From Emily McBride, President, Lesner Cove Condominium Association:
June 29, 2008
To Whom It May Concern:
The Lesner Cove Condominium Association located at 2140 Vista Circle, Virginia Beach, VA., is opposed to the rezoning of the City Marina from P-1, Preservation to B-2, and Commercial for the following reasons:
* The Marina as it exists and is managed at this time is a public service to the taxpayers of Virginia Beach and one of the last facilities controlled by the city that is located in this water based recreation area. In a time when the preservation of all natural space is important and discussed by the city in various meetings, we feel that maintaining the Preservation Area zoning is in keeping with the city plan to preserve as much natural space as possible. We feel that the Marina is a feather in the City’s cap and do not understand why the City would want to give up control. Was this an opportunity to be explored because it would be a solution to the parking problems that exist with the commercial establishments in the area?
* The Marina is a profitable property for the city returning $54,000 annually to its coffers. If leased, there is no guarantee that the city will make more money than it already does. What is the need to allow a private entity to use it commercially and what are the exposure risks to the city if the management is outsourced? Why would the city want to hold property for a commercial purpose?
* We are concerned about a private manager asking to put fuel tanks back on the property. The tanks that were there before split and fuel seeped into the ground and river. Oversight of fuel tanks would be the responsibility of the city creating more responsibility for the city. Has anyone asked the management of the City Garage if they want to have oversight for fuel tanks being reinstalled on the property? Again what is the risk to the city, property, river and surrounding neighborhoods and restaurants?
* Vista Circle, the street address of the Marina is already overcrowded with traffic that at times, blocks the street both ways making it impossible for emergency vehicles and residents to gain access to their homes and businesses there. The area around the Marina includes a large number of residential homes and condominiums. Presently the marina generates little traffic other than a few boat owners and the Virginia Beach Marine Police which operates several police boats from there. The increase in traffic from a commercial establishment would have an all round detrimental effect on the community. The remaining empty piece of property abutting Chick’s Restaurant on the West side and owned by Mr. Francis, and now, for sale again, has already been zoned for a restaurant should he decide to build it, which will create more traffic on Vista Circle. We don’t feel that turning the Marina into a commercial entity and creating even more traffic challenges and more need for parking in the area is a responsible decision on the part of the City.
* We have heard for several years about the creation of Waterman’s Walk in this area. Creation of Waterman’s Walk was a nice plan but would require business owners along the river to surrender property on the riverfront for a walkway. On the original plan for this nice thought, there was to be a parking lot at the intersection of Shore Drive and Vista Circle. We know of no plans that the city has at this time to purchase property for such a parking lot nor are we aware of any plan that the city has in place to gain access to the property on the riverfront necessary to accomplish “Waterman’s Walk.” Therefore rationalizing that this is a part of the city’s plan for Waterman’s Walk is not valid. There is no specific plan.
* While we understand that one of the proffers is to maintain the open space at the back of the Marina Property, we believe that the whole Marina is “open space” and needs to be preserved as is.
We will be attending the zoning hearing on July 9th and requesting that the city not rezone the City Marina. Any help or input you can give would be appreciated.
Emily McBride, President
Lesner Cove Condominium Association