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Richmond City Council

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Richmond, Virginia
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Richmond City Council / Confederate Monuments Disposition

Richmond City Council, per Richmond City Council Ordinance # 2020-154 and in accordance with the Virginia Code of Law (Code of Virginia) (1950), as amended, Title 15.2; Subtitle II, Chapter 18, Article 3, Section 15.2-1812, provided for the permanent removal from City-owned property certain monuments related to historical figures of the Confederate States of America, identified in the document entitled “Monuments to Be Removed” (which is attached to the Ordinance).

    On behalf of this action, Richmond City Council publically requested and subsequently received 23 offers from parties that were interested in acquiring the Confederate/U.S. Civil War Monuments. Offers received included those from parties located in Virginia and from requestors spanning a number of U.S. states.

    In support of its efforts and with upmost diligence and transparency, the Richmond City Council Office of the Council Chief of Staff prepared, produced, and provided the comprehensive Monuments Requests Research & Review Matrix report, identifying, describing, and detailing the requests that were received; and a draft Monuments Criteria evaluation scoresheet, providing uniform criteria for recommendations.

    Throughout the process, Richmond City Council and the Council Office of the Council Chief of Staff has been working collaboratively with City Administration staff in reviewing, following up on, and evaluating request offers it has received.

    During this time, Richmond City Council discussion regarding the disposition of Monuments has been ongoing and included in numerous open public meetings throughout the process.

    In further increasing transparency and expedition, Richmond City Council Resolution No. 2021-R025 was introduced by the Council President for considering the establishment of a formal process for completing the final disposition of Confederate Monuments removed from City-owned property.

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Richmond Confederate Monuments Dispositions

Process Updates                                                                                     

The ongoing numerous work processes required regarding Confederate Monuments dispositions are progressing forward. Updates are as follows:

Overview ______________________________

Richmond City Council Ordinance 2020-154 directed the Richmond Chief Administrative Officer to cause the removal of listed Confederate Monuments from their current locations, pursuant to the authority granted by the Virginia Code of Laws §15.2-1812,  (as amended, and all other applicable law, and subject to the availability of funds. The Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities (RDPRCF) serves as the City agency responsible for making these requests and applications.

Richmond is adhering to the process for removal of Confederate Monuments on public property in accordance with the Richmond City Charter and Richmond Code of Laws, specifically:

  • Richmond Planning Commission (RPC): per Richmond City Charter §17.05, the RCPC shall approve the removal, relocation, and alteration of monuments. This includes the Richmond Planning Commission, as such involves and requires taking Monuments down to grade.

  • Richmond Urban Design Committee (RUDC): per § 30-940.3(d), the RUDC may advise the Richmond Planning Commission on a Charter Richmond Code of Laws §17.05 matter (which they did prior to the RCPC meeting). This includes the Richmond Urban Design Committee, as such involves Monuments, which are considered art in public spaces/thoroughfares a Historic District.

  • Richmond Commission of Architectural Review (RCAR): Per Richmond City Code, ARTICLE IX, DIVISION 4, RCAR must first grant a Richmond Commission of Architectural Review Certificate of Appropriateness for relocation or removal of monuments located in City Old and Historic Districts. This includes the Richmond Commission of Architectural, as such Monuments are located a Historic District.

These approvals listed above only authorize:

  • Richmond/City’s permanent removal of the monuments under the standards applicable to the reviewing entity’s review; and

  • The temporary restoration of each site necessary to maintain health, human safety, traffic flow, and landscape continuity.

Because these monuments are war monuments and memorials on public property, as defined by Virginia Code of Laws §15.2-1812, Richmond City Council has the authority to remove, relocate, contextualize, or cover these particular monuments.

Thus, it is up to Richmond City Council to determine:

  • If, when, and to what extent the monuments (or parts thereof) will be removed;

  • To whom the permanently removed monuments will be transferred;

  • Where permanently removed monuments will be located after transfer; and,

  • If, how, or when each site will be improved in the future.

Review of pedestals removals, per above were requested of the three Richmond Boards/Commissions (listed above), per the various Richmond City Code of Laws sections regarding each, for 1. Approving; 2. Declining; or, 3. Declining to Act, which were prepared and submitted by the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities, as Monuments come under its purview.

