Richmond-area residents will have another option for travelling to Washington starting July 20, when a new commonwealth-funded train will begin operating. The train will leave Richmond at 7 a.m. and stop at Ashland, Fredericksburg, Quantico, Woodbridge, and Alexandria before arriving in Washington at 9:30 a.m. The return train will leave Washington's Union Station at 3:55 p.m.
The train will benefit homeowners who live near the planned stopping points, offering them another option to move around the often heavily congested Richmond-Washington corridor.
Read more in The Washington Post....
Fairfax County officials are reconsidering a 1960s-era plan to build a Metrorail extension to Baileys Crossroads. A group of high-rise residential and office buildings was constructed with the extension in mind, but the station was never built.
Baileys is one of seven commercial districts that Fairfax officials have targeted for redevelopment. The plan is to develop the communities into walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods served by mass transit. The development will be needed: Fairfax County is projected to grow by 225,000 residents over the next 30 years.
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative has issued an emergency declaration to its customers in response to soaring energy demand on its power grid. Customers are asked to reduce electrical use in their homes between 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Suggestions include turning up thermostast to 78 degrees and not using household appliances like the stove, oven, dishwasher, or clothes dryer until after sunset. If followed, the conservation guidelines should ensure that residents have electrical power to cool their homes and go about their daily business.
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative has issued an emergency declaration to its customers in response to soaring energy demand on its power grid. Customers are asked to reduce electrical use in their homes between 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Suggestions include turning up thermostast to 78 degrees and not using household appliances like the stove, oven, dishwasher, or clothes dryer until after sunset.
If followed, the conservation guidelines should ensure that residents have electrical power to cool their homes and go about their daily business.
The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is working with the Reedy Creek Coalition, a grass-roots group in Richmond, to help homeowners in the creek's watershed to reduce polluted runoff from their properties.
Volunteers are performing audits of homes in and around the watershed that feeds Reedy Creek, which is one of the five biggest tributaries of the James in Richmond. Homeowners are given concrete suggestions -- such as breaking up clay or adding strategic beds of plants -- that can help them reduce runoff and keep polluted water out of the waterways.
A proposal to create an interchange at Interstate 295 and Meadowville Road in Chesterfield County has been approved by the Virginia Department of Transportation and advertised for construction bids. The interchange should open by late 2011.
The interchange will allow easy access to the recently built Meadowville Technology Park. Officials say the interchange will make the 1,300-acre park more attractive to major companies and could result in around 7,000 jobs for the region. The projected boost to the local economy would likely have a positive impact on area home values.
Read more in the Richmond Times-Dispatch....
The Henrico CountyPlanning Commission will hold a public hearing about the proposed mixed-use designation for the Innsbrook area. A study draft released in May suggests gradually changing Innsbrook from what is today mostly office space to a walkable community with a mixture of office, retail, entertainment, and residential development.
The original study area includes Innsbrook Corporate Center and encompasses acreage between West Broad Street and Nuckols Road near Interstate 295. That space is largely designated for office use under the 2026 Comprehensive Plan adopted in August. Officials will consider whether to add a 166-acre residential area to the study. Staff are recommending that the area continue to be zoned for single-family residential use.
Would you like to have a say in the future of Virginia's housing regulations? You can.
Gov. McDonnell recently appointed a Housing Policy Advisory Committee to develop the Commonwealth's first statewide housing policy. The policy is expected to guide the Commonwealth's approach to issues such as healthy neighborhoods, effective coordination with transportation, environmental issues, homelessness, affordable housing, workforce housing, economic development, and other housing related opportunities.
The Advisory Committee is currently taking comments from citizens on what shape the statewide housing policy should take.
This is the last year that Isle of Wight will collect machinery and tool taxes from International Paper. The manufacturer paid $5.7 million and $5.1 million in machinery and tool taxes in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
The loss of such a significant source of revenue will likely impact homeowners, who may be asked to make up for the lost funds through tax increases and/or reduced services.
Virginia's budget -- pared down to 2007 levels -- stripped counties, cities, and towns across the commonwealth of funds that would have gone to schools, community services, and road construction projects. In order to balance their budgets without the anticipated money, most localities had to cut services, raise taxes, or both.
State budget issues can have a profound impact on homeowners, especially when those issues affect local community budgets.
Read more from The Associated Press....
Failure to collect delinquent property taxes has cost Norfolk $13 million -- and it's unclear when the city will get its hands on the funds.
The Virginian-Pilot discovered that as of mid-April, the city had more than 900 parcels with taxes at least three years overdue. Of those, almost 300 were 10 years past due.
"The process we've been using is not the way to go anymore, perhaps," said Wendy Petchel, the real estate supervisor in the city treasurer's office. "It's a procedure that was working in the beginning. Now we have to question whether this is working."
Ultimately, all city residents pay when property owners ignore tax obligations -- through decreased services, increased taxes, or both.