Ocean Shores Condominium Board Fundraising for Legal Fees to Oppose Westminster Canterbury Proposed Expansion

The following letter is from the Ocean Shores Condominium Board requesting support to help cover costs for legal fees to help them oppose the current proposed 22 story tall expansion of Westminster Canterbury.  Ocean Shores Condos are located directly to the east of the proposed high rise and will be impacted the most by the massive structure.  If you believe the proposed iconic landmark hire rise is not in keeping with the neighborhood character of the Bayfront area, Please help by donating and/or forwarding this post to others.

Ocean Shores Condo Legal Fees Fundraiser Letter

 

Dear Shore Drive Community members:

We are writing you concerning the expansion of Westminster Canterbury.  Most of you have gone to meetings opposing the expansion of Westminster Canterbury, or have expressed personal interest against the expansion as it stands now.

This letter/email is from The Ocean Shore Condominiums.  We are a 63 unit condo directly to the east of Westminster Canterbury on Ocean Shore Avenue.

The board of Ocean Shore Condominium, has been fighting to mitigate some of the most egregious design plans of Westminster Canterbury’s expansion since the details were presented to Ocean Shore Condominium owners December 17, 2019, by WC management; the expansion plan was presented as final.   We have attended many meetings, written numerous letters to the planning commission, and made presentations to that commission March 11, 2020.  Now we are actively in contact with the City Council and are prepared to attend their meeting on September 22, 2020, in order to voice our concerns.  Beginning with the Dec. 17, 2019, presentation, Ocean Shore hired an attorney and an architect to help represent us and the community through this entire process.  Many of us have attended meetings with the attorney, and she helped voice our opposition in front of the planning commission.  In addition, she will be making a case against aspects of the expansion plan at the City Council Meeting.

To date, we have spent over $19,500 on legal fees and another $6,000 for the advice and representation we have gotten from our architect.  We have more costs coming as our attorney and architect will be representing all of us at the City Council Meeting upcoming on September 22, 2020.  We are trying to protect the housing values and the wonderful lifestyle of the entire Shore Drive Area and therefore we are all in this together.

We are asking you to help support us financially.  Please consider contributing to our bills in the quest to get Westminster Canterbury to change their expansion.  If you are an individual and can afford $10, $25, $100, or any other amount we would appreciate your help.  If you represent an association or a civic league and you have the same passion as Ocean Shore to continue this fight, then we ask you to financially support us as a community with as much as you deem appropriate.  Ocean Shore Condo is fighting for the entire Shore Drive Area.  We need your financial help and cannot continue to fight without your help.

 

To contribute, please write a check made out to Ocean Shore Condominium and forward it to the address below:

Ocean Shore Condominium

Attn: Jay Frieden, Treasurer

2416 Ocean Shore Crescent #401

Virginia Beach, Va. 23451

 

Whether you contribute financially or not we still need your support.  Please keep contacting the City Council, your Congressional representative and the Governor to keep the pressure on our City Council.  We want to protect everyone in The Shore Drive Area.

Very Truly Yours,

Ocean Shore Condo Board

City’s Community Rating System (CRS) Continues to Save Citizens 15% on Flood Insurance

The City’s Community Rating System Coordinator, Ms. Whitney McNamara, recently sent the above letter to all homeowners living in flood prone areas of our City.  The CRS is a national program and almost all of the cities in Hampton Roads are participants.  One of the requirements of the program is civic engagement.  The outreach letter contains a lot of helpful information, so please read it and its reference documents if you live in a flood prone area.  Being part of the CRS program also brings along benefits for citizens in the form of reduced flood insurance premiums.  The % saving is based on a points scale based on what actions the City is implementing.  Virginia Beach is currently at a 15% savings rating and is continuously working towards improvement and more savings.  You can click on the link below or the image above to read the entire letter.

2020-PLN-CRSOutreachToResidents-LTR

City Council Plans to Reschedule Hearing of Westminster Canterbury Proposed Expansion to Tuesday Sept. 22nd

Tuesday September 22nd will be the new scheduled date for City Council to hear Westminster Canterbury’s proposed expansion application.

***PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF HEARING DATE***

City Council at their Tuesday briefing agreed to move ahead with a motion to defer the upcoming August 25th advertised hearing of the WC application to the new hearing date of Tuesday September 22nd.  The September 22nd City Council hearing will still take place at Convention Center at 6:00pm.

The following is an official email from Mr. Mark Stiles, City Attorney, confirming the decision of Council to defer and reschedule.

From: Mark Stiles
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 3:18 PM
To: Todd Solomon
Cc: William R. Landfair
Subject: Re: Westminster Canterbury Hearing Deferral Documentation

Mr. Solomon,

Yesterday the Council agreed to defer the Westminster item to a special meeting on September 22.  A formal vote to that effect will occur next Tuesday and the published agenda for next week will show that it is on for deferral to that date.

Best wishes,

Mark Stiles

 

The main reason for the requested change in hearing date was to allow this item to be the only Planning Item on the agenda which will create a more manageable meeting.  The August 25th agenda contains 28 Planning Items and is scheduled to be a joint City Council and Planning Commission hearing which potentially doubles the time for each item to be heard.  A brief excerpt from the City Manager’s letter to City Council is shown below explaining this in more detail.  The entire letter can be read by clicking below

CM letter to CC re Deferral of WC to 9.22

City of VB installs new Your Speed Radar Sign on Shore Drive

The City of Virginia Beach listened to the community and has installed a “Your Speed” radar sign on Shore Drive to help slow motorists coming out of First Landing State Park.  The sign is located in the median just as you exit the State Park and enter the Cape Story by the Sea Neighborhood.  The sign is solar operated and permanently mounted.  It shows speeds up to 45mph.  Anything over, it will post a “Slow Down” warning.  This is a big step toward the community request to have several of these types of signs that are portable and can be set up and moved in a random pattern to keep focus on speeding issues.

