SDCC asks City Council to Reconsider Vote on Westminster Canterbury High Rise High Density Development

Official email sent to City Council asking for reconsideration of vote to approve Westminster Canterbury high rise high density expansion.  Click here for printable version Request to CC to Reconsider WC Vote

Supporting documents:

Failure to provide HUD affordable housing;

1998 acknowledgement of 165ft senior housing height limit


Dear Mayor Dyer and Council Members Berlucchi, Wooten, Tower and Henley,

The Shore Drive Community Coalition (SDCC), as voted at our September 28, 2020 meeting, formally requests City Council at your October 6th meeting to reconsider the approval vote of the Westminster Canterbury (WC) application heard on September 22, 2020.

It is our understanding that Council has a 2 week period to reconsider votes made at formal Council hearings.  There are a multitude of reasons the vote for the WC application should be reconsidered, several of them are listed below.  It is our hope that at least two of you will agree to reconsider your erroneous decision.

Reasons why Council needs to reconsider the WC application vote of September 22nd:

  • Council Member Abbott should be allowed to vote. Abbott was unable to attend the vote due to a family emergency, but with only 8 members able to vote as a result of conflict of interests, allowing all qualified voting members a chance to participate is a necessity.  Decisions like the WC application that are based solely on Council’s opinions need to have all voting members participate.
  • Council Members Berlucchi and Wooten should explain their reasons for support. Since the approval of the WC expansion was based solely on Council opinion, all the members provided explanation for their votes except Council members Berlucchi and Wooten.  A decision that changes the future of the Bayfont demands that they explain why they ignored the community’s concerns and voted in favor of the project.
  • WC’s claim that a density of +255% over code is needed to eliminate the approaching silver tsunami is irrelevant. This high density development will not provide enough housing for all the seniors that will be part of the tsunami, nor is it this project’s responsibility to do so.  A larger City approach should be taken.  One that requires all development to stay within the codes, plans and guidelines.  In fact there are over 1000 new units being built or planned within a 5 mile radius of WC.  New Millineium Senior Living – 250 units; Burton Station Senior Housing – 40 units; Overture Senior Apts – 150 apts; The Pearl – 260 apts; Marlin Bay – 230 apts; Marina Shores expansion – 60 apts;  Reducing the number of units for the WC expansion to be equal to the current campus density won’t adversely impact the senior housing market.  If the supply is there, the developers will come.
  • There are zero affordable housing units in this expansion. The Senior Housing Design Guideline allows density increases above code only for HUD defined affordable senior housing.  This type of allowance is common practice and shows up in California State laws as +20% for senior housing and even Alexandria Virginia as a +30% increase.  The City’s Senior Housing Advisory Committee identified the lack of affordable HUD housing in this project and requested WC to supply documentation as to how they are meeting this requirement.  None has been produced.  Allowing increased density because a business plan needs it to maximize profit is not allowed.
  • Maximizing tax collection is not a valid application review parameter. There is no requirement in the City codes, plans or guidelines that says tax revenue is more important than maintaining the character of a neighborhood.  A smaller scale project allows the characteristics of the area to be maintained and also allow an increase in taxes over what is being collected now.
  • Ignoring City codes, plans and guidelines will set precedent for future development in the Bayfront area. For the past 20 years, it has been the general opinion of the community that the development along Shore Drive has been too boxy and dense, but the residents have understood the overlay requirements and made sure projects didn’t violate them.  The WC project you approved ignores the height restriction of 165ft that was adhered to for the 2nd WC building.  The density of the 22 story tower site is 255% over the 24/units per acre code.  The Senior Housing Guidelines require the site to be a minimum of 3 acres, yet it is only 2.56.  The guidelines also require the project to have a mass and scale that doesn’t adversely impact the surrounding community’s character.  Approving a project that ignores all of these requirements will provide the legal precedent for all future developers to ignore codes and ask for approval based on conditional use similar to this one.

The City’s lack of civic engagement for a project of this magnitude and impact is appalling.  The Bayfront residents pride themselves on civil discourse and the ability to work with the City to find compromising solutions.  The fact that we were never given the chance to discuss our concerns is not acceptable.  All of you ran election campaigns that championed improved civic engagement for the citizens.  We demand that you take the opportunity at your October 6th meeting and reconsider your vote of September 22nd.  Denying the proposed WC development will allow the necessary City facilitated civic dialogue to take place needed to make an informed decision of this importance.  A smaller less dense development would be an acceptable compromise that will keep future development of the Bayfront in accordance with codes, plans and guidelines and also allow WC residents to enjoy their new amenities and City Council to enjoy an increase in tax revenue. Keeping the approval of the high rise high density project will lead to a Bayfront that resembles Town Center and result in the loss of our neighborhood character which is the main reason we all love this area.



