Signs UP!

Thank you to all the residents who have put up a sign in their yards, in their windows, even on the dunes! A special thank you to everyone who has donated toward the cost of the signs! We have 100 signs out there now and want to order more! If you would like to donate, it is much appreciated! Donate-to-signs.

It has also been great to hear from the community as people write in to ask for a sign (communication@opcl.org) Here are some of the messages:

OPCL-Would love to display a yard sign to show our disapproval of this proposal!

Thank you for these efforts for our community and for the signs!!
I would be happy to place a sign in my yard.

My husband and I would love to have a “No Way Marlin Bay” sign for our yard. And I will send a corresponding donation through the link you provided. I will also be emailing the planning commission to advocate against the development. Thank you for your work organizing and supporting our neighborhood!

Hello! We would LOVE to show our support with a yard sign! We will share this in the mailboxes area in front of our house.

A couple of my neighbors have posted signs in their yard and directed me to the website to get one of my own. Thank you for offering these to the community!

The overdevelopment of Shore Drive has to stop. It’s putting all of our safety at risk. And we haven’t even seen the impact of the Westminster Canterbury development on our roads yet. Development is ok but the density on Shore Drive is out of control. Thanks to the OPCL for all their work on this.

I would like a yard sign and will donate for one! This is the absolute worst thing that could happen to our community and I strongly oppose it.

Hello, one of my neighbors passed on your info for a no way Marlin Bay sign . We strongly oppose the building of these apartments and would like to continue showing our support for the cause.

I loved the video and what a great way to get the word out!

We would like to have a sign at our house please!  Our family is strongly against dense development at Marlin Bay. 

News Channel 3 Highlights Community Opposition to the Marlin Bay Development


https://www.wtkr.com/news/ocean-park-residents-in-shore-drive-area-strongly-oppose-the-proposed-200-unit-apartment-complex

In an interview with Chelsea Donovan on Channel 3 News, OPCL President Danny Murphy explained the Ocean Park community’s opposition to the proposed 197 unit apartment complex in Ocean Park. He emphasized that the community is not against all development. Residents are looking for appropriate development within the framework of the existing zoning with units similar to what is adjacent to the property: townhouses, duplexes, single family homes. He said that a project of this size and density would destroy the cohesion of this close knit community. He pointed out that residents are opposed to the high density and large scale of this project with 197 units of 1,2 and 3 bedrooms and a 4 1/2 story parking garage. Also of concern is that it poses a threat to the “prime jewel of the city: Pleasure House Point.”

If you would like to display a NOWAYMARLINBAY sign contact:communication@opcl.org

Scholarship Winner for 2021

Congratulations to this year’s winner of the George and Louise Lyon Memorial Scholarship : Taylor McOrmond! She was selected from a very competitive field of exceedingly well qualified applicants. Taylor is a resident of Ocean Park and attends the Legal Studies Academy at First Colonial High School. She will be attending James Madison University in the fall. We were so pleased to see Taylor at the June 10th meeting where she thanked the membership for the scholarship.

George and Louise Lyon were lifelong members of the Ocean Park Civic League and dedicated a good portion of their free time to serving the community in which they lived. They were especially committed to supporting the Ocean Park Volunteer Rescue Squad which was the first all volunteer rescue squad established in Virginia Beach and that is still in operation today on Shore Drive. This scholarship recognizes student achievement and encourages community volunteerism.

While we may disagree with the rezoning and conditional use request to build the Marlin Bay Development, the developers and owners are our neighbors and we do not condone the defacement of the signage on the Marlin Bay property. The responsible way to oppose this project is by communicating with the city, the Planning Commission and the City Council. This can be done with calls, letters/emails and showing up to speak at public meetings.

What does the Comprehensive Plan for COVB say about Development?


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) 

  • “The planning policies that apply to the entire Shore Drive Corridor and Bayfront Communities are:
  • Preserve and protect the character of the established neighborhoods
  • Achieve the lowest reasonable density for future residential uses.” page (1-71)

“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)

The Bayfront Advisory Commission (originally established as the Shore Drive Advisory Committee and then the Bayfront Advisory Committee) 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. At the April meeting, the Bayfront Advisory Commission did not approve the design for this project, finding it incompatible with the Design Guidelines for Shore Dr. 

Link: ComprehensivePlan.pdf

Happening Now at Pleasure House Point

The Ellen Reid Soundwalk is active now at Pleasure House Point! The Ellen Reid Soundwalk is a work of public art that uses music to illuminate the natural environment. Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid, SOUNDWALK is created to “encourage calm reflection and introspection”. Ms. Reid has created musical settings tailored for ‘the sunlit water, tidal marsh, sandy shores and maritime forest’ of PHP. The walk is GPS enabled so just install the free app and download the SOUNDWALK, hit start and begin walking! Go here to the Pleasure House Point page to learn more about it! Go to: Pleasure House Point Park.

Bayfront Advisory Commission Declines to approve Marlin Bay Project

At their monthly meeting on Thursday, the BAC heard from Mr. Peterson, representing the company developing the Marlin Bay Project, who presented the design changes for the Marlin Bay Apartment Complex which mainly consisted of reducing part of the building to 3 stories. Mr. Davenport, chair of BAC, cautioned commission members and visitors that zoning questions such as density were not within the purview of the BAC. They were to address compliance with the Shore Drive Corridor Plan and Design Guidelines. Mr. Bob Magoon, chair of the Design Committee, gave a summary of the pros and cons of the project. The Design Committee recommended non approval. After hearing from the commission members and from many residents, the commission voted overwhelmingly not to approve the project. Mr. Magoon made recommendations including eliminating the fourth floor from the rest of the project. Mr. Peterson’s response was that would render the project unprofitable. BAC approval for a project is not required for approval from Planning Commission or City Council.

