Thank You for Helping Keep PHP Beautiful!!

From our wonderful Pleasure House Point Clean up Organizer, Mary Faust: “He’s little but mighty!! Holden and Jillian Howe were out today clearing refuse from Pleasure House Point Natural Area today along with 28 other volunteers who graciously gave their time and energy to help out!! Another approximately 200 lbs. including more rusty car parts (thanks Mike and Connie Pearman!), a rusty twin boxspring (looking at you Mike Kreckel) and a broken office chair (ok Jennifer!!)!! Lots of young ones with their parents -the kids love it!! Fortunately the weather was a bit nicer today than last time!! Thanks everyone!!”

Phase 4 Improvements for Shore Dr. Postponed Again

The City of Virginia Beach Fiscal Year 2024 budget process is underway. The long planned and promised improvements to Shore Dr. have again been postponed. What is this all about? Here is Jill’s story: When I moved to this neighborhood, my dad couldn’t believe I bought a house next door to a condemned home with a tree growing through the hole in the roof. It was surrounded by several similar old cinder block buildings. He saw it as a poor investment. I had heard there were plans for the area, and I could see the older, less-maintained buildings around me slowly being replaced by decent residences and businesses. I was excited to see the changes and watch my investment grow in value, not just monetarily, but as a neighborhood as well. Many other people started seeing the potential in our area. As I started a family I thought, “Wow, with these plans for structural improvements, one day my children will have a great place to walk, bike and enjoy the area. It would be safer, family friendly and would show off our wonderful community. Every year it got pushed off. My children learned to walk, then bike and later drive. Other things took priority for this city leadership (including a bike path through First Landing State park that barely gets used compared to the amount of pedestrian and bike traffic our dense area could have but somehow found immediate funding upon proposal). Well, my children grew up and went away to college. They never saw the improvements to our phase of Shore Drive. But we will have a fine surf park and some amazing music festivals that will help the restaurant and hotel businesses at the oceanfront (which has received some significant improvements since I bought my first home). I’d like to propose that I owe no more taxes to this city until leadership can figure out how to evenly allocate its attention. By choosing this wonderful neighborhood and believing in its potential, I invested in this city in so many ways but quite a bit financially. It hasn’t returned the investment.

Among other topics, the Phase 4 Capital Improvements for Shore Dr will be discussed at the April 6 OPCL meeting at 7:00 pm at the Brock Center.

District 9 Councilman Joash Schulman said that he was caught unawares that this proposal was being made (2024 FY defunding of Shore Dr. Phase 4 & both Pleasure House Rd. Phase I & 2). He is talking with city staff to determine how the recommendation came about and exactly what it means going forward before publicly commenting or take an strong stance. He will communicate and engage with the district in the future when he has thorough and accurate information

Bayside Town Hall Meeting about Election Changes

The first Town Hall Meeting took place at the Bayside Rec Center on Saturday, March 25. The City Council seeks input from voters about what election system they want to see in Virginia Beach. The city charter must be updated even if the 10 district system used in the 2022 election is continued. At the meeting on Saturday, the meeting began with a short video presentation about the background of changes in how elections have been handled in VB. The majority of the meeting time was for people to give input and give their views on the election system. District 9 Councilman Joash Schulman was in attendance to listen to these views. The speakers overwhelmingly favored the 10/1 system. One speaker expressed support for having some at-large seats saying that he wanted to be able to vote for more than one member of council. The rest of the speakers spoke in support of having 10 districts (10/1 system) many voicing similar reasons: accountability, feeling more represented. Many also cited the advantage of the reduced role of money when a candidate does not have to raise money to campaign in the entire city allowing more candidate diversity. Two candidates from the last election spoke to that as their experience. A former councilman, who worked on the voting referendums in the 90’s, made the point that voters do not vote on all members of the House of Delegates or State Senate, they elect their representative. He also mentioned that the court decision in Alabama due in April or May will have an effect. Another concern mentioned often was redrawing district lines. The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service is organizing the meetings on behalf of the City Council and they will compile the input and present it to the City Council.