Todd Solomon

Shore Drive Community Coalition President



Oct. 6th City Council Hearing – City Marina Lease of 24 Parking Spots to Chick’s


The Virginia Beach City Council will hold a PUBLIC HEARING on the proposed leasing of City-owned property on October 6, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber of City Hall (Building #1) at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia. The purpose of this hearing will be to obtain public comment on the use of the following City-owned property:

24 Parking Spaces at the Lynnhaven Municipal Marina located at 3211 Lynnhaven Drive (GPIN: 1489-98-2246) to Chicks Marina Properties, LLC (a/k/a Chick’s Oyster Bar)
If you are physically disabled or visually impaired and need assistance at this meeting, please call the City Clerk’s Office at 385-4303; Hearing impaired call 711.

Any questions concerning this matter should be directed to the City’s Department of Parks & Recreation, 2154 Landstown Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456 (757) 385-1100.
Amanda Barnes, MMC
City Clerk
Beacon: September 27, 2020



September 22nd Update – Per the notice above, a new Public Hearing for the potential lease of parking spaces at Lynnhaven Municipal Marina has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 6th, at 6:00 pm.  The Terms of the potential lease have changed slightly – the parking lease consideration remains at 24 parking spaces at the north end of the Marina, however per the image above, the 11 parking spaces located closest to the slips could not be utilized by Chick’s until after 4:00 pm daily.  Other potential Lease Terms remain the same – additional info in previous emails below.

 Please let me know if anyone has additional questions.


Rick Rowe

Park Events, Programs, and

Special Use Facilities Coordinator



CITY: City of Virginia Beach (the “City”)
USER: Chick’s Marina Properties, L.L.C. (a/k/a Chick’s Oyster Bar)
PROPERTY: 24 Parking Spaces Located at the Lynnhaven Municipal Marina (in the locations as shown on Exhibit A)
TERM: April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, with the option to renew for (4) additional six-month terms
The Use Agreement will only be effective for the months of April through September of each year, with the User having the option to expand the use on a month-to-month basis, on written request and mutual consent.
USE FEE: $50.00 per space, per month
• Parking spaces to be used for vehicle parking for User’s employees (only)
and for no other purpose
• Use of the spaces to be non-exclusive and subject to availability
• 13 spaces may be used anytime through the day and 11 spaces may be used daily after 4:00 p.m. only.
• Provide a certificate of insurance, naming the City as additional insured, with combined single limit coverage in the amount of $1,000,000.
• Indemnify and hold the City harmless from of all claims related to the Property.
• Comply with all federal, state and local statutes, ordinances and regulations.
• Keep the Property free of all trash and debris.
• City will be responsible for normal and routine maintenance of the paved area of the Property.
• City may terminate upon giving seven (7) days’ written notice to User in the event of default of the terms of the agreement or if the property is needed for any public purpose.
• User may terminate for any reason upon giving seven (7) days’ written notice to the City



Here is an additional letter that was sent to all the boat slip owners.

Dear Marina Slipholder,

As a current Slipholder at Lynnhaven Municipal Marina, I wanted to make you aware of a consideration to potentially lease Chick’s Oyster Bar 24 car parking spaces at the north end of the Marina.  After we recently completed the replacement of the collapsed bulkhead area behind the west mooring area at the Marina, Chick’s formally requested to lease parking spaces for their employees on an annual basis.  If approved, the City would be paid a monthly fee per space for the 24 parking spaces as part of the lease.  Additionally, the use and lease would be subject to terms and conditions, and would be renewed on an annual basis for a period not to exceed five total years, should all terms and conditions continue to be met.

Attached for your information is the Exhibit Area at the north end of the Marina where the leased parking spaces are located, along with the Notice of Public Hearing scheduled for July 14th.  The tentative plan would be for City Council to vote on the parking space lease on July 21st and if approved, execute the lease with Chick’s in August 2020.

We are also notifying the adjacent Condo and Civic Associations.  Please let me or Mike Parkman know if you have any questions.

Thanks, Rick Rowe

Parks Coordinator, City of Virginia Beach

Sent of Rick’s behalf

Mary Overstreet

Park Events, Programs, and Special Use

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation


Park Events, Programs, and Special Use | 2154 Landstown Road | Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456

Phone 757-385-8235 | Fax 757-416-6747 | |

SDCC General Meeting Agenda – Monday September 28th at 7:30pm at OPVRS Hall

Click here for a printable version of the agenda 9.28.20 SDCC Agenda

This will be a socially distanced and mask wearing meeting.  It’s been 7 months since our last in person meeting, thank you for your patience and we hope to all of your wonderful faces (at least eyes) again.

