Saturday, September 30, 2023

Colonial Williamsburg requested another delay on Goodwin Square vote. What gives?

Artist’s rendering of what the P3 lot in Merchants Square after it is transformed into a pedestrian marketplace. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
Artist’s rendering of what the P3 lot in Merchants Square after it is transformed into a pedestrian marketplace. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

Colonial Williamsburg is again asking for City Council to delay a vote on two matters needed to approve its controversial Goodwin Square project.

On Tuesday, Colonial Williamsburg Vice President of Real Estate Jeff Duncan wrote a letter to the city requesting a delay, stating it needed additional time “to complete negotiations” about “Goodwin Square and downtown parking in Merchants Square.”

“Thank you for our good conversations during the past month as we continued our negotiations around Goodwin Square and downtown parking in Merchants Square,” Duncan wrote in the letter to City Manager Andrew Trivette.

City Council was originally slated to vote on the matter at the Sept. 12 City Council meeting, but it was moved to Oct. 10 after a similar request from Colonial Williamsburg.

Council will vote on tabling the matter at its meeting.

Both the city’s news release Wednesday and the letter from Duncan were unclear as to what the “negotiations” consist of regarding Goodwin Square.

Duncan did not immediately return a request to provide additional information via phone, although a WYDaily reporter left a message.

“During the last month the City of Williamsburg has worked to address concerns voiced by the community regarding the project with the applicant, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the effort has been productive,” Trivette said in the city news release. “However, consensus building takes time. Tabling these decisions will provide the greatest opportunity for the best outcome.”

If Goodwin Square is delayed until the Nov. 14 meeting, City Council will also likely need to delay its vote on grant funding for various tourism projects under the Tourism Development Fund. 

“However, the grant awards are directly related to decisions made regarding the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s zoning applications,” the news release said. “As a result the Council will not take further action on the committee recommendations unless and until the zoning applications are voted upon.”

Colonial Williamsburg’s Goodwin Square project proposes removing 40 of 48 parking spots in the P3 lot in Merchants Square in favor of a green space and pedestrian plaza.

The project has gained both support and opposition by residents and business owners since it was first proposed last fall.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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