WHAT IS THE CONFLUENCE AT DOMINION PARK?

The City of Chesapeake is in the process of trying to approve a new development consisting of 544 new homes directly between Grassfield High School and Grassfield Elementary School called The Confluence at Dominion Park. The development would consist of 202 single family homes on very tiny lots, 50 townhomes, 292 apartments & business/ commercial use space. The city staff recommended denial of this project because it will over crowd Grassfield Elementary School past 130%, but the planning commission pushed it through to vote. Click here to view PDF of the full details of the plan.

We tried to gather people at town hall on August 15, 2017 to speak against this development. Channel 13 News picked up the story and just hours before the last attempted vote the developer requested that the vote be continued to September 19th. This also happens to be Open House Parent Night at several schools in the Grassfield District. Please keep reading below.

WHY AM I SO UPSET ABOUT THIS ?

The city staff recommended denial of this project for very valid reasons.

The schools are over crowded with no solid plans to resolve this issue.

Preliminary plans includes rezoning school districts.

This will hurt the property values especially for the home owners in Marsh Creek, Sawyer’s Mill, Creekwood, Bryant Farms, Deer Crossing, Glen Eagle, Bald Cypress Quay, and even the new development Cumberland Farms.

City Council is not looking back to see how past developments have performed and learning from their mistakes. I have provided the city council numbers and information on how they impacted neighborhoods such as Olde Mill Run, Mill Creek and even Culpepper Landing in the past causing short sales and foreclosures causing those home owners a major financial loss. Click to see video.

Traffic will be a nightmare during development and construction directly across from Grassfield High School and Hugo Owens Middle School. This development will add over 1000+ new vehicles to this area

City council has approved 8 out of 11 developments that city staff recommended against.

The Mayor and Council Member Susan Kelly have excused themselves from the vote because of a “conflict of interest” leaving the vote in 7 other city council member’s hands.

Vice Mayor Rick West is a Real Estate Agent who has accepted multiple new construction listings from new construction builders. As of a Virginia Pilot article referenced below he has voted for every new construction development in Chesapeake except for two he did not vote.

Council Member Robert Ike has voted for every single new construction development even the 11 that city staff recommended denial.

There is literally a failed development directly across the street from the proposed site that has produced ZERO tax dollars for the city called Equestrian Estates.

Most homeowners in nearby neighborhoods were completely unaware that the city is trying to approve this project. We need more than just an orange rezoning sign to inform us of pending new developments. Apparently some home owners were notified about a meeting by the developer. The flyer literally read “Come learn about the rezoning of Lindsay Farms PLN-PUDC-2016-008”. I am sure everyone wants to stop their busy lives to figure out that actually means “Hey… we are going build 544 homes right behind you and over crowd your schools. We want to rezone because we are only supposed to put one home on 3 acres back there, but now we can fit 26 in the same area. Stop by if you want to find out more.”

We don’t have time to follow every new projected housing development and town hall meeting. We should be able to rely on our city officials to make educated, reasonable decisions regarding our growth and development. I have spent a considerable amount of time pulling this information together to help spread the word and inform those who will be impacted by this development. I am trying to protect my schools, my personal home value and my neighbor’s home values because I know that our homes are our biggest financial investments.

ARE OUR CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS VOTING IN OUR BEST INTERESTS?

As I looked into this project and what was happening at the City Council level, I began to become very concerned after reading articles such as this Virginia Pilot article with information such as:

“In the past three years, the City Council has approved a majority of the housing developments that have come before it. In some cases, council members ignored their own policy on the capacity of schools, warnings about overburdened roads, and the city’s comprehensive plan, which was approved just last year.
City staff, including engineers, certified planners and school administrators, recommended denial for 11 of the 30 developments reviewed by The Pilot. But the City Council still approved 8 of those 11, including three that are projected to add students to overcrowded schools and two that were inconsistent with the city’s comprehensive plan a guide for how the economy, land and quality of life should look in Chesapeake by 2035.”
ONE REPRESENTATIVE IS AT LEAST THINKING OF THE CITIZENS:

Debbie Ritter has said no to developments more than any other council member, voting against 50 percent of the projects studied by The Pilot. Ritter, who lost her spot on the Planning Commission in 1997 after the City Council failed to reappoint her, is known to push for controlled growth.

“The overriding question that I always have is the impact to city services,” Ritter said. “Are we able to adequately serve the people who would occupy the new developments, and does this stress people who currently use the services?”

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP TO HELP CHESAPEAKE?

Share this information with residents of Chesapeake.

Show up at Town Hall if possible on September 19th and wear red. Watch the date because the developers historically like to keep changing it. You can follow information on Facebook by joining the group #StopDevelopingSouthernChesapeake.

Email your council members at council@cityofchesapeake.net

Feel free to copy and paste below. You can send as is or add your own thoughts too.

Dear Chesapeake City Council Members:

We, the citizens of Chesapeake, are concerned about the rapid growth developing in our city. We rely on you to make responsible decisions for our city. We do not feel that rezoning the land directly across from Grassfield High School for a high density development is a responsible plan.

We urge you to listen to our city staff when they recommend the denial of a project. They are respected professionals in their areas of expertise. They are telling you that our schools can not support this development. We need to learn from our past mistakes like over developing Hickory Schools and calling portable trailers “classrooms”.

We urge you to study the failures of our past developments and the impact these decisions have had on the surrounding home owners. We urge you to respect and protect our agriculture and the impact changes in zoning regulations will have on our homeowners. Chesapeake has a resource that many cities do not, and that resource is land. We need to use it wisely.

We urge you to study the cities that have been successful in their growth and development and model Chesapeake after their examples. We are writing because we care about our city, but our lives are very busy and we can not always attend Town Hall meetings. We rely on you to make responsible decisions for us.

Please hear us and vote NO on The Confluence at Dominion Park.

Thank you.

Please note I am not against all new construction development in Chesapeake, but I am for responsible growth for Chesapeake.

What is responsible growth?

TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGECHESAPEAKE.COM