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The Marlin Bay Development is a 197 unit apartment complex of 1,2, and 3 bedrooms with a 4 1/2 story parking garage being proposed in Ocean Park. The developers are asking the city to approve rezoning and B4 conditional use so they may build this large development which cannot be built under its current zoning.

Why are Residents Opposed?

FACT: This project has 31.77 units per acre. This is more than double anything built anywhere nearby. Recent projects in Ocean Park have been 14 units per acre. This is NOT lowest reasonable density called for in the Comprehensive Plan that is supposed to guide city decision making.
FACT: This project is NOT consistent with the residential area around it. The complex is predominantly 4 stories which will tower over the townhouses adjacent. The 4 1/2 story parking garage will now be plainly visible over the 3 story portion of the complex.
FACT: The Bayfront Advisory Commission was established by City Council in 1998. The mission given by City Council to the Bayfront Advisory Commission is: to review and make recommendations to the City Council regarding public and private projects and issues associated with the Bayfront area, and projects or issues associated with the Bayfront area that the City Council may refer to the Commission. Twice the Bayfront Advisory Commission voted not to approve the design for this project, finding it incompatible with the Design Guidelines for Shore Dr. due to the scale of the project, the massing and close proximity to townhouses.
FACT: The inclusion of an existing retail boat sales business makes the zoning change possible, but this retail is not ‘integrated’ into the Marlin Bay Apartment project as specified in the zoning language-as evident by the intervening roadway between the new construction residential building and existing commercial building. As defined by the City of Virginia Beach code (Virginia Beach, Virginia – Code of Ordinances APPENDIX A – ZONING ORDINANCE ARTICLE 1. – GENERAL PROVISIONS Sec. 111: “Mixed use: Two (2) or more separate uses allowed as principal or conditional uses that are physically and functionally integrated with the same structure on one zoning lot.
FACT: Ocean Park Residents strongly oppose this development. The Ocean Park Civic League unanimously voted to oppose the project. The Bayfront Advisory Commission received hundreds of letters from the community voicing opposition. Residents have sent hundreds of letters to the Planning Commission in opposition to this development.
FACT: The Comprehensive Plan provides further specific guidance about development for three areas including Pleasure House Point.
SFA 1.1- “Ensure that any development in the surrounding area is complementary with regard to both design and land use to the natural resource and open space amenity provided by Pleasure House Point.” This development would bring hundreds of people and cars which will impact this fragile natural area. The Brock Center counts on parking spaces on Marlin Bay Dr. which will be the only overflow parking available. Parking provided is the minimum required and does not reflect extra vehicles from multiple residents in 2-3 bedroom units or visitors to the 197 unit complex.

Dear Residents of Ocean Park, 

For over a year residents of Ocean Park have actively opposed the Marlin Bay Development. We believe that this large development will fundamentally change the nature and character of our neighborhood. It will set a terrible precedent for inappropriately high density that could open the door for more similar projects in the future.

The strongest argument we have is that our neighborhood is unique and beloved for its character. Most of us moved here because of that special character that has been enshrined by the City’s Comprehensive and Shore Drive Corridor Plans. You have a voice in preserving our neighborhood. The properties at Marlin Bay Drive should be developed in accordance with the existing zoning and City planning guidelines: townhouses, duplexes and single-family homes, not a large high-density multi-family using erroneous mixed-use rezoning.

If you have not done so, please consider writing today to The Planning Commission members and City Council to add your voice to preserve our neighborhood from overdevelopment.  So many residents have helped in this effort so far and we thank them. Join with us!

Daniel Murphy

Ocean Park Civic League President

What Can You Do?

It’s not too late to write to Planning Commission members who will vote to recommend approval or not for this project September 8th.

The City Council will have the final vote on whether to approve this development. This vote will likely come in August after the matter comes before the Planning Commission in July. Please email each City Council member to let them know where you stand by using the button below. Mr. Louis Jones and Mr. John Moss have already committed to standing with Ocean Park residents against this project. We thank them!

