Auto repair shop moving into 23rd Street building must plant trees, maintain them


One branch of city government is greasing the wheels of Richmond’s urban forestry efforts by requiring an incoming 23rd Street auto repair business to plant and maintain four street trees.

Organizations including GroundworkRichmond and Richmond Trees have been working to increase the number of maintained trees in the city due to their environmental benefits.

At the Planning Commission meeting Feb. 4, Commissioner Andrew Butt found a way to aid in those efforts when it came time to approve family-owned Magallanes Auto Repair’s conditional use permit to open at 500 23rd St.

The building, highly visible and at the corner of Barrett Avenue, was previously an auto repair shop, but was more recently being used by the RichmondBUILD Academy.

Along with city staff’s conditions for approval, which included that no cars involved in the new shop’s repairs be left on the street, Commissioner Butt added another condition: that owners consult with the city on how to plant and maintain four trees along Barrett Avenue.

Commissioner Butt also pitched having owners plant trees along 23rd Street side of the business, but city staff advised against any planting on the busy strip right now. A 23rd street widening and improvement project is in the works, they explained.

Commissioners voted in favor of granting Magallanes Auto Repair a conditional use permit that includes the tree mandate.

Owners of the family business said they were happy to support the city in its efforts.

Auto repair activity will occur indoors and on the Barrett Avenue side of the business, while an ancillary retail outlet will exist on the 23rd Street side.