City council approves next step of Midtown Row project, beautification fund

Council approved two proposals at its Thursday afternoon meeting. One was a proposal for a design change by Broad Street Realty to the Williamsburg and Monticello Shopping Centers, and another a fund aimed at making the city more aesthetically pleasing.

Broad Street Realty updated design plan for Midtown Row was unanimously approved by the city council, three weeks after it was approved unanimously by the planning commission.

The changes include pedestrian-friendly improvements, such as removing a portion of the housing development to allow for more parking and additional bike racks. The housing development shrinks from having 277 units to 240 units.

Broad Street will present its site plan, which is the final design agreement for the project, and reveal a color scheme at a later meeting.

Beautification fund

City Council also unanimously approved a beautification fund, which will use donations to make Williamsburg more aesthetically pleasing.

Council decided to give the Williamsburg Community Foundation $10,000 to start a beautification fund. The fund will now be open to accept donations from the public.

Similar funds are used in Houston, Washington, D.C., Columbus, Ohio, and Oklahoma City, according to Nancy Sullivan, director of the Williamsburg Community Foundation.

The fund could be used to create bike and pedestrian paths, improve park, playground and recreation facilities, and maintain public art, among other things.

The fund wouldn’t be used to offset ongoing maintenance or other work normally financed by the city’s general budget.

The Williamsburg Community Foundation will control the beautification fund and determine recipients.

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