HENRICO REZONING & REDISTRICING
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE LETTER THAT YOU CAN SUBMIT – THE MORE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WE HAVE FOR WESTWOOD, THE MORE OUR VOICES AS A COMMUNITY WILL BE HEARD BY THE DECISION MAKERS ON THIS TOPIC
Here is the letter our concerns: Even if you don’t have children yet in elementary school, just delete the 2nd sentence. FYI, this does not include concern on how our home values will drop, because county does not factor that into their decisions!
I have reviewed the draft map options for the Henrico County Public Schools 2021 Redistricting Plan. I am a parent of a child in _____ grade, currently attending _____ School. Our current school feeder pattern is Crestview, Tuckahoe, Freeman. We have lived here for ____ years and we have a number of thoughts we would like to share with you.
I strongly oppose High School Option 1 that rezones Crestview from Freeman to Tucker for the following reasons:
Procedural Guidelines and Highway Split: The county promised to look closely at whether or not a highway splits through a school zone. This clearly did not occur with the Tucker rezoning draft option 1. A neighborhood directly north of Tucker High School was removed from the Tucker zone (Longan Elementary zone, which is only 1.3 miles away from Tucker High) and rezoned to a high school close to 5 miles away from them (Glen Allen) simply to allow the Tucker zone to have space for the Crestview Elementary zone. It’s very hard to understand how this helps any parents and students feel that they are part of this process as a human being instead of just a number. According to the procedural guidelines as listed on the Henrico County Public Schools website, “Major roads and natural boundaries will be used whenever feasible to define attendance zones”. I64 and Broad street are major roads which we would have to use or cross in order to get to Tucker (or else drive right by Freeman). The guidelines also state, “Efforts will be made to establish walking schools and reasonable walking zones where feasible”- no one will be able to safely walk or bike to Tucker from our neighborhoods. Meanwhile, there are already a number of students who bike to Freeman from our neighborhood now.
Diversity: Our corridor and neighborhood is a diversity feeder to both Tuckahoe Middle and Freeman High, which strongly and positively benefits both schools and our community. Our neighborhood and immediate surrounding area is very socioeconomically diverse. Crestview families live in houses, apartments ranging in rental prices from under $800 to well over $2000, and a number of families live in homes with extended family members. Crestview serves a large amount of free/reduced lunches (over 50%). Each year, Crestview Elementary holds and International Dinner, and guests attend from all over the county to be a part of this very special event/occasion. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, close to 50% of Crestview students identify as non-white students. If Crestview stopped feeding into Freeman and started feeding into Tucker it would have a major effect on the diversity breakdown at those schools. Freeman High is a great opportunity for our Crestview students who may not have an option to attend a specialty center or another high performing school with a longstanding positive reputation like Freeman High. Removing this option and opportunity does the opposite of leveling the playing field for our students who may not have the same benefits the affluent students of Henrico County Public Schools already have.
Safety: The route to Tucker versus Freeman from the Crestview zone is not at all ideal. To get to Tucker, one must either cross or use major and very busy roads/interstates (Broad Street or I64), or drive down Three Chopt, which means students would drive past Freeman to get to Tucker. Traffic patterns down these roads that are already busy with commuters will be negatively affected, and the county will bear the responsibility of forcing inexperienced drivers (juniors and seniors who drive themselves to school) to commute to school on an interstate or major, busy commuter roads.
Community: Our community is bordered on the North by Broad Street- a major commuter road. Crestview family community and social interactions take place south of Broad- shopping, Tuckahoe YMCA, sports teams and activities, churches, swim clubs, etc. –all of this occurs in the Three Chopt to River Road corridor. Crestview Students are already making lifelong friendships with Tuckahoe Middle School and Freeman High School students. Rezoning our elementary school to Tucker would have a negative impact on our community and its cohesiveness. This option does not take into consideration students staying together from elementary through high school. Due to the proposed size/boundaries of Tucker, a significant % of middle school students will not continue to high school together. Further, this stands to have an even more negative impact on the large amount of ESL students Crestview has had the privilege of serving. Crestview prides itself on its diversity and attention paid to both students with learning disabilities and students who are learning English as a secondary language – expecting these students to attend a high school without the friends they have had through elementary and middle school seems out of touch and certainly not at all kind-hearted.
