Dear Ocean Park Residents,
First and foremost, I would like to thank the residents of Ocean Park for their passion and their willingness to stand up for our community. Your commitment has been an inspiration. As we engage with the decision makers, please keep in mind that we wish to do so in the spirit of civility and cooperation. We truly believe that all are seeking to work towards the betterment of our city. We seek to convince them that this project is to the detriment of our neighborhood. But we need to make our arguments with facts and persuasion and not engage in any personal or negative attacks. We are in the right that we should have a say in our neighborhood character and that this project will negatively impact that unique character. We must convince them of that not shout them down.
We, as a community, are not in opposition to redevelopment of the lots. We want to see redevelopment that fits with Ocean Park, with the unique quality that drew us all here. So please use facts in your arguments and relate them to your personal experience to explain why you oppose the project.
Danny Murphy, President Ocean Park Civic League
OPCL response to the Staff Planning Document:
Mr. Hoa Dao
Department of Planning and Community Development
2875 Sabre ST, Suite 500
Virginia Beach, VA, 23452
RE: Marlin Bay Apartment Development & Initial June 9, 2021 Staff Planning Report
Dear Mr. Dao:
Thank you again for taking the time to meet with us last Thursday to review the initial June meeting Staff Planning Report on the Marlin Bay Development. Your professionalism and personal investment in your role are a considerable asset to the Planning Department and the City of Virginia Beach. As indicated during our meeting, I would request the following additions or alterations to any subsequent reports in order to provide a more complete analysis of the application.
- The Evaluation and Recommendation section of the report leads with a truncated discussion for the proposed project density of 31.77. “While the proposed density at 31.77 units per acre is higher compared to developments in the immediate surrounding area”. As we will explain below, the effective development density exceeds 40 units per acre. While the report is more complete when addressing zoning history (though there is an omission there addressed later), the report fails to offer a complete picture of the density of the properties surrounding the project and does not contain figures that would allow a determination of whether this project does in fact meet the Comprehensive Plan requirement of infill having “compatible density” and “preserving and protecting the character of established neighborhoods and achieving the lowest reasonable density for future residential uses.”. While the report cites the Comprehensive Plan in several places, the report does not include the Comprehensive Plan language about density. What is significantly lacking is any analysis of the existing density of the neighborhood in order to determinethe lowest reasonable density for future residential uses.
- What is the average density currently in the Ocean Park neighborhood? How exactly would the addition of nearly 200 units in a 1,400-unit neighborhood change density?
- What is the density of the adjacent and nearby properties? What is the average density for these properties?
- As noted, there are existing B-4 & A-18 zoned properties within the Ocean Park neighborhood. What is their proximity of these sites, when were they built, what is their density?
- The B-2 Boat Sales lot will exist separately without redevelopment as a recommended proffer. “In no case shall the area labeled ‘Existing Boat Sales’ and the associated parking lot be developed with any dwelling units.” Page 6, Recommended Conditions for Conditional Use Permit The stated calculation of 31.77/acre does not capture the effective density which would exceed 40 units per acre even including the area of the Clipper Bay Drive paper street closure. Thus, the residential apartment development of 197 units will only occur on 4.88 acres of land and would result in a density of over 40 units per acre. Page 3, Evaluation and Recommendation
- The rezoning and conditional use of the B-2 Boat Sales lot to B-4 (SD) is in significant conflict with the Comprehensive plan, Shore Drive Overlay District, Shore Drive Shore Drive Corridor Design Guidelines and city code for “mixed use” district zoning.
- As defined in city code, Sec. 111. Definitions, “Mixed use. Two (2) or more separate uses allowed as principal or conditional uses that arephysically and functionally integrated with the same structure on one (1) zoning lot.” The Boat Sales building is neither physically or functionally integrated with the same structure. To the contrary: In the proposal the boat sales building will be unattached and significantly separated by the primary roadway leading to and from the parking garage, building entrance and outdoor amenities. Page 12, Proposed Conceptual Site Layout.
- Per the proposal, the boat sales building is only slated to encompass one unit of 2,000 sq. ft. of retail or restaurant space which equates to only 16% of the space. Boat sales will occupy the remaining 10,000 sq. feet of the building. This does not represent functional integration.
- Furthermore, proposed plan indicates that additional space may be allocated to retail/restaurant, but this would only further exacerbate the report’s stated deficiency of required parking at the boat sales building site: “With the exception of parking area for the existing boat sales dealership located between the building and public street, that does not conform with the Guidelines…” Page 3, Evaluation & Recommendation
- As detailed extensively in the Mixed-Use Development Guidelines, adopted by City Council in 2004, the intent to “develop mixed use as a principal tool for redevelopment and as a preferred land use pattern in the Strategic Growth Areas (SGAs), and develop necessary zoning and other regulatory tools to encourage it” not in Suburban Focus Area 1 Shore Drive Corridor with adjacent residential single-family dwellings. Page 7, Comprehensive Plan Recommendations
- As stated in the report in reference to the Comprehensive Plan and Shore Drive Corridor Design Guidelines several critical facts have been omitted:
- The project site is contiguous to the City’s 118-acre Pleasure House Point Natural Area and as such requires “specific planning guidance”per the comprehensive plan: “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.”
- In addition, although the project site is technically within the “mixed zone” for the Shore Drive Corridor, it sits on the dividing line with the “green zone”, Marlin Bay Drive. Page 3, Evaluation and Recommendation
Again, thank you for your honest consideration of these points in order to provide a more thorough and accurate report for the September 8th Planning Commission hearing.
Danny Murphy, President
Ocean Park Civic League