City News

Press Releases and Announcements

Parks and Recreation Moves Up in Trust for Public Land Park Score Index

Parks and Recreation Moves Up in Trust for Public Land Park Score Index
Richmond moves from 48th in 2017 to 22nd in 2024 out of top 100 cites in America

On May 22, 2024, the Trust for Public Lands released updated their thirteenth Park Score Index for park districts across the country. In a national index of America’s 100 most populous cities, the City of Richmond now ranks #22 in terms of access to high quality park spaces, up from #48 in 2017.

This annual report measures park systems on access, investment, amenities, acreage, and equity. For the 2024 Park Score Index, Richmond scored 62.3 points out of 100 based on the five categories, with 14 measures where points can be awarded. The updated ranking is a 17-point jump from 2023 and is 23 points higher than the year prior.  Richmond’s meteoric rise in park access and resources is a result of intersecting objectives: 

  1. The City’s effort to close the park 10-minute walkability gap by creating parks in underserved neighborhoods;
  2. The advancement of 4 community center capital projects through opportunities made possible by the American Recovery Plan Act; and
  3. The addition of over 80 acres of park lands in south Richmond and the James River Park System.

“Since I took office in 2017, one of the top issues I heard from residents was to improve our park system,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “Now, after seven and half years, more Richmonders have access to our great park system than ever before. Our increased score from the Trust for Public Lands shows the incredible progress we have made in increasing our green space for ALL Richmonders to enjoy! I look forward to this progress continuing for years to come.”

Richmond saw the largest increase in points in the Investment category earning 47 points, an increase of 9 points from 2023. The city has increased the per capita spending for Parks and Recreation from $99 (below the national average in 2022) to $135 per capita (average national spending). The city also saw an increase in points in the measure of percent of low-income households that are within a 10-minute walk of a park. With additional acreage added to Parks and Recreation inventory with sites such as Broad Rock Creek Park located in the 8th District, South Richmonders can access more greenspace than in previous years.

“Parks are places where we work to redefine our city; where community partners and government work together to activate these spaces,” said Traci DeShazor, Deputy Chief Administration Officer of Human Services. “As we celebrate this new ranking, I would also like to celebrate the staff that are activating park spaces daily and helping the community decide who Richmond is every day.”

Over the last seven years, the city has increased the percentage of city area as parkland from 5% to 7.3% with the purchase of spaces such as the new Dock Street Park, the newly acquired Mayo Island, and the five new parks designated by Mayor Stoney and Council in 2020.

“Our park score shows that Richmond is a premiere place in the country to live and play! We are thrilled to see this monumental movement in our park score. This accomplishment is due to the leadership and support of Mayor Stoney, Council, and Administration, as well as the dedication of our community partners, citizens, and amazing Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities team,” said Chris Frelke, Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.

To read the entire report, please visit the Trust for Public Land website. For more information about the department, follow PRCF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit our website.

New 2024-2025 Fan Restricted Parking Decals Available for Purchase

Posted 5-24-24

~ Current permits expire June 30 ~

RICHMOND, Va.  – New parking decals for residents of the Fan Restricted Parking District are on sale. They cost $25 each and are limited. Both mail-in and in-person renewal options are available for qualifying residents. The current Fan parking permit expires June 30, 2024.

Residents must display the Fan permit on their cars to park more than one hour from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday and, also on West Avenue, parts of Boyd and Birch Streets, and the 1600 and 1800 blocks of West Grace Street, the regulation is one hour from 7:00 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Sunday.

A resident is either the residing owner of record or renter of property located within the Restricted Parking District. A City of Richmond Residential Parking Permit Application must be completed and approved prior to decal issuance. To enable the Department of Public Works to verify residency, the following information and photo identification must be provided:

  • Residential property owners must provide either a copy of their real estate bill or other information that verifies ownership of the property
  • Renters must provide a valid written lease for the property in the Fan Parking District, and have the appropriate approval of the property owner on the application they present

A resident of the district is defined as an owner of record or renter of property in the district and members of their immediate family who reside with the owner or renter at the address in the District:

(1) Who are licensed drivers, and

(2) Whose domicile is the address for which they are seeking to obtain the parking permit

Annual Visitor Passes also are available and limited to two per house or building address at a cost of $35 each.

Annual Visitor Passes must be purchased at the same time the Fan permit is purchased and are restricted to residential homeowners.

Property owners and renters are required to comply with the residency requirements and the motor vehicle registration requirements of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Residents can get more information, verify residency in the Fan Parking District and purchase a permit through the online portal at:

Fan decals and applications are also available at City Hall, Room 102, 900 East Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia. The office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please call 804-646-5700 if you have any questions.

For additional details, please use the 3-1-1 mobile app or online portal at or call 3-1-1.