WILDLIFE IN WESTWOOD
PER COMMUNITY OFFICER, RICHARD MALLORY: Wild animals are indigenous to the area and an Animal Protection Officer will not pick it up because it is in the area. If the animal is showing signs of distress from an injury or acting abnormally then it might be picked up. If a wild animal of any kind is observed in the area the best advice is to leave it alone and let it move on. Animals will look for one of four things on a regular basis.
- Mating (seasonal)
This time of year many animals are looking for food or shelter. Do not leave food out for them. This would include pet food and trash. In my neighborhood we have many wild animals as well and they don’t cause problems unless encouraged to stay because easy food sources are available.
From WCA: Please do not approach, touch or feed these animals (FOXES AND COYOTES HAVE BEEN SPOTTED NEAR THE PLAYGROUND REGULARLY IN RECENT WEEKS) and keep your distance at least three meters away from them.
These animals, however, are susceptible to contracting rabies. If you see an animal growling at you, foaming at the mouth, or with open sores on their skins, vacate the area
immediately and call 911 (reporting the animal as potentially rabid to get prompt action).
Here are some pictures from Thursday (10th October) afternoon.
Shed Break In
BREAK IN ALERT: On the morning of September 9, a resident at 1900 West Club Lane (just bordering the Westwood neighborhood, at the intersection of Engel/Pollard and West Club Lane) reported that his locked shed was broken into last night and the following items were stolen: generator, gas trimmer, power saw, miscellaneous hand tools. The thieves broke into a shed window and unlocked the metal doors from the inside.
Police have been notified and were at his residence this morning around 9am. Please keep your sheds and shed windows locked. This particular resident does not have a fence surrounding his property. If you have a fence and are able to lock it, please do that as well! If you see anything unusual, please reach out to the WCA via a Facebook post OR email email@example.com. Emily Reagan LeVasseur and Maria Terrell are your Neighborhood Watch Co-Chairs. Thank you!
Lost Dog: Small & White (Found at 6307 Morningside Dr.)
Have you lost a small, white dog today? One was found by a local resident. Animal Control was called and the dog is now located at their Woodman Road location. Their number is 804-727-8800 and the address is 10421 Woodman Rd. Glen Allen, VA, 23060. Please reach out to them if this is your dog.
If you are a Facebook user, but have not yet joined our Facebook page, please do at Westwood Civic Association RVA, for more timely updates with these kinds of issues. Photos are attached to this post for your reference.
Have a wonderful rest of your weekend and we sure do hope this little pup finds it’s owners.
Westwood Civic Association
Resident Survey 2019
Dear Westwood Resident,
If you haven’t already, please complete your resident survey and return to Emily at your earliest convenience to firstname.lastname@example.org OR to the mailbox at 6011 S. Crestwood Ave. OR text a picture to 804-937-7928. The survey is attached via the link below. Thank you for taking the time to complete this for us. Your feedback is important!
Fall 2019 Newsletter, Survey, Calendar of Events & Contact Information
We hope this update finds you well and having an enjoyable summer! Lots to unpack in our latest Newsletter. Hard copies to follow in your mailbox, with an updated Neighborhood Survey, Calendar of Events & Contact Information Sheet. We hope you’ll join us for our next meeting, Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 6:30pm at the Westwood Club (Hall of Fame Room) and for our Fall Festival on Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 4pm-6pm in Westwood Park. Please visit the attached for all that’s new in Westwood. Thank you for all that you do to make Westwood a wonderful place to live!