Richmond Boards/Commissions summary action status

  • Richmond Commission of Architectural Review (RCAR) Process - Status

Richmond Commission of Architectural Review Application for Consideration of Certificate of Appropriateness Application # COA-091354-2021 was submitted regarding “permission for the ability to remove monuments and pedestals from the Monument Avenue City Old and Historic District”.

   STATUS:

  • Approved, with conditions App. # COA-091353-2021: remove a monument, pedestal, and remains in the Hermitage Road City Old and Historic District

  • Approved, with conditions App. # COA-091354-2021: remove various monuments, pedestals, and a cannon in the Monument Avenue City Old and Historic District

  • Approved, with conditions App. # COA-091355-2021: remove a monument and a pedestal at 0 N. 29th Street in the St. John’s Church City Old and Historic District

  • On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in accordance with Richmond Code of Laws §30-930.8, the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities filed a formal appeal to COA-091354-2021 (Monument Avenue) and COA-091355-2021 (St. John’s Church) to the Richmond City Council City Clerk, challenging the legal basis for conditions that required the applicant retain all pieces of each removed monument of a period of two years in a manner that they are available to the community for reuse.

  • On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in accordance with Richmond Code of Laws §30-930.8, RCAR provided the Richmond City Council City Clerk with a certified copy of the record of action and supplemental materials from their meeting of May 25, 2021, of which such materials were subsequently forwarded to Richmond City Council.

  • After reviewing the petition, record, documents, and other materials produced by RCAR, Richmond City Council may reverse or modify the decision appealed, in whole or in part, by resolution when it is satisfied that the decision of RCAR in error. If Council fails to modify or reverse the RCAR decision within seventy-five (75) days from the date of the appeal (less City Holidays and closures due to an emergency), the RCAR decision shall stand, unless an extension is agreed to by both parties.

  • Richmond Urban Design Committee (RUDC) Process - Status

Richmond Urban Design Committee is an advisory entity to Richmond Planning Commission, and Richmond Urban Design Committee Application Reviews for Location, Character, and Extent Review, UDC 2021-23 through UDC 2021-31, were submitted regarding the ability to remove monuments and “temporary replacement landscape and materials for continuity of streetscape, traffic flow, and health and human safety”.

   STATUS:

  • The Richmond Urban Design Committee (RUDC) met Thursday, June 10, 2021 and recommended the Richmond Planning Commission approve, with conditions, the final location, character, and extent applications for all of the monuments, with the exception of Confederate Cannon #2, in which they failed to make a recommendation.

Approved UDC 2021-32 regarding Final location, character, and extent review of the removal of a monument and pedestal; 1900 Stuart Avenue (located in Medow Park @ Park and Stuart Avenues) regarding “First Virginia Regiment Monument”

  • Richmond Planning Commission (RPC) Process - Status

Richmond Planning Commission to review Richmond Urban Design Committee Application Reviews (UDC 2021-23 through UDC 2021-31) for Location, Character, and Extent Review regarding ability to remove monuments and “temporary replacement landscape and materials for continuity of streetscape, traffic flow, and health and human safety”.

   STATUS:

  • No recommendation on final location, character, and extent review of the removal of a monument and pedestal; 0 N. 29th Street (Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument)

  • Approved, with conditions final location, character, and extent review of the removal of a monument and pedestal; Intersection of Hermitage Road and Laburnum Avenue. (AP Hill Monument)

  • No recommendation on Final location, character, and extent review of a monument and pedestal; 499 Stuart Circle (JEB Stuart Monument)

  • No recommendation on Final location, character, and extent review of the removal of a cannon monument; 2395 Monument Avenue (Confederate Cannon #1)

  • No recommendation on Final location, character, and extent review of the removal of a monument and pedestal; 2399 Monument Avenue (Jefferson Davis Memorial)

  • No recommendation on Final location, character, and extent review of the removal of a monument and pedestal; 2799 Monument Avenue (Stonewall Jackson Monument)

