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The Voice
The Monthly Newsletter of the Virginia Beach Council of Civic Organizations

March 2021
 

From The President

We have so far begun recovering from the rainy and wet Winter season and can look forward to the beginning of the Spring season on March 20th. The longer daylight hours will begin with the conversion on March 14th to Daylight Savings Time.

We are looking forward to some relief from the pandemic restrictions that have disrupted our opportunities to meet face to face, either with our membership or with any of the various elected and appointed city officials as well departments, committees, and commissions. We continue to use the virtual meeting format to fulfill our responsibilities to the membership.

I am excited to report to you that we have arranged for the City Manager, Patrick Duhaney to address the membership in a Zoom meeting at 7:00pm on Thursday May 13, 2021. Patrick will speak about his data approach to governing. He has requested that we share with him input from residents on issues that are of the greatest concern to them. We need you to email our Communications Committee Chairperson, Garrett Rockey at VBCCOsecretary@gmail.com with your concerns that we may share with him.

There have been several important briefings for the City Council that I wish to share with you:
  • Our Chief of Police, Paul W. Neudigate has developed a system, The Weekly Analysis for VBPD Engagement and Strategies (WAVES) which provides data on both violent and property crimes for a one-week, 90-day, and Year-to-Date comparison. The report addresses these crime categories by each of the four police precincts as well as city-wide.
  • Tom Nichols, Public Works Facilities Engineer recently provided the City Council with an update on the construction of the new City Hall and the renovations of Buildings 1, 2, and 11. The projected dates for the completion of the construction of the City Hall is Fall 2021 with occupancy in the Fall of 2021 or early 2022. The complete renovation of Building 2 should be completed during the Summer of 2022 followed by the relocation of the Police Administration and the First Precinct.
  • Elaine Linn, Senior Active Transportation Planner recently presented to the City Council the Proposed 2021 Active Transportation Plan which the Council approved for adoption into the Bikeways and Trails component of the Virginia Beach Comprehensive Plan. Information on the Bikeways and Trails Advisory Committee (BTAC) is available on the committee webpage.
  • The City Real Estate Assessor, Ronald D Agnor recently reported to the City Council the Real Estate Assessors Annual Report for FY2021/2022 showing an average appreciation of 4.9% with residential properties.
  • I recently participated in a virtual public meeting by Dominion Energy to learn more about the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project. Phase one of the project has been completed with the installation of two 600 feet high wind turbines. Eventually, the plan is for the installation of 188, 800-foot turbines that when operational will provide electric service to approximately 660,000 locations. The wind turbines will operate along with solar panels to provide the most cost-effective system to produce electricity while reducing carbon emissions.
 
Now for some issues that are of concern. There still seems to be a lack of timely information available to homeowners related to proposed requests for zoning changes and subsequent development. We shall continue to follow the developments seeking opportunities to improve the process at both the Planning Commission and the City Council.

Another recent development and concern is the recent proposed change in how the citizens shall vote for both the members of the City Council and School Board members. The House of Delegates has approved HB2198 that was offered by Delegate Kelly Fowler of the 21st District. The City Council seems divided on the issue. We shall keep you advised of any developments.

There seems to be more scrutiny by some members of the City Council on applications for a Conditional Use Permit to operate a Short Term Rental.

May you each share your concerns about the operation of our City government with us. 
 

C. Douglas Jr., President
ddrestate@hotmail.com
757-478-3684 

Share Your Reports

 
Your VBCCO Board has committed to attending a variety of City committees, Planning Commission, and City Council meetings.  These meetings help inform the VBCCO of neighborhoods that may be helped or adversely affected.  We then can share and alert our community of future issues.
 
Attendance helps raise our awareness of problems that may need to be addressed or voted on by our membership,  and lets the city officials know we are paying attention to the well-being of our town.
 
Can you help us out? If you attend a Police Precinct meeting, a Wetlands Board meeting, any of the School Board meetings, we would appreciate an email with the agenda or minutes or even announcements. 
 
We thank you! 
The VBCCO Board

Learn About Planned Development in Your Area Before the Orange Signs Go Up


The Thalia Civic League won a hard-fought victory recently against a planned 5 story apartment complex on the Willis Wayside property on Virginia Beach Blvd.  A key factor in their success was early discovery of the project -- months before the orange "Zoning Notice" signs would be posted.  This extra lead time allowed the Thalia Civic League to organize a response to City Council arguing against the development.  How did they do it?   By searching the City's Accela permit database.