National Night Out Was a Huge Success
Thank you so very much for making the 2019 National Night Out at Westwood Park a huge success! It was an amazing evening with over 80 Westwood neighbors and local law enforcement representatives enjoying ice cream and mingling. Among our VIP guests were Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas, Police Chief Humberto Cardounel, Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor, Deputy County Manager McDowell, HCPD Captains Cook and Engels, members of Firehouse No. 10, and many other members of the police and safety community.
In addition to being one of the most well-attended NNO events in Westwood’s recent history, we are very happy to have received hundreds of personal care items that will be donated to the homeless people in our Henrico County community. This project supports the HCPD Crisis Intervention Team and every donation makes a difference!
We would also like to thank Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield/Healthkeepers, Hannah and Jonathan Rhudy of Baby In Baby Out, and the Henrico County Police Division for the donations of safety-related giveaway items and information.
Thanks again for making our Westwood neighborhood a safe, caring, wonderful place to live!
Emily LeVasseur & Maria Terrell
Neighborhood Watch Co-Coordinators
Thank You to Everyone Who Made the 2019 Picnic a Success
Hello Westwood neighbors,
We hope everyone who attended last weekend’s WCA picnic and annual meeting had a great time! We need to say a tremendous thank you to the Westwood Club for providing the food and staff; Crazy Greek Restaurant, Metro Diner, and Chocolate Cravings for gift certificates and special coupons; the magician The Amazing Mr. B; the incredible staff of the Henrico County Recreation and Parks Department; and all the volunteers who made this possible, especially Emily LeVasseur, who led the organization efforts!
We’d also like to say a special thank you to our VIP guests including Henrico County Supervisor for the Brookland District Dan Schmitt, Virginia State Delegate Debra Rodman, and Sharon Smidley from the Henrico County Department of Public Works, who gave a presentation on the exciting new plans for pedestrian safety features/new pedestrian walkway on Bremo Road.
Great news: Westwood residents donated more than 140 pounds of food to the food drive this year. The bulk goes to Feed More, and we also make a donation to the St. Mary’s Hospital Guest House.
Thank you to longtime board member Mary Hensley and to Chris Minnigh for their service — they have both decided to retire — we will miss you! And thank you to Sam Gage for his previous terms as Neighborhood Watch Chair. Thanks to Chris Minnigh, Rich Terrell, Jack Heisler, and Andrew LeVasseur for heading up the nominating committee this year and creating the following slate of board officers, members, and new Neighborhood Watch Co-Chairs, which received a resounding, unanimous yes vote by those present at the annual meeting held during the picnic.
Congratulations to our new board members and officers who will take office for the term of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020:
President: Emily Dunstan
Vice President: Rich Terrell
Treasurer: Jack Heisler
Secretary: Emily LeVasseur
Immediate Past President: Maria Holperin Terrell
Returning/previous board members:
New board members:
Our new Neighborhood Watch Co-Chairs are Emily LeVasseur and Maria Holperin Terrell.
See you around the neighborhood!
Maria Holperin Terrell
Westwood Civic Association
Green Space Cleanup Was a Success
Thanks to our volunteers and crew from the Henrico County Recreation and Parks Department, we had a good cleanup yesterday morning (Saturday, May 18), which has served to be the start of some significant cleanup efforts in the green space in the 5900 block of Morningside.
Volunteers, including Mark, Jensey, Dale, Arnaldo, Bill, Rick, Jay, Adeline (the youngest at 3!) and others braved vines, saplings, and over- and under-growth to clean up more than 100 square feet. Even though the Parks Department had sprayed the poison ivy, it still was potent and widespread, keeping us from doing more. A special thanks to Keith and Glen of the Parks Department for their hard work and supervision!
A very good thing that came out of the event is that the Parks Department staff will be returning within the next few weeks to bush-hog the areas alongside the roads and will continue to periodically spray the poison ivy, providing a safe area for people to walk alongside, park their cars, etc.
Many thanks to volunteers Jensey Ancarrow, Dale Davis, and Arnaldo Cardona who wish to continue working with the Parks Department on cleanup and improvement efforts.
Maria Holperin Terrell
Westwood Civic Association