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Posted In: Environment

City Council Votes Down Funding for Reedy Creek Restoration Project

Andy Thompson

November 15, 2016 9:56am

The Times-Dispatch’s Graham Moomaw reported late last night that Richmond’s City Council voted down a controversial stream restoration project in South Richmond, a project that many neighbors were vehemently against because it would mean the removal of hundreds of trees.

582a76b75be15-imageWrites Moomaw: The council voted 8-1 to refuse $635,000 in state grant funding, effectively halting the $1.2 million project for the foreseeable future. The council also voiced its desire for a fuller planning process and more governmental collaboration with interested groups. Fourth District Councilwoman Kathy C. Graziano was the only member to vote in favor of accepting the money.

I live near the section of Reedy Creek in question (near Forest Hill Park). I’ve hiked it with my dogs and seen what the project would have done to the area, at least in the short term, in exchange for supposed long term gains in erosion and flood control that seem dubious. I was heartened to hear Third District Councilman Chris Hilbert say this:“Government is something in which you participate. It’s not something that should be done to you. I think in this case, we need to be inclusive of citizens’ opinions and get that buy-in.”

From the T-D: The city billed the 3,000-foot project as a cost-effective way to reduce pollutants flowing into the Chesapeake Bay and move the city toward compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. Opponents, spearheaded by the volunteer Reedy Creek Coalition, said the project would destroy a “neighborhood treasure” and pushed to preserve the wooded area behind George Wythe High School and between Westover Hills Boulevard and Roanoke Street.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?