RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A spokesperson for NH District Corp., a developer for the Navy Hill proposal, said a resolution expected to be introduced by Richmond City Council members asking Mayor Levar Stoney to withdraw his Navy Hill ordinances and introduce a new proposal request “could discredit the City of Richmond’s business reputation for years to come.” The City Council was expected to make a final vote on the redevelopment plan next month.
A draft of the resolution, shared with 8News after Monday’s City Council meeting began, states that council members require that Stoney’s new proposal follow 12 preconditions before being introduced. Members who drafted the resolution are requiring, among other things, that Stoney incorporate provisions from his original plan and public input “during the formulation of the request for proposals.”
The NH District Corp. spokesperson, Jeff Kelley, called the proposed resolution from 4th District Councilwoman Kristen Larson, 2nd District Councilwoman Kimberly Gray, 5th District Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch, 8th District Councilwoman Reva Trammell and Council Vice President Chris Hilbert, an attempt “to upturn a two-year long, public request-for-proposals (RFP) process even before a professional review of the plan is complete.”
Trammell, who was not on the original draft resolution provided to 8News, was later added, Gray told 8News. The City Council members on the resolution provided 8News with a joint statement during Monday’s meeting.
“We are introducing a Resolution tonight asking City Council to withdraw the existing Navy Hill Ordinances and start over with a new redevelopment and Request for Proposal process. We do not take this step lightly, however we believe that there are numerous substantial reasons for Council to take appropriate action in response to the many public concerns that have been expressed about this project,” the statement read. “Our Resolution outlines what we believe is a compelling rationale for withdrawal of the Ordinances and production of a Navy Hill area plan prior to the issuance of any RFP’s for redevelopment of this property. These reasons include, among many others, the need for a more robust and extensive public discussion of the plan; appraisals of all city-owned parcels in the subject area; and a comprehensive assessment of existing and required public infrastructure.”
In a series of tweets, Stoney said he has no plans to withdraw his Navy Hill plan and called on City Council members to “come to the table & do their jobs.”
“It’s unfortunate that instead of looking for ways to improve the Navy Hill proposal, these Councilmembers are putting their heads in the sand and hoping that the City’s problems resolve themselves. We proactively sought to sit down with each of these five members to ask them for their ideas, amendments and recommendations to make this the best possible deal for Richmond, to which they have offered nothing,” Kelley said in a statement Monday.
“Just as the Council’s Navy Hill Advisory Commission worked hard – it’s time for these Councilmembers to do the people’s work, because we are not going to withdraw this community benefit-driven proposal or start over. The project has been under unprecedented scrutiny for the past six months – and we have engaged residents in hundreds of civic meetings and briefings and dozens of Advisory Commission meetings, Council work sessions and public hearings. No City process has ever been this transparent,” Kelley continued.
This story is developing. Stay with 8News for updates.
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