September Message and Meeting Info

The September 2010 meeting will be held on the 20th at 6:45pm at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

The Agenda includes a presentation from a representative from Cox Cable about internet safety. We will also be giving away a door prize – $25 gift certificate to A.J. Gators.

Here is President Jim English’s message for September, 2010:

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

By: Jim English

Dear Neighbors,

Welcome back! The summer of 2010 is now almost over and like you, I believe that it has once again sped by way too fast. I hope your summer was enjoyable and relaxing. I also hope you are now ready to begin the fall activities. Possibly like you I spent the Thursday and Friday before Labor Day nervously watching the TV trying to catch the latest news on the track of Earl. Fortunately we were one again spared the destruction of another hurricane. Let’s hope our luck continues again this year. Nonetheless we should be prepared just in case one does hit us in the future. With fall fast approaching, school is in session and the Wards Corner Civic League will begin holding its regular meetings again beginning with our meeting at 6:45PM on September 20th to be held at the Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center. While we have not had a meeting in two months, several of us have been busy working on issues to make our area better.

One of the highlights of our summers past has been the presentation of flags on the 4th of July throughout our neighborhood and the city. Unfortunately due to State budget cuts, Senator Northam and Delegate Miller were unable to provide the flags this year.  While we considered funding the flags from our Treasury, the cost was to high for us to move forward with that idea. We are sorry, as were Delegate Miller and Senator Northam, that we could not continue the tradition this year. It is always so impressive to see all of the flags lining the streets of our neighborhood and city, although I did see many flags left over from last year out on the Fourth. It is a suitable reminder of who we are as Americans, what we represent and the sacrifices made by so many Americans over history to allow us to enjoy our liberty as a free country. Perhaps we will be able to continue this tradition next year.

The most important issue facing our civic league area right now that has developed over the summer is the planned redirection that the Collins Condominium project on Newport Ave. has taken. Mr. Collins has changed his plans from middle to high-income condominiums to a dense apartment complex. The “massing” of apartments in this area is totally unacceptable and we are opposed to it. We simply do not need any more apartment units in our area. We are inundated with them now, and it represents more non-home ownership to the city and us. This is NOT the way to redevelop an area. Over the summer, members of the Wards Corner Task Force and Wards Corner Now met and discussed this change in plans. At a Wards Corner Now meeting, the group voted against his planned apartment complex.  A proposal from Collins Enterprises to develop the 189-unit Landmark at Talbot Park complex near Wards Corner faces an uncertain future. Collins received approval in 2008 to build condominiums on the property, but has now proposed building apartments instead. His rational is hard economic times. We believe we should not have to bear the brunt of his change to our neighborhood because of decisions he made in planning the development of the property. He originally planned condomimiums and we are holding him to that plan. So far we have been able to hold off his revised plan from coming before the Planning Commission for reapproval. The Planning Commission is requiring that he meet with the area civic league representatives and seek their ideas on how they would like him to redirect his project. He has indicated  that he will meet with us soon.

Despite the community’s complete opposition to the development of an apartment complex and “massing” them along Newport Ave, Collins is continuing his quest, and he will be seeking approval from the Planning Commission to build an apartment complex anyway. Please call or write a letter to the Norfolk City Planning Commission stating your opposition to this plan. Simply stated, Wards Corner has too many apartment units now and that is especially true for our civic league area. Thanks to the efforts of Sherry Romulus and a few of her friends, signs are now available for you to use to communicate that this new proposal for an apartment complex is unacceptable. To get your own sign, please e-mail Wards Corner Now – wardscornernow@wardscornernow.com  – and include your address. Below is what the sign looks like. Perhaps you have seen them around the neighborhood.

Some good news! Nutty Buddy’s is closed and the new AJ Gators opened over the Labor Day weekend. These are positive moves for us. Also, a new councilman now represents our area as Andy Protogyrou was sworn in on July 1st. He has hit the ground running and is working hard for us. Several of us have met with him a few times over the summer on a multitude of issues. He is listening to us and will act on our behalf.

I want to welcome you back to another year of good productive civic league meetings. If you regularly attend our meetings please bring a neighbor. If you have never been to a meeting or you are new to the area, please join us. A strong active civic league like ours gives us good and continued political clout, which we have built with our council representatives to this area. We have a great fall program lined up and we hope to see you at the meetings.

Please enjoy this newsletter. Please join your civic league. Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you at our  September meeting.

Sincerely,

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