 

Westminster Canterbury Expansion Update – City Council Member Status

As you all know, the City Council hearing for the proposed Westminster Canterbury expansion is now scheduled to take place on Tuesday August 25th.  The following is a brief update on what City Council Members positions/interest is to date.

3 Council Members have recused themselves from discussing, commenting and voting on this application due to conflict of interests.  Those members are Jim Wood – Lynnhaven District; Louis Jones – Bayside District and Rosemary Wilson – At-large.

Out of the remaining 8 Council Members, 7 have yet to meet with residents or attend a civic meeting where this expansion was discussed or presented.

1 Council Member, Mr. John Moss, has publicly made the decision to oppose the expansion.  His Facebook post is shown below.

 

City Council Still Plans to Hear Westminster-Canterbury Expansion on Aug. 4th – Community Input Needed

On Tuesday City Council decided to move ahead with the scheduled Aug 4th hearing of the Westminster-Canterbury proposed expansion plans.  The hearing will take place in the Convention Center and start at 6:00pm.  We have been told this site will allow adequate social distancing even with the recent reduction of allowable group sizes from 250 to 50.  You can also participate virtually if you are in a high risk category.

The Shore Drive Community Coalition is asking the residents of the Bayfront Community to provide City Council with your opinions on this proposed development.  This is a once in a lifetime decision that can cause adverse ripples for many years to come.  Here are several ways you can let your voices be heard.

 

  • Sign up to speak (in-person or virtual) at the Tuesday Aug 4th hearing.  Call the City Clerk at 385-4303 or email her at ABarnes@vbgov.com and inform her you wish to talk on the Westminster-Canterbury item.

 

  • Send an email to City Council and the Staff Planner.  It can be a short few sentences of what you think about this project or it can be several paragraphs of stories or analysis.  Any email is welcomed.  Send your emails to the following:  City Council – CityCouncil@vbgov.com and City Planner Bill Landfair – WLandfair@vbgov.com

 

For reference, the official letter of opposition from SDCC to City Council is included below.  Feel free to copy and paste information from this letter into your emails if you need.  City Council Deny Request Letter for WC22

 

Dear Mayor Dyer and City Council Members,

On behalf of the Shore Drive Community Coalition (SDCC), we formally request that City Council “DENY” the subject request from Westminster Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay (WCCB) for a modification of conditions to build a 4 story parking garage with 22 story tower senior living facility and a 7 story memory unit facility connected by enclosed elevated pedestrian bridges over public roadways.

The SDCC is a 20 year old umbrella civic organization representing many neighborhood civic leagues, condo and homeowner associations along the Shore Drive corridor.  At our February general meeting, we unanimously voted on the following motion regarding the current proposed WCCB development,

“The Shore Drive Community Coalition opposes the Westminster Canterbury expansion proposal as it is in violation of the Shore Drive Overlay density restrictions and the Business 901 height restrictions”

The proposed project defined as “Housing for seniors” violates the following City codes and plans.

  • Shore Drive Corridor Overlay Section 1704- Density requirements of maximum 24 units per acre. The proposed 22 story tower lot size is 2.56 acres.
Density Design Units/acre % over code Total Units
Shore Drive Overlay (24/acre) 24 0% 61
Other States Codes for Affordable Housing 28 +20% 73
Existing Westminster Canterbury Campus Density 50 +40% 86
Proposed 22 Story Tower 85 +255% 217

 

  • Business District Section 901(a) – Senior housing building height restriction of 165 feet. The 22 story tower has a height of 250 feet.  This City code requirement appears to have been created to allow safe evacuation of elderly residents in case of emergency.

 

The SDCC understands that Council will be using “City Code Section 235 – Housing for seniors and disabled persons” to approve random densities for these types of projects, however, this code also requires Council to evaluate the project with the following guideline.

The mass, or overall size, and height of the structure should be appropriate to the surroundings.

Based on numbers alone, it seems the proposed 22 story tower fails on height and mass.

The SDCC is also concerned that this project will set a harmful precedent for future development requests of high density taller tower structures in Business B2 and B4 zoning that would be incompatible with the surrounding residential and lower density multi-family dwellings that make the Shore Drive Corridor unique.

 

Thank you for your consideration in denying the subject application,

Todd Solomon – SDCC President

City Council Hearing for Proposed Westminster Canterbury 22 Story Iconic Landmark Set for Tuesday Aug. 4th

 

A date for City Council to hold the public hearing for the proposed development of a 22 story assisted living facility and a 7 story memory building has been set for Tuesday August 4th.  The location of the hearing will be the City Council Chambers or the Convention Center based on the Covid-19 requirements at that time.  We will provide updates as we get them.  Below is the email confirming the date has been set.

 

SDCC Residents Survey Results for proposed WCCB development – https://weloveshoredrive.com/2020/03/11/wccb-survey-summary-results/

VB Planning Commission Hearing March 11th Video link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h75pz3iVqgQ

VB Planning Commission Staff Report and additional background information – https://weloveshoredrive.com/2020/03/06/while-it-is-the-most-densely-populated-area-of-the-city-it-is-primarily-a-neighborhood-residential-area-the-general-planning-goals-and-policies-in-the-comprehensive-plan-include-preserving-and-pro/

 

 

Subject: RE: WC CUP Sign – Hearing Date Confirmation

 

Hello Todd,

Yes, the Westminster Canterbury application is scheduled for City Council review on August 4th.  According to the City Clerk’s Office no decision has been made at this time as to whether the hearing will be held in the Council Chamber or at the Convention Center.  While currently both in-person and virtual speakers are allowed, that decision may also be reassessed in the very near future.

Thank you.

Bill