For more information on the Department of Public Works, please visit us online at or send an email to

We’re Social! For updates on DPW-related projects, activities and events visit us on X @DPW_RichmondVA


The City of Richmond Department of Public Works (DPW) is one of only 195 currently accredited public works agencies in the United States. DPW’s portfolio comprises a wide array of services to include leaf collection; street, sidewalk and alley maintenance; trash collection; recycling; grass cutting;  graffiti removal; parking enforcement; urban forestry; street signs; traffic signals and pavement markings and civil engineering. In addition, DPW maintains upkeep on most city buildings; issues permits for working in the city’s right-of-way; manages the RVA Bike Share program and maintains the fleet of city vehicles. DPW’s operating budget comes from the general fund of the City of Richmond.  For more information about DPW services, click here or call 3-1-1

The City of Richmond Receives AAA Bond Rating from Fitch Ratings

Media Advisory                                                                               
May 23, 2024
Contact: Petula Burks
Phone: 804.389.7157

For Immediate Release

The City of Richmond Receives AAA Bond Rating from Fitch Ratings

Resiliency |  Stability  |  Strong Reserves

Richmond, VA - Fitch Ratings, one of the three National Credit Rating Agencies, in a press release yesterday, assigned the City the highest possible rating of AAA based on the City’s strong finances, economic profile and well managed operations. This rating, a testament to Richmond's financial resilience and strong reserves, underscores the City's stability and strength. It's a reassurance to our stakeholders and the public that the City of Richmond is in a robust financial position.

The AAA rating, a mark of our financial strength, allows the City to borrow money at the lowest interest rates possible. This translates into significant savings of millions of dollars for our residents. These savings are then channeled towards projects that directly improve our daily lives, such as improvements to roadways, sidewalks and bikeways; improvements to neighborhood parks, libraries, and recreational facilities; construction and major renovations of schools and other City facilities. 

What does this mean for the Diamond District bonds? The rating agency's AAA bond rating underscores the positives of the Diamond District project approved by Council on May 8, 2024. 

"When I came into office, I made the promise of moving the City to a AAA Bond Rating. Today, that promise has been kept,” said Mayor Levar Stoney.  “With the Fitch rating, the City is among an elite class of organizations that have proven financial responsibility at the highest level. I am grateful for all the hard work from city staff, especially DCAO Sabrina Joy-Hogg and finance director Sheila White, and our public and private partnerships that helped make this possible. This is a massive step forward for our city.”

In addition to Fitch Ratings, S&P Global Ratings reaffirmed its 'AA+' long-term rating for Richmond based upon the City’s expanding economy; track record of strong financial results and very strong reserves; and well-established and strong financial management policies. In addition, S&P reaffirmed its Positive Outlook which reflects one-in-three chance that the City could receive an upgrade if it sustains economic growth and financial resilience.

Moody's Ratings has reaffirmed a ‘Aa1’ rating with a Stable Outlook.  The rating is based upon their expectation that the city's financial position will remain healthy given management's conservative budgeting practices and adherence to formal fiscal and debt policies.

Bond ratings for both corporations and government agencies are similar to a credit score. The three primary credit rating agencies are Moody’s Investor Services, Standard & Poor's Global, and Fitch Ratings. These agencies offer impartial evaluations of a bond issuer's financial strength and their ability to repay a bond's principal and interest.

Click here to download the press release.

Traffic Advisory ** NEW ** UPDATE - Lane Closures - Forest Hill Avenue

*** NEW UPDATE ***

Lane Closures – 6800 - 7100 blocks of Forest Hill Avenue

WHO:  City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities (
WHAT:  Travel lanes in the 6800 – 7100 blocks of Forest Hill Avenue are impacted
WHEN:  Additional traffic impacts begin Friday, May 17 

WHERE: 6800 - 7100 blocks of Forest Hill Avenue (between Joe Brooks Boulevard and Hathaway Road)

BACKGROUND:  The City of Richmond became aware of a collapsed sewer main in this section of Forest Hill Avenue in April 2024. Temporary measures were taken which included stabilizing the ground to prevent additional collapse as well the installation of a bypass system to ensure no impact to sewer services.

City and contracted planners and engineers have developed a plan of action to replace the failed pipe and assess other areas of concern. Permanent replacement work will begin on Monday, May 20. The Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) barriers and notices will be installed beginning Friday, May 17 at 9:00 a.m.

Work will require that the eastbound traffic lanes of Forest Hill Avenue be closed between Joe Brooks Boulevard and Hathaway Road. Both eastbound and westbound lanes of Forest Hill Avenue traffic will share use of westbound lanes for the duration of the project. Access to businesses on Forest Hill Avenue will remain open during construction.

The detour will remain in place permanently until project completion, with the entire project anticipated to be complete by December 2024. Work hours are scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday. During the work there will be large trucks and other construction equipment operating daily, which will result in an increased level of noise during working hours.

Motorists are reminded to pay attention to signage in the area, and to use caution while traveling through the work zone. Riders of GRTC buses are encouraged to check updated schedules (via or the GRTC mobile app) for changes to bus stops or schedules before travel.

