Henrico County VA
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Board considers standards for private dog parks

If you're a dog owner in Henrico County, there's only one public place in which your dog is legally permitted to run "at large" (free from your control) – Dorey Dog Park in Varina.

But a request from a county homeowners' association could eventually lead to more private options for dog owners.

The Henrico Board of Supervisors may consider adopting standards that permit private dog parks to be constructed in the county. The Wyndham Foundation has requested permission to establish such a park, following a survey of Wyndham homeowners that found widespread interest.

During a work session Sept. 25, supervisors discussed the merits and faults of private dog parks and what the standards for such parks might entail.

Current county code prohibits dogs from running at large except on homeowners' private property or at the Dorey Dog Park, which opened last October.

County planning officials suggested that if the board were to adopt guidelines for private dog parks, they should require that such parks:

• be at least one acre in size;

• include fencing at least five feet in height;

• include 400-foot setbacks on all sides to the nearest dwelling or structure;

• include a minimum of 15 parking spots per fenced acre;

• be open only from dawn to dusk;

• forbid commercial boarding and breeding operations on site.

Tuckahoe District Supervisor Pat O'Bannon said she saw the merit in such private parks as a way to provide exercise for dogs and a chance for owners to interact and make friends – particularly at apartment complexes – but wondered if those complexes would be able to meet the setback standards. Henrico principal planner Ben Blankenship said that his office could design separate standards for such complexes if the board desired.

The county likely would require approval of a conditional or provisional use permit for any private dog parks, Blankenship said, to permit enforcement of applicable standards.

Planners intend to meet with the Wyndham Foundation and return to present an update to the board within two months.
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Film industry training program planned for this weekend

The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), in partnership with the Virginia Film Office, will offer "Get Your Start in the Film Industry," a two-day seminar designed to prepare workers for film, television and commercial projects in Virginia. The course will be held Oct. 4-5 at the Workforce Development and Conference Center, 1651 Parham Road in Henrico, on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

The training will be taught by Gary Romolo Fiorelli, an accomplished assistant director for film and television projects, which include the television series Sons of Anarchy and ABC’s current drama Mistresses. > Read more.

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

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