Many residents spoke against the project at the virtual meeting. Apparently many more residents were not able to join the meeting. Mr. Mark Shea, Comprehensive Planning Coordinator COVB, said that the noon deadline had been set and noted in the meeting sign up so that there wouldn’t be a flurry of activity during the meeting. He apologized to those who could not enter and attempts were made to let people in. At the end of the meeting, he said that the May meeting would be in person.

OPCL will keep residents updated as new steps are taken in regard to this development. Stay tuned!!

Marlin Bay Apt. Complex Update

The Bayfront Advisory Commission will hear from the Marlin Bay Apartment Complex developers again at their virtual meeting on Thursday, April 15 at 3:30.

The developers will present a slightly redesigned project with 197 units instead of 222. The new plan (see above drawing) shows a change to one part of the apartment building along Shore Dr. That part of the building will be 3 stories instead of 4. The rest of the complex along Shore Dr. and all that borders the neighborhood on the other side remain 4 stories. Areas circled in red are 4 stories and show how the 4 story building is overbearing next to current residences. The parking garage also remains 4 1/2 stories. The scale of the project means it will tower over Shore Dr. and the neighborhood and change the character of Ocean Park. So while the developers have made a modest change to the plan, this complex is still too large for our small, historic Ocean Park. The community remains strongly opposed to the zoning change that would allow such a large apartment complex in Ocean Park.

Please support Ocean Park and voice your views either by email (see the links to BAC commissioners below) or at the BAC meeting virtually. Here is the two step process to speak at the meeting on Thursday: Follow this link to register: https://vbgov.webex.com. And then contact Mr. Mark Shea by calling him at (757) 385-2908 or emailing him at MEShea@vbgov.com by noon on the 15th to indicate which presentation you wish to speak to. You can also join the meeting to listen by following the link above.

At the November BAC meeting, the commission declined to approve the earlier design of the project. If you would like to email members of the Bayfront Advisory Commission, here is their contact information:

Morgan Ayers ayersmorgan@gmail.com
Mr. Wallis Damonwalkatdam@aol.com
Philip Davenport, chairPdavenport9@cox.net
Mr. Whitney Grahamwhitney@grahamcre.com
Charles Guthrieaddress on gov website not valid
William Hearst whearst@verizon.net
Charles Malbontanklines@aol.com
Robert Magoon, vice chairBob@coastalresidentialdesign.com
Stacey ShifletSshiflet35@yahoo.com
Martin ThomasMthomas2001@gmail.com
Michael WitherspoonMichael.l.witherspo1@navy.mil
David Redmond (Planning Commission)dredmondvbpc@icloud.com
Mark Shea (staff)meshea@vbgov.com
contact information from Virginia Beach Govt website: https://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/planning/boards-commissions-committees/Documents/BAC/2-2021%20membership.pdf

Beach Project Update

On Thursday, April 8th the OPCL community heard from Mr. Dan Adams, P.E. Coastal Program Manger and Mr. James White, P.E. Coastal Program Manager, who addressed concerns about the erosion at the Ocean Park beach and plans for replenishment. (for the slide presentation: see previous post) Here are some highlights from Mr. Adam’s presentation and the discussion:

This will be the first true restoration project for OP beach. The beach has been a placement site for Federal dredging project spoils but this will be a much larger scale project. The Ocean Park beach is in a priority position as it already has a memo of agreement with VPA and is in the process of completing the necessary permits. Mr. Adams said that OP was the priority among the bay beaches if the quantity of beach quality sand falls short of the anticipated total or if the city of Norfolk or the Navy decide to exercise their claim on sand from the project. The total amount of beach quality sand is projected to be 400,000- 800,000 cubic yards. OP beach is slated to receive 310,000 cy to be able to do the full restoration. Mr. Adams expressed confidence that the sand OP beach requires will be available to do the project.

Timing: The project is on schedule. The design plans are set to be completed mid-May and bidding is scheduled for July. A Public Information Meeting (hopefully in person) will be held to communicate the project design and schedule to the community once the bidding process is complete. Dredging and placement is programmed to begin in late 2021 or early 2022. August 2022 is the conservative date for project completion not the start of the project. It is hoped that it will be completed well before that time.

Future: In addressing concerns about future needs for beach nourishment, Mr. Adams talked about a replenishment cycle involving 192,000 cy of sand every 3-5 years. He mentioned that there would be an opportunity to get the use of Thimble Shoals as a borrow site for renourishment. Another avenue would be dredge spoils from the Atlantic Ocean Channel (the orange line on the slide). The purpose of the City’s placements, nourishments and replenishments of sand is primarily for storm damage reduction. It provides the auxiliary benefit of a wider recreational beach.

Lynnhaven Sand PileEmergency Sand: The 60,000 cy of sand is beach quality but falls far short of being enough to be effective on the full beach. They consider the best use of the sand would be at a hot spot in the most vulnerable section if erosion brings conditions to that point. When asked about what preparations had been made for emergency action, Mr. Adams said they have received the authority to place sand above the mean high water line. Mr. Adams said that an emergency replenishment is when a habitable structure is in imminent risk of damage or when the coastal engineers feel the next storm could cause structural damage.

Questions: Mr. Adams responded to a question about the improved beach providing more flood protection and whether it could lead to a reduction in flood insurance for residents. He replied that FEMA remaps every 10 yrs and it would depend on when that would next happen but potentially OP could be removed from the VE zone. In answer to a question about the monitoring of OP beach, Mr. Adams said they do a LIDAR survey of the beach twice a year, go out monthly and after storms in person. In answer to a question about dune safety, they will consider placing signs to keep people off the dunes.

Mr. Adams and Mr. White assured members of their commitment to open communication and proposed several steps to keeping the communication lines open so residents will be kept up to date.

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