You can register for database access free-of-charge by clicking the "Register for an Account" link in the top-right corner.   Once you log in with your new account you can search for recent development applications:
  1. Click the "Planning" tab near the top
  2. Read and accept the General Disclaimer, then click "Continue Application"
  3. Click "Search Applications" below the "Planning" tab
  4. Below the "General Search" heading, click the "Record Type" box and select "Site Plan"
  5. You can adjust the "Start Date" if you wish
  6. Enter City, State and Zip to limit the search to your area
  7. Click "Search"
There are many other search options available,  but the "site plan" search is a quick way to get informed about planned development activity in your area.
 

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VDOT Announces Phased Opening of Greenwich Road Flyover in Virginia Beach

New bridge opening to traffic as early as March 8

 
VIRGINIA BEACH – The new Greenwich Road flyover, which spans I-264 in Virginia Beach and will connect Cleveland Street with Greenwich Road, is opening to traffic as early as March 8 -- a significant milestone in Phase II of VDOT's I-64/I-264 Interchange Improvements Project.

The bridge will initially open to two lanes of traffic, with one lane of traffic in each direction between Greenwich Road and Cleveland Street. This phased opening will allow the project contractor to move forward with its work to improve the five-legged Witchduck intersection, while simultaneously opening up new access for motorists from Cleveland Street to Greenwich Road. 

Once the flyover opens to traffic, motorists traveling on Greenwich Road who wish to access Witchduck Road will travel across the flyover to Cleveland Street, reaching Witchduck Road on the north side of I-264 and proceeding to their intended destination. When the new traffic pattern is in place, motorists are encouraged to use caution and plan ahead when traveling through this area. 

With the phased opening of the Greenwich Road flyover, crews will implement the planned, permanent closure of a portion of Greenwich Road near the intersection with Witchduck Road, adding a cul-de-sac just east of the former Norfolk Southern railroad tracks. A new I-264 east off-ramp, part of improvements to the I-264 interchange with Witchduck Road (exit 16), will be constructed in place of the recently closed portion of Greenwich Road.

When the flyover opens, turns from both directions of Witchduck Road onto Greenwich Road will be permanently restricted, and motorists on Witchduck Road will utilize Cleveland Street on the north side of the interstate to access Greenwich Road. 

Directional signage will be in place throughout the corridor for approximately 90 days to assist motorists in navigating the new traffic pattern.

Ultimately, the flyover will accommodate four lanes of traffic, with two lanes of traffic in each direction. This work is expected to be completed in fall 2021, aligning with the substantial completion date of the interchange project.

The flyover's phased opening is weather-dependent and subject to change based on schedule updates.

CONTACT:
Jordan-Ashley Walker 757-956-3028
Media Line: 757-956-3032
jordan-ashley.walker@VDOT.Virginia.gov

 

First Precinct Citizens Action Committee


Fran Lasky, 1st Precinct CAC President

Hi everyone, 
 
The days are finally getting longer and the sun seems to have found its way back into the sky over Virginia Beach. Now, all we need are the warmer temperatures that are promised a few days from now. 

I'd like to call your attention to the paragraph that I highlighted in yellow in Captain Gandy's note. If you would like to send a get-well card or a "thinking of you" card to brighten MPO Taylor's days as he recovers, please address it as follows. I'll be checking the Post Office Box regularly and deliver the cards received to Captain Gandy, who will be sure they are delivered to MPO Taylor as he recovers.

    FIRST POLICE PRECINCT CAC
    ATTN: MPO TAYLOR
    P.O. BOX 56166
    VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23456

If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you. 

This week's press releases from the City:
A note from Captain Gandy follows:
 
Well there is a ton of stuff going on here in the Department, but it mostly internal stuff that involves just us on the PD.  The Chief has disbanded the Community Engagement Unit as a centralized unit and each of the officers assigned have been sent to a police precinct for a new program entitled, the Neighborhood Liaison Officer Program.  Like CEU, the NLOs will represent the precinct at civic league meetings, other community based meetings, and will be involved in community outreach efforts.  MPO Brad Detrich will be (remain) this officer for the 1st Precinct, and what the Chief envisions, we – at the 1st Precinct – have already been doing.  As you know Brad attended all CAC meetings and talked bout crime prevention and other police/community programs at these meetings.  Brad was also successful in helping to develop 10 new Neighborhood Watch programs in the 1st Precinct, even during the COVID pandemic as compared to two or less in the other precincts.  He was very active in messaging about frequent crime issues such as the “Beep it to Keep it” program and he writes regular crime prevention related articles in local neighborhood publications.  Brad’s latest project is a filmed PSA with the city of VB Communications Office about the importance of removing guns from cars and locking up both the gun and the car. 