Most sewers were installed in the early 1900’s and have deteriorated to the point that they have begun to leak, have failed (collapsed), or are at risk of failure. If not addressed, settling of road surfaces, back-ups, and other problems may occur.

We appreciate your patience and understanding while this critical infrastructure work continues. There is no impact to the water service in the area; your water supply remains safe for drinking and recreational activities.

Full project details can be found here:


Richmond City Council Unanimously Passes Updated Diamond District Papers

Media Advisory
May 8th, 2024
Contact: Petula Burks
Phone: 804.646.6311


Richmond City Council Unanimously Passes Updated Diamond District Papers

“Baseball is here to stay in Richmond.” – Mayor Levar Stoney

Flying Squirrels New Stadium and Diamond District Phase One on Track for 2026 opening

Richmond, VA – Today, Richmond City Council unanimously passed several papers related to the Diamond District including an updated purchase, sale, and development agreement, authorization for bond issuance, cooperation agreement between the city and EDA, and the establishment of the Diamond District Community Development Authority (CDA).

In early April, the City Administration provided an update on the Diamond District project. Based on the advice from the city’s independent financial advisor, the administration recommended to City Council that a City Special Revenue Bond Approach be used instead of a Community Development Authority (CDA) revenue bond approach to finance the Flying Squirrels’ baseball stadium and Phase One infrastructure work of the Diamond District.

The new approach will reduce costs by an estimated $215 million over 30 years, due to a decreased interest rate from +8% to 4%. It will also secure an additional ~$24 million by utilizing the currently available state sales tax incentive program before its expiration on July 1st.

This new approach also accomplishes the following:

  • Does not impact the city’s debt affordability – in other words, it does not impact the city’s current capital improvement projects or our ability to afford other capital improvement projects, like new schools.
  • Eliminates the need for an expanded Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district, and all revenues would flow to the city’s General Fund.


What’s New

  • Special Revenue Bond approach to reduce overall project costs
  • The Flying Squirrels are now managing the design and construction of the stadium through contracts with ODELL (a LaBella Company) and Machete
  • The development team has changed from RVA Diamond Partners LLC composed of Thalhimer Realty Partner, LOOP Capital, and Republic, to Diamond District Partners LLC which consists of Thalhimer Realty Partner and LOOP Capital
  • The Diamond District will be developed by an established local developer, Thalhimer Realty Partner, and the Black-owned, nationally-recognized investment banking firm, LOOP Capital


What Remains the Same:

  • 67-acre site anchored by a new ballpark and mixed-use buildings
  • A signature central park
  • 40% Minority Business Enterprise requirements
  • 40% union labor for the stadium and infrastructure
  • 25% union labor for the privately financed portions of the project
  • 20% of the residential units to be affordable to households with incomes averaging 60% AMI: Phase1 to include up to 100 units with project-based vouchers to assist households at or below 30% AMI
  • Partnership with Virginia Union University (VUU) to establish the Diamond District Small Business Institute and an associated $250,000 Revolving Loan Program


What’s Next:

After City Council’s vote to approve the updated development agreement and financing structure, work will begin on the project in early Summer. Here are the following milestones in the Diamond District Project timeline:

  • Groundbreaking in June
  • Stadium Bonds issued in June
  • Infrastructure Bonds issued in July
  • Sitework begins in July
  • Phase One land purchase to occur on or before August 31st
  • Stadium Construction to begin this fall
  • Private development of hotel, retail, and residential to start in early 2025
  • Stadium complete for 2026 baseball season


Mayor Levar Stoney:

“Baseball is here to stay in Richmond,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “For years now, Richmonders have been clear that they want a state-of-the-art stadium for the Flying Squirrels and a vibrant new neighborhood for all Richmonders to enjoy. Now we are on track to deliver a game-changing development for our city. I am grateful and proud of the City Administration, City Council, and the development team that devoted so much time to this important project. I cannot wait to break ground this summer.”


Kristen Nye, Richmond City Council President:

“Richmonders have been clear about two aspects of the Diamond District project – they want us to ensure the Flying Squirrels, one of the best assets and ambassadors for our city, remain in Richmond and to support the new housing development in the District, including numerous affordable units, said Council President and Fourth District Councilwoman, Kristen Nye. “While the latest funding model is different than we originally envisioned, I believe this project, including with the new funding structure, is in the city’s best interest and is consistent with the feedback we have heard from Richmonders throughout this process.”


Councilwoman Katherine Jordan:

“I appreciate everyone’s dedication to keeping this project moving forward, especially in the face of very challenging financial headwinds,” said Councilwoman Katherine Jordan, who represents Richmond’s Second Council District. “Just as I have throughout the process to date, I will be focused on ensuring the community benefits remain at the forefront of this project, and that we deliver fully on a dynamic, mixed-use neighborhood, a first-class public park, and the long-promised new stadium for the Squirrels. I can’t wait to see shovels in the ground as we move from master plan to construction.”

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