Neighbors working together in one of RVA's oldest (and greatest) neighborhoods: Union Hill.
First, thanks to Tom for coming to last night’s meeting to share his plan with us for 719 N. 22nd. I’ve lived in the city for more than 15 years and as a homeowner / resident on the 700 block of N 22nd (just three doors down from the proposed structure) for the past 8 years, I have some concerns that I would imagine may be shared by many in the Union Hill community. Respectfully:1) The 700 block is currently 100% single family homes / duplexes, mostly owner occupied. The plan to squeeze a four-unit-apartment complex comprised of inexpensive ($600-$700 /mo) rentals, 1 bedroom and 600 sq feet each, does not appear to be in keeping with the character – or potential – of our block or of Union Hill in general.2) The pitched roofline and style of the house does not appear to have a historical precedent and is out of character with the rest of the 700 block.3) To the best of my knowledge, everyone currently living on the 700 block has been here at least 6 years – and many have been here MUCH longer. The sudden addition of an apartment complex full of tenants who will likely lack that level of commitment, pride, and ownership in / to Union Hill will threaten the fabric of this great block. 4) The complex will likely lower home values and erode the investments of time, effort, and money that have been made by those who have chosen to make Union Hill their home for the long haul and worked diligently to make the area great.5) Two specific questions that I intend to forward to Tom are:a. How will parking be handled? Will there be a large parking lot in the back of the structure to accommodate its residents?b. How does the building “fit” on the lot? The sketches we saw for the proposed project on the 600 block show how it would sit (and how tall / long it is, etc.) in relation to the existing houses around it. Do you have something similar that you can share for 719 N. 22nd?We certainly welcome new projects that are sensitive to the historic, cultural, and architectural elements that make Union Hill unique, that capitalize on the momentum that has been growing here for the past decade or more, and that keep it going in a positive direction. However, it appears that the proposed structure in its current form would be a step backwards. I hope a more fitting proposal can be put forward for this site.Respectfully,Kai Sommer