Rumor Mill – Rumors vs. Facts
Occasionally rumors, gossip and sometimes unconfirmed claims can spread quickly. In an effort to enhance communication between the City of Colonial Heights and our citizens, this page will be updated from time to time with topics that will hopefully clarify some of the more well-known rumors that maybe out in our community.
Do you have a rumor you would like to share with us? Contact the City Manager's Office at (804)520-9265.
Old City Courthouse Property
February 11, 2021
Question: What is being built at the old City Courthouse property at the corner of Temple Avenue and Hamilton Avenue
Response: A developer purchased the site at 401 Temple Avenue from Kroger in December 2020. The developer is developing a gas convenience site (5,154 sq. ft.) and a Valvoline (2,500 sq. ft.). They hope to have a restaurant user in the future as well. A public announcement of more specific information regarding the gas convenience use will occur at a later time.
September 14, 2018
Rumor: "I saw that City Council had a closed meeting regarding a proposed rezoning. The City Council must be changing zoning of a property behind closed doors."
Fact: The City Council cannot change zoning in a closed meeting, although City Council can receive legal advice regarding a proposed rezoning in a closed meeting. City Council can also not take binding votes in a closed meeting. No action of the City Council in a closed meeting becomes legally effective until it is identified and approved by an open vote in a public meeting. In addition, certain actions, such as rezoning, require a public hearing process to be held as well.
Rental Inspection Program
Rumor: “Will rental properties be inspected by the Building Inspections Division anymore with the recent repealing of the Rental Inspection Program, Chapter 113 of the City Code?”
Fact: The City Council did hold a public hearing and had a first reading on Ordinance No. 16-43, repealing the Chapter 113, Rental Inspection Program, of the Colonial Heights City Code at the November 15, 2016 meeting. However, it will have a second reading at the December regular meeting of City Council for the Ordinance to be effective.
However, this does not mean the Building Inspections Division will not inspect rental properties in Colonial Heights any longer. Tenants of rental property, properties they are actively renting, will still have the right to request a building inspector to inspect the property that they are renting for any building code violations. The tenant will need to fill out a property maintenance complaint form and sign it. This is the Building Inspections Division’s proof of legal right of entry to the interior of the property. The Property Maintenance Section of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code provides for the inspection of owner occupied or rental properties for violations located and visible on the outside of the primary structure such as rotten window seals, structures with damaged or missing siding, chipped paint, and other unsafe living conditions.
Also, the repealing of this Chapter of the City Code will not allow for structural changes to a single family residence to occur without a building permit issued by the Building Inspections Division and no structure can be converted to multiple housing units without the proper rezoning.