SDCC General Meeting Agenda

Monday September 28, 2020 from 7:30 to 9:00pm

Ocean Park Volunteer Rescue Squad Hall – 3769 East Stratford Rd

(parking in back, on side streets and across Shore Drive)


Special Presentation – None

Officer’s Reports: Secretary – Kathleen Damon; Treasurer’s Report –Tim Solanic;Vice President – Empsy Munden; President – Todd Solomon

Old Business-
Westminster-Canterbury (WC) High Rise and Memory Center Expansion – Update and discussion of City Council vote to approve on Tuesday Sept 22nd.  What are possible next steps?  Can anything be done have Council reconsider the vote?  Can the Condo Owners and Residents take the City to court and have the decision changed?

Sand Replenishment of Bayfront Beaches – On Sept 22nd City Coastal Engineers briefed Council on a plan to use dredged material from the Thimble Shoals Channel Deepening project.  This would delay the scheduled Ocean Park replenishment until November 2021, but will save the City money and allow for all Bayfront Beaches to be replenished at the same time.

Short Term Rental Overlay Districts Proposed for Ocean Park and Cape Story by the Sea – Councilman Louis Jones and Councilman Jim Wood have asked for an ordinance change to create STR overlay districts which will allow “By Right” use of residents for STRs as long as they meet the guidelines in the code.  The goal is to reduce the number of STRs Council has to review via the Conditional Use Permit process.

Leasing of Lynnhaven Municipal Marina for Commercial Use – A Public Hearing for the potential lease of parking spaces at Lynnhaven Municipal Marina has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 6th, at 6:00 pm.  The Terms of the potential lease include – 24 parking spaces at the north end of the Marina and 11 parking spaces located closest to the slips that could not be utilized by Chick’s until after 4:00 pm daily.

“Your Speed” Sign – A sign was installed in the median of Shore Drive just to the east of the intersection of Shore Drive and Kendall Street for cars coming out of the State Park heading west.

New Business

Proposed Developments –

  • Marina Shores Apartment Expansion – A 60 unit 5 story (65ft tall) building is being proposed along North Great Neck Rd. where the apartments tennis courts are currently located. This application is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission in November
  • Marlin Bay Apartment Complex – 227 units 4 story buildings are being proposed at the intersection of Marlin Bay Drive and Shore Drive. The developer will present to the Bayfront Advisory Committee on Thursday Oct. 15th.

SDCC Donation to Ocean Shores Condo Legal Fee Fundraiser –  We will have a discussion and vote to make a donation from the SDCC Legal Fees/Special Account to help support work in the opposition of WC high rise high density expansion.


City Council Votes 5-2 to Support Westminster-Canterbury’s 22 Story High Rise High Density Application

The Shore Drive Community Coalition would like to thank Council Member John Moss and Council Member Aaron Rouse for their leadership and understanding of the community’s concerns.  They made their decisions based on citizens input, adverse impact to neighborhoods and violations of existing codes, plans and guidelines.  They didn’t let the allure of tax dollars and promises to solve the perceived problem of the approaching silver tsunami of retires influence their opinions.  Please remember to thank them for their efforts.

The SDCC would like to thank all the members of the community for their emails, phone calls, letters and for speaking in opposition at hearings.  Your dedication and efforts spent the past 10 months fighting this precedent setting project were truly heroic.  As we see now, the lack of City civic engagement wasn’t by accident.  With more civic engagement, it would have been harder for those that voted in favor to justify their support of a high rise high density project.

The following table shows how each Council Member voted on the application.  This information may be helpful for future dealings with City Council.

Red – Voted in favor of the application (Dyer, Wooten, Berlucchi*, Henley, Tower**); Green – Voted against the application (Moss, Rouse); Yellow – Conflict of Interest (Wilson, Wood, Jones); White – Absent from Vote (Abbott)

*-Made motion to approve, **-2nd motion


“Under question is the 250-foot height of the proposed tower, which is taller than would typically be allowed for senior living housing. Planning Director Bobby Tajan has said that the council has the option to waive height requirements through the conditional use permit process.”

View article at

“We don’t want a Town Center on Shore Drive,” Solomon said. “Once developers know they can get council to buckle, the developers will start lining up to build high rises on Shore Drive.”

Briefing about beach replenishment using sand dredged from CBBT channel

Briefing includes delay of sand for Ocean Park & no mention of using sand from Lynnhaven Boat Ramp stock pile which is located there to be used for emergency beach replenishment work according to City Staff in Public Works.

View briefing slides that will be presented to City Council tomorrow.