In case you missed the Oct. 27 Board of Supervisors meeting, here is a brief recap of items from the board’s monthly work session and business meeting:
Redistricting Public Hearing
The board received citizen input during a public hearing on the county’s proposed redistricting plan.
Every 10 years, the county is legally required to redraw its five magisterial districts, based on the latest U.S. Census, to reflect population changes and reapportion residents as evenly as possible across each of the districts.
In September, staff presented a proposed countywide map that satisfies all legal requirements and launched a web page to help residents and businesses navigate the redistricting process.
The proposed map has been distributed via the county’s social media channels, including two virtual community meetings that were streamed on Facebook Live.
Six people spoke at the public hearing. Additionally, the county has received 191 comments through an online portal on the web page.
The Board of Supervisors, which must finalize a redistricting plan by the end of 2021, is expected to vote at its Nov. 17 meeting. In the meantime, county residents can continue to offer comments through the portal until noon on Nov. 17.
Chesterfield's proposed magisterial district map
Riverside Regional Jail Update
Jeff Gore, who serves as legal counsel for the Riverside Regional Jail Authority, provided an update on the status of operations at the jail.
A committee of Virginia's Board of Local and Regional Jails recommended in April that Riverside be decertified, and all of its inmates return to the custody of the locality where they were sentenced, after an investigation found the jail responsible for the deaths of three inmates in 2019 and 2020.
In September, the 14-member authority that oversees operations of Riverside reached an agreement with its state regulator to avert the facility’s closure, as long as it complies with a series of conditions over the next two years.
Chesterfield is one of seven members of the authority, along with the cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights and Hopewell and the counties of Prince George, Charles City and Surry. Each locality has two representatives on the board of directors.
Watch the full excerpt of the discussion on Riverside Regional Jail below.
Utilities Installing Floodwall, Smart Meters
The board formally accepted an $8.6 million grant from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) for the construction of a floodwall at the Addison Evans Water Treatment Plant and stream restoration near the Swift Creek Reservoir’s dam spillway.
Both projects will significantly reduce the potential for flooding at the facility, which was closed for eight months because of water damage from an August 2020 storm that dumped up to 12 inches of rain on parts of Chesterfield in a 24-hour period. It was the second time the plant had been flooded in less than two years.
Addison Evans supplies about 20 percent of Chesterfield’s drinking water, or 12 million gallons per day.
The county will provide the remaining $2.9 million needed to fund the floodwall and stream restoration projects.
Utilities staff also provided an update on the launch of its advanced metering project.
Over the next few years, Chesterfield Utilities plans to replace all existing water meters in the county with smart meters – an upgrade that will help customers manage water use with nearly real-time data and high consumption alerts, improve operational efficiency and enhance environmental stewardship.
The first smart meters were deployed within a limited service area last summer. Countywide installations are expected to be completed by 2024.
Addison Evans water treatment plant on Swift Creek Reservoir
Oasis Park Rezoning
A Chesterfield homebuilder received approval of its plan to redevelop the former Oasis Sports Park property with townhouses and an assisted-living facility.
The 59.8-acre Cosby Road parcel, which previously was the site of a commercial facility with a par-3 golf course, driving range, mini-golf and batting cages for baseball and softball, could now include a mix of up to 200 townhouses restricted to people age 55 and over, up to 200 townhouses with no age restriction and as many as 175 units in the assisted-living facility.
At a maximum density of 400 residential units, or 6.69 per acre, the proposal aligns with the countywide comprehensive plan’s recommendation of medium-to-high density residential (4 to 8 units per acre) uses on the property.
The Chesterfield Planning Commission sent the Oasis Park case to the board in August with a unanimous recommendation for approval.
As a condition of rezoning, the applicant is required to install a stoplight at the intersection of Route 360 and Cosby Road, build a roundabout on Fox Club Parkway near Cosby High School and make additional improvements to nearby transportation infrastructure.
Rendering of Oasis Park townhouses
Back Yard Chickens
The board unanimously approved an ordinance amendment that increases the minimum permitted area per chicken in residential zoning districts from 5 square feet to 8 square feet, while also increasing the maximum permitted outside run area from 40 square feet to 56 square feet.
The changes are based on health and safety recommendations from the Virginia Cooperative Extension office, which advised that chickens kept in a residential setting would benefit from having additional space to move about freely.
Chesterfield residents currently can keep as many as six chickens (but no roosters) in their back yard under certain conditions.
Ordinance amendment on keeping of chickens