March 2014 meeting info and President’s message

The March 2014 Wards Corner Civic League meeting will be held on the 17th at 6:45pm at the Fitness and Wellness Center on Newport Ave.

Invited speakers include HRT and our Virginia General Assembly representatives.

The president’s message:

Dear Neighbors,

I am posting two reports here for your review. One is from the last Wards Corner Task Force meeting and the second is from our last Wards Corner Civic League meeting

Here are the notes taken by Karen Mayne from the last Wards Corner Task Force meeting held on February 13th, 2014.

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting

February 13, 2014

City Council Member Andy Protogyrou led the meeting.

Parking on the Grass on West Little Creek Road – Leonard Newcomb, Norfolk Zoning Services Manager, said that the City has sent letters to the houses in the 100 – 600 blocks of West Little Creek Road about parking on the grass.  The City will continue to use enforcement but is also trying to find a way to work with property owners to expand driveways.

Public Works – Medians along Granby Street that were damaged during the recent gas line and road work will be restored – damaged vegetation and sprinkler systems will be replaced.  Anchor poles on the southeast side of Granby at Little Creek will be removed by Virginia Power once the weather improves.  The City is looking at potential changes to turn lanes at the southeast junction of Granby and Little Creek and plans to install a traffic signal on East Little Creek Road at K&K Square.  After the task force’s discussion of traffic congestion, traffic lights, illegal turns, etc. in this area, the City will convene a small working group of task force members to further discuss these issues. Construction work on the underpass replacement at the East Little Creek Road/Tidewater Drive intersection will start on February 17.  More information on this significant project can be found at:  www.norfolk.gov/index.aspx?NID=282

Department of Development – The new Director of Development, Steven Anderson, was introduced.  The City’s façade improvement program is being revised.

Harris Teeter will open on February 19 and other stores in K&K Square shortly thereafter.

The BP gas station property is under contract and should go to closing soon.  The underground gasoline tanks must be removed.  A one to three bay retail building is being considered; the City has not seen a site plan.  Driveways to this property may be enlarged – City will have to approve the building and its driveways.

Talbot Hall Update – The Talbot Hall property, owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, is under contract with a group of local residents.  The new owners propose to build 14 private homes on the 6+ acre property, while maintaining the manor house on ½ acre and setting up a foundation to restore and open it to the public.  The Talbot Park Civic League has invited the new owners to speak to the civic league about their plans.

Meadowbrook School – The City issued requests for proposals for the redevelopment of several unused school properties around the city, which have been unveiled and a public comment period is underway.  A public meeting will be held on February 19 at 7:00 pm at the Church of the Good Shepherd to discuss the potential redevelopment of the former Meadowbrook Elementary property.  The Meadowbrook Civic League is opposed to development of apartments or condos on this site.

Next Meeting – There were requests to discuss the crime statistics for the area, the proposed school redistricting plans and how that will affect the Wards Corner area, and the public art project.

Secondly, here are the notes from an action item from our last Civic League meeting that was posted on www.Wardscorner.com by Martin Thomas.

On February 24, 2014 the Wards Corner Civic League held their regular monthly meeting at the Fitness and Wellness Center.  On the agenda was a discussion of the proposals for, and possible redevelopment of, the Meadowbrook School.

After a discussion among the members, a motion and a second were made to support the Meadowbrook Civic League’s position as printed in their online petition:

· A minimum of 1.5 acres of the site will be permanently designated as a City owned and maintained park (OSP zoning), preferably fronting the 1600 block of Trouville Avenue, with adequate off-street parking for park users.

· Fire station No. 12 may be relocated to the western-most 1.5 acres of the site, provided the building’s architecture is compatible with the adjacent Meadowbrook residential area, all traffic ingress/egress is via Hampton Blvd. or W. Little Creek Rd., and sufficient noise abatement measures, vegetative screening and on-site parking are provided.

· A maximum of 1.5 acres of the site may be reused/redeveloped as single-family homes, provided these homes are primarily brick-faced, have adequate off-street parking, and are zoned R-5, in keeping with the majority of adjacent homes in the Meadowbrook neighborhood. As a condition of sale, the City shall require the developer(s) to enter into land deed restrictions, restricting the zoning, use, height and facing as described.

The vote was unanimous in favor of support of Meadowbrook Civic League’s position and a letter of support will be forwarded to the City.

You can review the developers’ proposals and send in your own comments to the City by going here: http://www.norfolk.gov/index.aspx?NID=2765

You can sign Meadowbrook Civic League’s petition be going here: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-meadowbrook-school-park.html

You can follow Meadowbrook Civic League on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/SaveMeadowbrookSchoolPark

My congratulations to the Meadowbrook Civic League for their approach in getting what needs to be done in their area through this process. We hope this will be successful for them.

I am encouraged at what I see going on in the Greater Wards Corner Area. What we have strived to do is revitalize this area and it is now starting to pick up speed. This is good news for all of us. Let us not let our guard down but let us keep putting pressure on the city until this area is once again a thriving area for businesses and all of our neighborhoods. I know I will.

For more information on our civic league please visit our website at www.wardscorner.com

I am concluding this message on a sad note by informing you of the passing of two of our active civic league members, Norma Demmin and Sam Ross. Norma was the wife of Captain Les Demmin and was ever present at our civic league meetings for many years along with Les. Sam, the husband of Barbara Ross, our newsletter editor and board member, can be credited with most of the ads that appear at the end of our newsletter as he was always soliciting ads from the businesses in the area. These ads make our newsletter self-sustaining. We were blessed by their presence with us and we will miss them dearly. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families.

I hope to see all of you at our civic league meetings.

Sincerely,

jimenglishsignature