There are many more opportunities for voter input at any of the remaining meetings- there is no restriction on residing in the district where the meeting is held and there are virtual meetings as well. The first virtual meeting in Sunday, March 26th 3:30-5:00 pm. For more information on how to give input: publicinput.com/virginiabeach. There will also be an online survey open to all in addition to the survey that randomly selected residents will receive.

  • Monday, March 27 at 6:30–8 p.m. Fairfield Elementary School, 5428 Providence Rd.
  • Tuesday, March 28 at 6:30–8 p.m. Ocean Lakes High School, 885 Schuman Dr.
  • Wed., March 29 at 10:30 a.m. –12 pm Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.
  • Wed., March 29 at 6:30– 8 p.m. Kellam High School, 2665 West Neck Rd.
  • Thursday, March 30 at 6:30–8 p.m. College Park Elementary School, 1110 Bennington Rd.
  • Friday, March 31 at 5:30–7 p.m. Williams Farm Recreation Center, 5252 Learning Cir.
  • Saturday, April 1 at 4:30–6 p.m. Advanced Technology Center, 1800 College Cres.
  • Sunday, April 2 at 3–4:30 p.m. Bow Creek Recreation Center, 3427 Club House Rd.
  • Monday, April 3 at 1–2:30 p.m. Virtual
  • Monday, April 3 at 6:30–8 p.m. First Colonial High School, 1272 Mill Dam Rd.

2023 Fireworks on Saturday, July 1st at 9:15! Please Donate

Go to opcl.org/FIREWORKS! It’s that time again!! Getting Ready for Fireworks!! This event is funded solely through contributions. The Ocean Park Civic League undertakes the work of making it happen (thank you Jill Doczi!!), keeping track of the money and raising the money but no $$ come from the civic leagues ( Ocean Park and Baylake Pines) and no monies collected go to the civic leagues. All money collected in the Fireworks Fund is spent on the fireworks shows only. The residents make this neighborhood event happen for our community as a neighborhood (not city wide) event. Your donations are the key so let’s make this happen!!!

Dune Grass and Sand Fences in Place! Stay off the Dunes!

Coastal Transplants is putting up sand fences and planting American Beach Grass on the dunes. There will be a truck or two on the beach as work goes on. They will return in mid-April to plant Sea Oats when the Sea Oat sprigs will be ready for harvesting and planting.

STAY OFF THE DUNES!! The beach grass and sea oats are fragile! It will take 2 years for them to fill in. Give them a chance to get established and grow!!

Last Call for Applications The Louise and George Lyon Memorial OPCL Scholarship: March 31!

The Louise and George Lyon Memorial Scholarship for high school seniors in Virginia Beach is open for applications until March 31! While special consideration is given to Ocean Park residents, the scholarship is open to any qualified resident of Virginia Beach. The scholarship award is $1000 @year and can be awarded for up to four years to students who remain eligible. The deadline for submission is March 31, 2023. Applications should be mailed to OPCL Scholarship/ PO Box 55385/ Virginia Beach, VA 23471. Here is the link to the application: OPCL.org/scholarships/

Can You Help Out?

The Ocean Park Civic League is humming along with new ideas and fun projects! Would you like to join in and help? Go to opcl.org/aboutopcl for more information or contact president@opcl.org or communication@opcl.org. Here are the committee descriptions as laid out in our bylaws:

  • Finance: “Shall monitor and manage the resources in the League’s accounts. The Committee Chair shall work with the Treasurer to ensure that the accounts are accurately reported on as part of the regular Treasurer’s Report.” Contact Danny Murphy: president@opcl.org.
  • Scholarship: “Shall provide oversight of the award and distribution of annual scholarship funds. This includes following the guidelines established by the scholarship application. The Chair shall assemble and meet with a minimum of two additional committee members annually to review the applications and make the award determination.” Contact: Betty Dierstein bdierstein1@gmail.com. Deadline for 2023 is March 31.
  • Government Affairs: “Shall be responsible for monitoring and reporting on the activities of Local, State, and Federal government entities that have jurisdiction over and relevance to Ocean Park.”
  • Membership: “Shall be responsible for keeping the membership roll; collecting dues by cash, check, credit card or online transaction such as PayPal; and promoting new membership.” Help check folks in at our events- great way to meet your neighbors! Contact: Andrea Lindemann awrl95@icloud.com
  • Social: “Shall be responsible for planning and coordinating social activities such as, meet and greet events before General Membership meetings, raffles, larger membership gatherings such as Block Parties, Spring Flings, Bake sales, Chili-Cookoffs, etc., for the benefit of Ocean Park residents. Collaborate with the Membership committee, to use these social activities as a new membership drive. Promote these activities through (but not limited to) web and social media outlets.” We’re on a roll! Meetings are the last Monday of the month at 6:00 pm at Taste unless otherwise planned. Contact: communication@opcl.org.
  • Fireworks: We especially need help distributing the April newsletter about the fireworks and the donation envelopes in June. Contact: jilldoczi@gmail.com and communication@opcl.org.
  • Board Positions: OPCL.org/aboutopcl and more details here By-laws-adopted February-2021 . Contact: President Danny Murphy at president@opcl.org.

Answers at OPCL Meeting: March 9: Dan Adams, Election Choices

At the March 9th Ocean Park Civic League Meeting at the Brock Center in the Pleasure House Point Nature Center. We got new information about several topics! Officer Schonbach updated us on the new technology being implemented and latest statistics in our neighborhood.

  • Dan Adams, Coastal Program Administrator for the Virginia Beach Dept. of Public Works, provided updates:
  • Ocean Park dune grass planting and sand fence installation. We are finalizing the purchase order to do the planting and fence installation with the company Coastal Transplants.  We are near the end of planting season, but the work should begin within the next three weeks and should take about a week.  It takes about 2 years for the grass to grow in but it will look great!
  • Upcoming beach nourishments at Cape Henry, Chesapeake Beach and Ocean Park: The current schedule is for work to start by the end of March and will take about 90 days. The work times are Monday-Friday 7:30-4:30 but since we are getting a late start, we may seek to extend those hours. Regarding dredging of Lynnhaven Inlet, the USACE is currently in the process of developing contract bid documents (i.e., plans and specifications) to conduct a full dredge of the Lynnhaven Inlet.  The current schedule is to go out to bid for this project in the late summer/early fall 2023.  Dredging work is currently scheduled to begin in winter 2024.  Sand dredge from Lynnhaven Inlet will be placed on Cape Henry Beach.

District 9 Councilman Joash Schulman joined us and explained the background of the need for City Council action before January 2024 on the election system in Virginia Beach. He also talked about the school budget and the new property assessments. He encourages residents to contact him with questions and concerns: jschulman@vbgov.com.

The Virginia Beach City Council will have to formally adopt a new system for elections in Virginia Beach prior to the 2024 election. The changes that were made for the 2022 election have not been formally written into the city’s charter. The City Council wants to look at various options for structuring the election system in Virginia Beach. In order to educate the public and get feedback about the options, the city is organizing mail surveys, television and newspaper advertisements, a website and 12 town halls, including one in each district and two at centrally located sites with virtual attendance opportunities.

President Danny Murphy gave updates on several recent informative meetings: Town Hall with Chris Taylor, City Manager’s Listening Meeting and the Bayfront Advisory Commission. Also noted were upcoming Social Events: Spring Fling on April 22 at Taste, May Piling Event and a planned Beach Cleanup with details to follow!

For full details: see the March General Meeting Minutes which will be posted shortly. You can access the recording of the meeting also: Zoom.us/OPCL March 9 General Membership Meeting.rec/play. Passcode: 7U?MJ!We

So What is Piling Day in Ocean Park?

Piling Day might be called the unofficial start of summer in Ocean Park usually in the beginning of May when the sun first sets over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge pilings and the season of beautiful sunsets over the bay waters begins. Folks gather in the evenings to see the beauty unfold.

These stunning photographs are contributed by Chris Giersch. Thank you Chris for sharing them!

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