Sergeant Tim Moorefield of the Community Oriented Policing Squad transferred to Internal Affairs and was recently replaced with Sergeant Ted Walters. The COP squads in each of the 4 precincts have been rebranded by Chief Neudigate as now Crime Suppression Squads and while they will still take part in community events as we slowly emerge from the lock-down, their primary mission now will be to attack and suppress crime “hot-spots” in the individual precincts as identified through criminal intelligence data supplied by the Analytical Services Unit.

Plans are moving ahead to begin renovation of Building 2 and once renovation is completed, this will become the new police headquarters building to include the new 1st Precinct.

Finally, MPO James “Chuck” Taylor, one of our School Resource Officers, contracted COVID 19 and went into the hospital where he very nearly succumbed to the virus.  He spent several weeks in ICU, was placed on a ventilator, but regained strength and healed enough to return home, where he faces a very long and tough recovery.

Lt. Brent Burnette retired from the VBPD on March 1.  Lt. Burnette was the day shift lieutenant at the 1st Precinct prior to his retirement.  He was replaced, temporarily, by newly promoted Lt. Chris Brandt who will remain temporarily assigned to the 1st Precinct.

And that’s about it. 

From Denise Walker, our JUL representative, comes the following information:
 
The 2021 Virginia Festival of the Book runs for two weeks, from 12pm ET Saturday March 13 until Friday March 26, offering two to four events a day.

It is all virtual, all free, and includes books in all genres and for all ages. You can search the schedule by genre, speaker, or date.

Event descriptions provides additional details, including how to attend, and links to the author bios. All the events we host will be close-captioned, as will most of those hosted by our partners.

You can register to watch through Zoom if you like; if you do, you will receive a reminder an hour ahead of the event. You can watch most events through Facebook Live. You can watch the Festival as it has been scheduled, or on your own schedule afterwards, via VaBook.org/Watch. (Please note, there will be no recording of the Jacqueline Woodson events.)

For those interested in writing and publishing, I have attached a guide to a series of related programs scheduled for March 13 and 14 and offered through nonprofit writing centers and organizations across Virginia. Like the rest of the Festival, these workshop style programs are all free.

In case you have library users interested in writing and publishing, I have attached a guide to a series of related programs scheduled for March 13 and 14 and offered through nonprofit writing centers and organizations across Virginia. Like the rest of the Festival, these workshop style programs are all free.

We have begun to publish a series of blog posts that help provide suggestions, and will continue to add to the following:
Suggested Events for Those Seeking Joy
Suggested Events for Young Readers
Suggested Events for Fans of Literary Fiction
 
From Dave Green, our rep from the Princess Anne Rec Center:
 
Please announce the following…

Princess Anne Recreation Center is now offering Family Wallyball on Saturdays from 2:30-3:30pm.  Family members must live in the same household to play together.  Customers must call on Friday to reserve their Saturday spot.

Princess Anne Recreation Center is partnering with the American Red Cross to host a Blood Drive on Thursday, March 11th.  Please contact the Red Cross to make an appointment.
 
Although I haven't mentioned it in a while, please share the information in the weekly emails with family members, friends, and neighbors that you think may be interested in what's going on in the City and the First Precinct. 

I welcome messages from you and usually respond to all messages that I receive within 24 hours. If there is anything you'd like to hear about, please let me know. If I can make it happen, I certainly will.

Take care, stay safe, and stay healthy!

Fran Laskey
President

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Civic Organizations Survey 2021

The VBCCO would like to know more about the current state of civic organizations in the city, and how the VBCCO can serve these groups.  Please take a moment to complete this survey. There are 25 questions, and the survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete:

https://forms.gle/9AHLxuR4XEYz6McA8

VBCCO Board of Directors
 

C. Douglas Jr.
President
ddrestate@hotmail.com 

Heather Malaby
1st Vice President
wmalaby@aol.com

Garrett Rockey
Corresponding Secretary
VBCCOSecretary@gmail.com 

Empsy Munden
Recording Secretary
emunden@aol.com

Joan Davis
Treasurer
joanemtp@aol.com

John Sutton III
Director
John.SuttonIII@vbschools.com

Brad Sike
Past-President
bsike@juno.com 

 

VIRGINIA BEACH COUNCIL OF CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS
Post Office Box 9252, Virginia Beach, VA 23450-9252
VBCCO.org
 






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