Richmond city commissioners adopted a comprehensive master plan in 2014. City charter requires the plan to be updated every five years.

That’s now.

Fortunately, much of the 2014 plan is still relevant and doesn’t require updating, Richmond Planning Director Jose Abraham told commissioners at a meeting Monday.

He said a number of the plan’s key goals have already been accomplished, such as the adoption of the Unified Development Code, which mostly impacts builders and developers; a public infrastructure design manual, adoption of the International Building Codes, water, and wastewater master plan; and the trail master plan.

He said the city has not been able to accomplish or make significant progress on other goals, such as a fiscal impact model for annexation, a business park feasibility study, and a business incubator and accelerator program. Therefore, he added, the commission and city staff still has plenty of work to do updating the comprehensive master plan.

“Interdepartmental studies suggest that the 2014 plan goals and recommendations continue to be relevant in terms of guiding the city of Richmond’s growth and planning efforts,” he said, adding “staff is not anticipating a new comprehensive plan or an extensive update that would result in significant changes in terms of planning goals and recommendations.”

Commissioner Barry Beard asked staff to help him and his colleagues understand their role in the development of the master plan.

He said he believes the commissioners need to be more involved in its development, but he’s uncertain how they can play a more active and proactive role.

Staff will take what they heard from commissioners Monday and incorporate it in the updated master plan and bring the issue back to the commission at a later date for more discussion. 

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