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School Design Updates

The new Richmond High School for the Arts (formerly known as George Wythe High School) has been designed on the current site with an athletic complex consisting of a football field with bleachers, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, and two field houses. The site is in a residential R-4 zoning district which has a maximum height restriction of 35’-0”. The maximum height is only allowed to be increased if the yard setback from the property line is increased by 1’-0” for every 1’-0” of height the structure exceeds the maximum. The athletic field light poles must be much taller than 35’-0” limit to properly light the playfields and are between 60’-0” and 90’-0” tall. Due to the constraints of the small site, seven of the eighteen athletic field light poles we have on the site cannot be set back far enough from the property line to meet the zoning ordinance requirement without creating unsafe and unplayable conditions for the students.

We are therefore requesting special approval for these seven poles from the Board of Zoning Appeals to ensure that the students have a fully functional high school athletic complex.

The overall site plan and building design has already been presented to and approved by Richmond’s UDC. The site and building designs are not the issue at hand, but simply the height of the light poles.  Below is a colored overall site plan to help with orientation and an enlarged portion of the site showing the athletic complex with the light poles.  Those colored green are not an issue, those colored red are the ones in question.

To learn more about the RVA Zoning Board, click here.