Important City Council Meeting on Tuesday November 21, 2017 at 6:30
Joint Juvenile Justice Center (JJJC) at 920 Minute Man Drive & Utilities Vote
During the October 11, 2017 Chesapeake City Planning Commission meeting, the 920 Minute Man Drive location of the proposed Joint Juvenile Justice center was unanimously denied. Many of our educated Planning Commissioners questioned why this location was recently proposed and added their commentary on the fact that this was a terrible location for such a facility. Even youth activist groups advocating for our troubled youth, such as RISE for Youth, were on the local news expressing their opposition.
As a direct result of asking some of challenging questions that the citizens of Chesapeake wanted answers to, one of the planning commissioner’s job was threatened by city council. The hearing to remove Commissioner Johnson was ultimately dismissed after many Chesapeake residents expressed outrage at this political stunt to remove him from the planning commission. Click this link to watch the October 11th planning commission meeting. The discussion about the JJJC starts around 3:18 and Commissioner Johnson asks the detailed questions that Chesapeake citizens wanted answers to around 3:50.
Unfortunately, the unanimous decision by our planning commission to deny the JJJC at 920 Minute Man Drive has been appealed and it’s fate is now in the of the hands of Chesapeake City Council on 11/21/2017 at 6:30 PM at City Hall.
Utilities for the Joint Juvenile Justice Center
On October 11,2017 there was a split vote decision of the planning commission regarding approving city utilities to be extended to the Minute Man Drive location. Commissioner Johnson voted against the JJJC and against the utilities and was threatened to be removed from the planning commission before the revote on this issue on November 8th. Removing him and his vote, would have resolved the tie voting situation and most likely resulted in approval of the utilities.
However, after more research by the planning commission, they unanimously denied the utilities extension at the second vote. Once again, the planning commission’s recommendation has been ignored and an appeal was filed. The utilities are now also up for a vote by City Council during the same meeting as the JJJC on November 21, 2017 at 6:30 PM.
If the Joint Juvenile Justice Center was denied by the planning commission, then why would we need utilities brought to that area? The truth is that this location for the JJJC was chosen to benefit the developers interest to have utilities brought to the area. A jail would allow our state tax dollars to partially fund the utilities extension and ultimately save developers money. Both Dominion Partners LLC & 104 LLC owned large parcels of land surrounding the 920 Minute Man Drive location.
Springton at Grassfield
There is a proposed development by Dragas near the 920 Minute Man Drive location that was originally called “Summerwood at Grassfield”. This name is confusing as there is an active Ryan Homes development also named “Summerwood at Grassfield” located on Millville Road in Chesapeake. According to a representative from the city of Chesapeake, the proposed Dragas development has recently been renamed “Springton at Grassfield”. It is PLN-PUDC-2016-007.
This purposed plan would require rezoning over 164 acres of land that is currently zoned for A-1 Agricultural use to become a high density Planned Unit Development or PUD. This mega development, now called Springton at Grassfield would include single family homes, single family attached homes, single family attached quads, three story town homes, and office commercial space. It is slated to be much larger than the 544 homes proposed at Confluence at Dominion Park development. This project was denied due in September 2017 due to school overcrowding. However the school board recently rezoned hundreds of children disrupting many family lives to make room for these future developments.
Spington at Grassfield PLN-PUDC-2016-007 is technically at inactive status at the moment pending upon the outcome of the upcoming utility vote by city council on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 6:30 PM.
Fernwood Chase – PLN-REZ-2016-014
Also on the agenda for the November 21,2017 city council meeting is the Fernwood Chase project. Below is a letter to city council from the homeowners in seven different neighborhoods speaking against this development. They could also use speakers advocating against this development. You must pre-register to speak either by calling the city clerk at 757-382-6151 or arriving at 6:15 PM and filling out a speaker card. Here is a link to the full details on Fernwood Chase.
THE DOMINION & GREAT BRIDGE POLITICAL ALLIANCE
*Dominion Lakes*Dominion Pines*Fernwood Farms*Kings Ford*River Pines*River Walk*Wickford*
Dear Mayor Krasnoff: Re: Fernwood Chase, PLN-REZ-014
We, a coalition of seven (7) civic organizations herein request the City Council’s support in denying the referenced Fernwood Chase Project on your agenda for the November 21, 2017 meeting. We have concluded that this project, if approved, would have various devastating effects on the seven sub-divisions. The run-off of water from this project would undoubtedly affect us all. Regardless what the developer’s hired experts will say in support of the project, run-off will exacerbate our already existing flooding problems in the seven sub-divisions.