Write to the Planning Commission Members:

Mr. George Alcarazgalcarazvbpc@icloud.com757-620-8040
Mr. Steve BarnesBay Breeze Farms, 1076 Sandbridge Rd. , VB,VA 23456757-287-3199  (c)
Mr. Whitney GrahamwgrahamVBPC@icloud.com757-287-4835    
Mr. Donald Horsleyhorsley_don@yahoo.com757-421-3625   (h)
Mr. Michael Inmanmainman@inmanstrickler.com757-486-7055 (h) 757-403-8172 (c)
Ms. Dee Oliverbranch.oliver@gmail.com757-406-4954 (c)
Mr. David S. RedmonddredmondVBPC@icloud.com757-215-5302 
Mr. John H. Costonjohnhcoston@gmail.com757-407-8663  (c)  757-499-1388 (h)
Ms. Robyn R. KleinRKleinVBPC@icloud.com757-918-9317    (c)
Mr. Jack Walljckwall@aol.com757-748-5602    (c)
Mr. David Weinerdweiner@batchelder-brick.com757-620-1681    (c)

Summary of Events so far…

  • April 13, 2021 Mr. Peterson presents the Marlin Bay project to the board of OPCL who share the information in the developer presentation with the community and solicit feedback from residents.
  • May 7, 2020 The proposal for the development of the Marlin Bay Project discussed at the Ocean Park Civic League General Membership Meeting. Membership voted unanimously to oppose the project.
  • July 16, 2020 Presentation from Mr. Peterson scheduled before the Bayfront Advisory Commission. Many residents planned to attend. Mr. Shea said there were hundreds of emails and letters opposing the project. The developer presentation was canceled at the last minute by the developer.
  • October 15, 2020 meeting scheduled with OPCL board and BAC cancelled by the developer.
  • November 19, 2020 Bayfront Advisory Commission declines to approve the project offering to work with the developer to suggest changes.
  • January 28, 2021 Meeting of developer with OPCL board members. Same project presentation is repeated-no changes. This was the only meeting with OPCL after initial presentation.
  • April 15, 2021 Mr. Peterson again presents to the Bayfront Advisory Commission lowering the unit number to 197 (OPCL not consulted or informed). The BAC again votes overwhelmingly to decline to approve the project.
  • May 10, 2021 Signs are posted stating the project will go before the Planning Commission June 9, 2021.
  • June 3, 2021 The staff planner report is published. Mr. Dao recommends approval. The report states that over 200 letters were received in opposition and 3 received in favor. Staff Planner Report.pdf
  • June 4, 2021. The developer requests deferment of the project from the Planning Commission Agenda in order to ‘garner more support’.
  • June 22, 2021. Representatives of MB property owners met with board members to persuade them about the benefits of the project.
  • June 25, 2021. The developer requests postponement to September 8th.

This project is not consistent with the city’s own Comprehensive Plan.The City of Virginia Beach City Council adopted the current Comprehensive Plan in 2017.  The City Council lays out specific goals for each area of the city in the Comprehensive Plan. In the Suburban Focus area section that deals with Shore Dr., the City Council sets forth Guiding Planning Principles to achieve  a stated goal of Great Neighborhoods. Here are some quotes from the CP that show how inconsistent the Marlin Bay Development is with the plan that the City Council has adopted for Ocean Park and Shore Dr.

  • “Our primary guiding principle for the Suburban Area is to create “Great Neighborhoods,” and “to support those neighborhoods with complementary non-residential uses in such a way that working together the stability and sustainability of the Suburban Area is ensured for now and the future.” ( page 1-60) 
  • “For example, new residential development on larger parcels should be consistent with the character of any residential uses in the surrounding area, as well as consistent with the guiding planning principles for the Suburban Area.” “Residential density in the Suburban Area should be low to medium where the surrounding land use patterns and densities are appropriate for such. Higher densities are appropriate for development in the Urban Areas.”  (page 1-62)
  • Infill development on small vacant parcels within an existing neighborhood or on parcels being redeveloped should be compatible to the existing development around it. Designing a structure that is scaled and proportioned with surrounding development is typically more difficult than utilizing a design that simply fits the site and meets zoning regulations. The result, however, is a structure compatible with the neighborhood with respect to land use and design, and will give the impression to those who pass by that it has always been part of the original development.”     (page 1-63)

Important Documents

The Planning Commission Hearing about the Marlin Bay Development is officially deferred until September 8th. We have this in writing from Mr. Tajan and the signs posted are up to date.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

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