been closed without an appropriate permit, without fencing, without a way for pedestrians to get around that area without having to walk into the street. Or, if they don’t have to walk into the street, that they do have barriers between them and vehicles,” Breil said.

The other new service request allows inquiring Richmonders to report a construction project they suspect of operating without a permit.

If someone is deemed in violation, they “could receive a notice of violation, a fine, and potentially a ‘stop-work order’ to prevent them from moving forward until they have gotten the appropriate work permit,” Breil said.

After someone flags an issue along the municipal right of way, Breil said the city will likely solve the problem within three weeks, and for inquiries related to construction permits, they will be investigated within a few days.

Richmond 311 went live in mid-2018, and also fields questions and concerns about social services, animal investigations, taxes, lights, signs and more.

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