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.
The City of Virginia Beach Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget process is underway. The long planned and promised improvements to Shore Dr. from the Lesner Bridge to Marlin Bay Dr. have again been postponed. 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. For more information on the project: Opcl.org/phase-iv-long-promised-west-shore-dr-improvements/
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
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