  • Continued (deferred) action on Final location, character, and extent review of the removal of a monument and pedestal; 3099 Monument Avenue (Matthew F. Maury Monument)

  • Continued (deferred) action on Final location, character, and extent review of the removal of a cannon monument; 3499 Monument Avenue (Confederate Cannon #2)

  • Continued (deferred) action on Final location, character, and extent review of the removal of various monuments and pedestals; 15 N. Laurel Street (Fitzhugh Lee Cross, Joseph Bryan Monument, William Carter Wickham Monument)

  • The virtual Richmond Planning Commission Meeting experienced Technical difficulties that prevented it from holding a proper public hearing when considering action on Confederate Cannon #1, the Jefferson Davis Memorial, and Stonewall Jackson Monument; therefore, these items will be reconsidered, along with the continued items, at the next regular meeting of the CPC on Tuesday, 6 July 2021.

  • Ultimate decisions on who/which entities to be awarded monuments to be made at future date by official Council action.

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Additional details regarding Richmond City Council public meeting, public comment, public process, and public hearings on the process include:

Richmond City Council Resolution No. 2021-R025 Was Introduced

Richmond City Council Resolution No. 2021-R025 Committee Review

Monuments Criteria evaluation scoresheet Committee Review

  • Listen to meeting on phone by dialing: *67-804-316-9457 (when prompted, enter conference ID: 343 523 024#)

All Richmond residents wishing to make public comments on the legislation are also invited and encouraged to do so in the following way/s:

  • Richmond residents interested in providing their public comments in writing (in lieu of speaking through audio or video means during the meeting) can email them here. All written comments received via email prior to 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 3, 2021, will be provided to all members of the committee prior to the beginning of the meeting and will be included in the record of the meeting.

Richmond City Council Resolution No. 2021-R025 Scheduled for Public Hearing/Action

  • Listen to meeting on phone by dialing: *67-804-316-9457 (when prompted, enter conference ID: 266 549 058#.)

     All Richmond residents wishing to make public comments on the legislation are also invited and encouraged to do so in the following way/s:

  • Richmond residents interested in providing their public comments in writing (in lieu of speaking through audio or video means during the meeting) can email them here. All written comments received via email prior to 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 10, 2021, will be provided to all members of the committee prior to the beginning of the meeting and will be included in the record of the meeting.

Richmond Commission of Architectural Review (RCAR)

Richmond Urban Design Committee (RUDC)

Richmond City Planning Commission (RCPC)

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Richmond City Council invites and encourages all Richmond residents interested in the final disposition of the Confederate Monuments to attend Council public meetings in which Monuments’ are involved and to provide public comments during public hearings.

Richmond City Council also invites and encourages Richmond residents to attend public engagement, meetings, and hearings regarding disposition of Confederate Monuments vetting by the Richmond Commission of Architectural Review, Richmond Urban Design Committee, and Richmond Planning Commission for each’s requisite review regarding the Monuments’ removal.

      Richmond residents are also invited to share their public comments and communicate directly with the individual Councilmember representing their Richmond Voter District. (Please be sure to include your name, address, and contact information.)

Richmond City Council also invites and encourages Richmond residents to share and send public comments concerning the final disposition of the Monuments to monuments@richmondgov.com (Please be sure to include your name, Richmond address, and contact information.)

Richmond residents are also invited and encouraged to also visit the Richmond City Council Confederate Monuments Disposition webpage for more information.

Richmond residents can use Find My Individual Richmond Voter District to find their individual Richmond Voter District, if needed. (Note: Once you’ve entered your address, use the Govt. tab to identify your Richmond Voter Districts.)

Richmond City Council meetings: Live/Audio/Video

Richmond City Council Formal, Informal, Standing Committee, Budget, and Special Meetings schedules, agendas, and information.

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Richmond Confederate Monuments Disposition Documents

Richmond City Council Resolution No. 2021-R025

RCC Monuments Requests Research and Review Matrix

Monuments Criteria evaluation scoresheet

News Council Monuments proposals

Richmond City Council Ordinance # 2020-154

Virginia Code of Law (Code of Virginia) (1950), as amended, Title 15.2; Subtitle II, Chapter 18, Article 3, Section 15.2-1812