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Ice Storms, Rezoning & Transportation - A Chesterfield Board Of Supervisors Meeting Recap

Government Complex Sign
At Wednesday’s Chesterfield Board of Supervisors meeting, members approved several rezoning and transportation projects; got a recap of the cost of last week’s ice storm and heard the latest from the Chesterfield Health District on the rollout of vaccinations in the county. (Photo: Ian Stewart/VPM News)

County Covid-19 Update

At Wednesday’s Chesterfield Board of Supervisors meeting, members approved several rezoning and transportation projects, got a recap of the cost of last week’s ice storm and heard the latest from the Chesterfield Health District on the rollout of vaccinations in the county.

Dr. Alexander Samuel, director of the Chesterfield Health District, updated the board on vaccination rollout.

Dr. Samuel said that the main vaccination events, which are not open to the general public, are happening at the county fairgrounds. He said so far the district has held 18 events, which on average have given doses to 405 residents per event. He added that some smaller  events focused on vulnerable residents have started.

“Last week, I’m happy to say we began a small but growing [effort] that’s providing vaccines to elderly African American community members,” Samuel said. “We’re looking for other opportunities to reach out to specific populations who we know have much poorer outcomes due to Covid infection.” 

Samuel said that the district has also partnered with pharmacies and other medical providers as an additional way to get the vaccination to eligible seniors.  

Samuel says those providers contact eligible people using the pre-registration list provided from VDH, then, the health district gives these providers doses. He added that the federal government has also started working with national retail pharmacy chains, such as CVS, Walgreens and now Walmart. Vaccination doses for those locations are provided by the federal government, not the county.

“So CVS statewide recently began receiving 26,000 doses a week,” Samuel said, which are distributed to people who sign up with the pharmacy.

Fire and EMS Chief Lloyd Senter followed Samuel’s update and gave a snapshot of how his department has been helping distribute the vaccine at district events as well as at private schools and daycare centers.They plan to distribute to house-bound residents soon.

Ice Storm Statistics

Jess Robinson, Emergency Services coordinator, told the supervisors that the Feb. 13 ice storm was the worst the county has seen in two decades, taking down103 trees.

Robinson said that at the storm’s peak, over 54,000 residents, which totals about 35% of the population, were without power. Most people had power restored in two days. 

The second ice storm that hit on Feb. 18 wasn’t nearly as bad as the previous one. Robinson said the cost for both storms are still being calculated.

Rezoning & Construction Projects

The supervisors quickly approved three apartment projects in different parts of the county using low-income housing tax credits. State law requires a resolution from the Board of Supervisors, designating the sites as  revitalization areas to be able to build apartments. The approval allows financing to flow from the Better Housing Coalition and Virginia Housing to developers, who then receive tax credits for the projects.

Gateway Centre Parkway

Empty corporate offices off Midlothian Turnpike will now be allowed to house  245 families thanks to the board’s rezoning approval. 

And a more comprehensive rezoning process is coming too, said Gloria Freye, Planning Commission chair. She said they have begun revamping the decades old zoning ordinance. The update, which will take a few years, will allow a more streamlined process for developers and residents to build or change structures. 

In the meantime, Freye said that the commission will roll out temporary fixes to help speed the process of rezoning and zoning requests.

One of the focuses is to create special focus areas to rezone, which will allow new development projects to better utilize areas. Here are some of the upcoming enhancements.

Transportation Updates

The board approved money for seven major road, bike lane and sidewalk projects, using money in part through Virginia’s Department of Transportation “Smartscale” grants, which the county matches. 

Here’s the list of projects.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1po_X_cU9PE6MhLKy4kx8rhxbzcy5HgpT/view?usp=sharing

To see more transportation and capital improvement projects, as well as data, the county has created an interactive website with tons of information. 

 

Ian M. Stewart previously was the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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