Met with a larger than usual crowd, the Richmond City Commission approved the first reading of ordinance 19-15, which annexed 62.5 acres at 1194 Goggins Lane to the city and was assigned a zone classification of R-1A, much to the desire of residents in that area.
Originally, if annexed to the city, the commission was planning to zone the area as R-2, residential duplex, allowing for multi-family housing, but nearby property owners expressed many concerns before the city's planning and zoning board at a public comment hearing.
Citizens stood before the planning commission last month noting flooding, increased traffic and environmental concerns, convincing the board to change the zone to R-1A, single family residential, if it should change it at all.
Once the commission unanimously approved the first reading of the ordinance, therefore approving the R-1A zoning classification, several citizens thanked them for taking their opinions into consideration.
"We appreciate everything you are doing. Goggins Lane is precious to us. … We have to protect our beautiful city, and I thank you all for that," Rod Mobley said.
But several of the same citizens who previously spoke before the planning board packed Tuesday's City Commission meeting to make their concerns with floodwater, traffic and environment concerns heard again.
"The water is a huge issue, and the planning and zoning board needs to be careful with what they do," Merry Kay Winter said.
"We can't handle more water in this area. We have a lot of more that we need to address before that," her neighbor Darrell Keathley added.
All the commissioners thanked the citizens for having their voices heard at city hall, both with the planning board as well as the commissioners, the first being Commissioner Mike Brewer.
"I want you to know this group has always and will always try to do the best to help you all out and won't leave anything unturned," Brewer said of the new administration. "I want you all to understand that we will not turn a deaf ear to you. We aren't that kind of group. I won't say we will fix it, but we will try," Brewer said.
Commissioner Jacob Grant, too, thanked the citizens for speaking, but urged the commission to still continue to think of ways to grow as a city.
"I put great weight into what the planning and zoning board recommend on this. They are the experts on this, but when you look at our comprehensive plan, we are short on growth," Grant said. "And when you have an area like Goggins Lane that has the infrastructure -- it has the water, it's got the sewer -- I think it would do this board some good to take a look at where we are going to grow at if it's not going to be in this area."
• Mayor Robert Blythe signed a proclamation for drug prevention of e-cigarettes and vaping products, noting that in the past year alone, vaping amongst high schoolers has increased 78%.
• The city of Richmond voted to approve the promotion of five firefighters in the city's fire department. Trenton Adams, Eric Curran, Seth Johnson, Zachary Warmouth and John Wright were promoted from firefighter I to firefighter II.
• City Manager Rob Minerich gave an update about the Water Street project, reminding the citizens of the extensiveness of the project and how much it will entail. He asked people to be patient while the city attempts to fix it. "We will fix Water Street," he said. "And I assure you, I would hope by the holidays, we will be close to it, but one issue we may run into is if they are not making asphalt, it may be gravel until we can get the asphalt."
The next Richmond City Commission meeting will be Aug. 13, 6 p.m., at Richmond City Hall at 239 W. Main St., Richmond.
Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter @TaylorSixRR.