Monroe Ward Zoning- What You Need to Know!

Queen Anne Row

Zoning . . . ZZzzz 

We know that the mere utterance of the word “zoning” is enough to put many to sleep. But it’s time to wake up!

What’s the issue?

The City has initiated rezoning  of Monroe Ward in an effort to facilitate the revitalization of Monroe Ward. We at Historic Richmond support the revitalization of Monroe Ward through a combination of infill on vacant lots and the preservation, restoration and adaptive reuse of Monroe Ward’s significant existing historic structures.

BUT – We do not believe that the latest proposals ensure adequate protections for the existing historic architectural fabric in Monroe Ward. We have sent the attached letter to City Planners to reflect our comments and concerns. We also have prepared the attached powerpoint to summarize and illustrate our comments and recommendations. For further information on the City’s proposals, please see this summary of the proposal, prepared and presented by the City in October.

Significant demolitions have recently occurred in nearby areas without City Old & Historic District protections. These demolitions of rare and valuable historic fabric were encouraged by existing zoning and unfettered by any historic protections. (For example, almost an entire block of early, mid- and late 19th century National Register listed buildings was demolished on Cary Street, despite the pleadings of the City Planning Department and a large groundswell of community concern.) This will happen to the historic fabric in Monroe Ward too if the City’s proposed zoning is enacted.


How you can help:

If you share our concerns for Monroe Ward’s historic buildings, we ask that you either attend one of the City’s “open house” meetings about the rezoning – or better yet – write or call City Planners to express your concerns.


The City staff will be holding two open houses to discuss the rezoning process.

Saturday, November 17th, noon to 2pm – Main Library, 101 E Franklin St

Monday, November 19th, 4:30-6:30 – Main Library, 101 E Franklin St


Please send your comments and concerns to:

Mark A. Olinger / [email protected]  / 646-6305

Anne W. Darby / [email protected]  / 646-5648


What you should say:

We recognize that the rezoning proposals are very complicated and hard to digest. Many of you are subject area experts and could send thoughtful and extensive comments. But to help boil things down to the essence of our concerns, we have prepared a template for an email you can send to City Planners:

Say your name.

Say whether you are a property owner or resident in Monroe Ward.

Say whether you are involved with an organization with experience or expertise in Monroe Ward, Historic Preservation and/or Urban Planning.

Let them know that you are following the proposed rezoning of Monroe Ward and that:

  1. Monroe Ward’s historic fabric must be protected!
  2. B-5 (not B-4 or TOD-1) better protects Monroe Ward’s historic fabric.
  3. The Plan of Development Overlay District sounds great, but where are the details?
  4. Keep the B-4 inclined plane limitation on building height.

Thank them for their efforts to make the City a better place!


Thank you so much for taking the time to focus on this important issue!

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