2019 Norfolk City Budget Toolkit – Public Hearing Scheduled

Budget Toolkit Puts Resources at Your Fingertips

Find links to documents, videos and other materials

NORFOLK, VA –  We want to be sure it’s easy for residents to stay informed about
the city’s Fiscal Year 2019 Proposed Budget, and that they know how to make
their voices heard.

Our Budget Toolkit includes all your city budget resources in one place. The
toolkit includes links to documents, videos and interactive budget tools as well
as a schedule of upcoming budget discussions and meetings.

Users can share their budget priorities online, anytime, using Balancing Act.  This
online workshop includes information about city departments and the services they provide, and allows users to see how changes affect the budget.

To speak about budget issues in person, residents can attend the Public Budget Hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 18 at Granby High School, 7101 Granby Street.
This is the only public hearing on the budget, and the only time residents will be
able to address council members directly during a public forum on budget items.

City Council has planned several work sessions to discuss the FY2019 Proposed Budget. City Council does not accept public comment during any of its work

During City Council’s formal meeting on May 8, residents may comment only on current agenda items and new business. The council will not accept comment on
the budget during that meeting.

The public hearing scheduled for May 10 deals only with real estate reassessments.

As always, residents may express comments or concerns directly to your City
Council member, using the contact information found here or by calling



Norfolk council agrees to buy Greenie’s, and Ocean View Diner

Last week the City Council voted unanimously  to approve the $2.35 million purchases of Greenies and another eatery, the Oceanview Diner.

The rationale: knocking them down will offer greater access to Ocean View’s public beaches and help put a new face on the area.

Fans of Greenies have raved about the back patio atmosphere and the boiled shrimp from their neighborhood bar, but others have called it a dive and an eyesore.

For more information, read the full story at the link below.


Wards Corner Farm Fresh to close its doors.

Once the location for the Giant Open Air Market, the Wards Corner location Farm Fresh will be changing hands.  In an agreement between Farms Fresh and many other grocery store brands, our store will become a Kroger Market.  The Kroger location across the street has been slated for closure for many years, and was due to move to the former Kmart location at Norview Avenue and Military Highway.  That move was put on hold late last year when the news on Amazon purchasing Whole Foods put the entire industry in a tailspin.

For more information please refer to the links below leading you to stories published by WAVY10 and Virginian-Pilot.


WC Farm Fresh


City Data Sets Now Available Through NorfolkOpenData Portal

City to work with Sunlight Foundation to teach residents to use data to problem solve

NORFOLK, VA – Residents now have city data sets at their fingertips to improve neighborhoods, build businesses, and stay informed.

The City of Norfolk’s new open data portal, called NorfolkOpenData, offers a world of information anytime, free of charge, with easy, centralized access. City data sets including call center information, permits and city employee salaries are available with a few simple keystrokes. Find a link to the portal at Norfolk.gov.

Norfolk is also proud to announce that it will immediately begin working with residents to find concrete uses for this data. The City of Norfolk and Austin, Texas have been selected from among cities across the country to work with the Sunlight Foundation. This group will assist Norfolk in creating a pilot project for Tactical Data Engagement – a way for the city and residents to mine open data for solutions to locally pressing issues.

“Norfolk is excited to participate in the next Tactical Data Engagement pilot,” said Douglas L. Smith, Norfolk City Manager. “As we roll out our open data platform, Sunlight’s support will ensure we deliver data that’s important to our residents. I believe in a connected, collaborative and creative community and increasing citizen engagement through data sharing ensures we’re working together to improve our community.”

Both the portal and the collaboration reflect Norfolk’s commitment to providing data that’s useful to everyone. The NorfolkOpenData portal offers data sets that can be sorted, filtered and customized – create and save your own searches to keep tabs on your neighborhood. Residents may also view data with charts, graphs and maps. Need help? View one of the easy to use tutorials on the NorfolkOpenData portal.

Among the countless uses for these data sets, the City of Norfolk hopes residents can more easily find information about the work of the city, to enhance coordination and efficiency among City departments, and that these data will serve as a catalyst for innovation by businesses and education institutions.

Efforts to open this portal began last year when Norfolk developed its Open Data policy and program with assistance from What Works Cities, an initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies. City staff sprinted through 120 days to create the policy and program framework. These provided the foundation for the marathon of identifying data sets and preparing them for release.

The NorfolkOpenData Portal currently contains the following 4 data sets:

Norfolk Cares Call Center
Employee Salaries
Electronic Permits
STORM – System to Track, Organize, Record and Map incidents as a result of inclement weather, such as flooded streets, damaged trees, disabled vehicles, and damaged utilities.
It also includes links to Crime Mapping, which allows residents to search by address to find incidents, and to restaurant inspections.

The release of these data sets and the opening of the portal mark an important milestone in the City of Norfolk’s Open Data journey. Staff continues to work with city leadership and the Open Data Advisory committee to populate the portal with additional datasets. These groups oversee the collection and dissemination of data and ensure its accuracy as well as identifying and approving datasets for release.

City staff will continue a series of training events for employees and residents in how to use the portal. And the City of Norfolk will embrace its partnership with the Sunlight Foundation to encourage community engagement around NorfolkOpenData to create real world opportunities for data to make a difference.

To learn more about the City of Norfolk’s open data efforts, visit http://www.norfolk.gov/opendata, email opendata@norfolk.gov or call 757-664-4007.

Westport Commons Update

On January 23rd, Art Collins, Principal and President of Collins Enterprises, LLC attended the Talbot Park Civic League meeting to discuss and present his latest plans on Westport Commons development project on Newport Avenue.  Here are the notes of the meeting taken by our WCCL President Scott Gurlinger:

Collins needed to go through the civic leagues before going to the architectural review board (ARB) with these designs because they are new structures that were never presented before. There are 19 buildings in the complex. At this point, only the original set of 3 townhomes has been approved. The multi-family flat, a.k.a. condos, are what’s being presented now.

There were two points of concern that were officially recommended:
• A majority of residents present preferred a sloped roof as opposed to the flat roofs in the current design.

Counterpoints made: Mel Price, the community liaison for the project, had explained that they wanted to vary the roofline types to keep the complex from all looking the same. The multi-family flats are in two buildings that flank the clubhouse at the center of the development, so the architects also thought it provided the feel of a town square.

• A majority of residents want the look of the front (street side) of the building to more closely mimic the rear (water side) of the building.

Counterpoints made: Mel Price had explained that the “columns” with no windows are where fire stairs and elevators are located, and windows are not permitted in those locations per code. Still, they could potentially dress up the exterior in those locations in some way other than windows. Some residents also pointed out that no one outside the community/development will see the front of the buildings since they face each other and clubhouse in-between.

Talbot Park officially voted on all of the above. I did not hear any additional comment or concerns from those present from Wards Corner. I move that we adopt a position of support of the Talbot Park recommendations. Please let me know if you agree. ARB meets this Friday and I would like to respond to Mel with our feedback no later than tomorrow morning.

A few other points that were discussed outside of the specific multi-family flat presentation:

• Townhome balconies: Collins stated that there must be a certain amount of street clearance for fire trucks to maneuver. The street is not designed to be wide enough and the original balconies were going to stick out too far and infringe on the required clearance. So the balconies were shortened to the “nothing” is there today. I have a gut feeling that the fire marshal was not actually consulted but that a decision was simply made by Collins and/or his builder to comply without seeking alternative solutions. Looking to the future, I think our response should simply be to design the street better.

• Own vs. Rent: The multi-family flats, and actually the whole Westport Commons development, is being built with the intent to sell units to private homeowners. But, if the units are unable to sell, Collins can convert them to managed apartments, same as the ones that are already there. Apparently there are state laws that prohibit putting own vs. rent restrictions on developers. So we can only hope for a good housing market and that all goes well.

• Kayak Pier: Collins didn’t really need to be at the meeting and some were surprised that he was. I suspect his reason was he wanted to address this last topic. He wants to delay the building of the kayak pier until later when construction is not blocking most of the access to the launch (and seemingly when he has more money in the bank – piers are very expensive as we have learned). He needs a change approved in order to delay the construction because the ordinance says he must complete phase 2 (townhomes, clubhouse, and kayak pier) before phase 3 (multi-family flats and more townhomes) can begin. His bigger problem is it’s not that simple. Martin and others did a very good job of locking him into that deal. It’s an ordinance (law), not just a permit or approval, meaning it has to go to the highest levels of city approval (including public notices and readings and such) before it can be changed. Brian from Talbot Park explained it very well to him that there was nothing we could legally do for him in the context of the meeting last night and that the change process for that would be long and arduous.

Sam’s Club to close Norfolk store before end of the month

The store, at 741 E. Little Creek Road, will permanently close by Jan. 26.
It shut on Thursday after employees came in for work. Customers said they were turned away as Sam’s Club staff informed them of the news.
For more info:

Help develop a vision for the future of Wards Corner ****RESCHEDULED****


Due to threat of inclement weather this meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday, February 7th at 6 PM at the Workforce Development Center

Norfolk is developing a new vision for the Wards Corner commercial area and wants to include your thoughts and ideas.  Please attend the Community Meeting on January 17, 2018 at 6pm at the Workforce Development Center.  More info can be found on the website: https://www.norfolk.gov/wardscornerstudy