This coalition of civic organizations recently formed a pact, to organize and to work together to do everything in our power to enhance the positives in our neighborhoods, and to eradicate all forces that do not share our appreciation of our communities. In effect, we have organized to combat the efforts of developers who would negatively impact our neighborhoods, and to combine our efforts when appealing to our City Council for support. This coalition is made up of more than two-thousand households. Three of the seven neighbors have been working together since 1997, when this same site, under different names, was proposed for development. Also, applications for development of the site was presented two other times since 1997. Of the three presentations, the City Council denied two and the third one was withdrawn by the developer. So, please do the right thing and deny it again.
We had similar situations with other developers that wanted to develop the site which is now the beautiful sub-division Dominion Lakes. Developers’ applications were for the building of apartments; you denied those applications and we showed our appreciation by consistently supporting and voting for our friends on the City Council. We would be more amenable to this developer presenting a project of single-family homes, R-15s and maintain their C-1, Conservation District in this application. With the townhouses currently being proposed for the project, the townhouses first floors are required to be 9 ½ feet above mean sea level. Can you imagine the havoc created for us by run-off of water from this project? Of the seven sub-divisions, only Dominion Lakes is consistently 7 feet above mean sea level; even they are currently being affected by flooding. The rest of us are generally at 6 feet above sea level or lower, with some in Fernwood Farms as low as 3.8 feet above mean sea level. Building townhouses would require hauling in fill dirt to elevate the thirty acres to a minimum height of 9 feet, because they would be built on concrete slabs. Building single family homes would reduce the fill dirt requirement, because they would be built with crawl spaces of two to three feet. Again, please deny this project; we will communicate with the developer again to resubmit plans for single family homes like Dominion Lakes.
The run-off of water is not our only concern. Additional vehicular traffic that would be generated from this 293-townhouse complex would be a nightmare for all of us. An earlier Chesapeake traffic report indicated that Fernwood Farms Road was rated at a “D” level when Dominion Lakes was built. It has gotten worse. because with the construction of the Veterans Bridge/Dominion Boulevard the Dominion Pines sub-division can no longer ingress nor egress through Dominion Boulevard and must use Fernwood Farms Road. This proposed Fernwood Chase Project would create 500 to 600 more vehicles on Fernwood Farms Road that we all would have to contend with in some way. It would probably generate more traffic for Dominion Lakes, River Pines and River Walk. Please deny this project!
Pre Black Friday Sale of The City of Chesapeake
If you feel like the City of Chesapeake is selling out to developers or if you are frustrated by the school rezonings, the poorly planned over development of our city, and the deceptive tactics used by our current elected officials, then we ask you to speak out at the city council meeting on November 21, 2017 at 6:30 PM.
We need your voice against the Juvenile Center and against the Utilities extension at the Tuesday November 21, 2017 Chesapeake City Hall Meeting located on the first floor of City Hall at 306 Cedar Rd. The meeting starts at 6:30 PM and you must pre-register to speak either by calling the city clerk at 757-382-6151 or arriving at 6:15 PM and filling out a speaker card. You may choose to fill out two speaker cards to speak against both the JCCC and the Utilities Extension.
If you are busy with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and can’t attend the meeting, we encourage you to email city council at
Dear City Council:
Do not put the future interest of developers in front of our children’s futures!
We ask you to vote NO on the JJJC at 920 Minute Man Drive. We ask you to vote NO to the utilities extension.
Please listen to the recommendations of our planning commissioners and deny both projects. There is no clear plan on how these utilities would be paid for and it is irresponsible to approve them without a solid financial plan. Please explore the option of renovating the current juvenile facility as this the more economical option. We are not against all developments in Chesapeake, but we do insist on the responsible growth of our city. We ask you to prioritize our children, their schools, and our existing communities ahead of the future interest of developers. Thank you.
YOUR VOTE IS NEEDED MAY 2018 TO CHANGE CHESAPEAKE
Several school board positions and city council positions will be coming up for vote in May 2018. ChangeChesapeake.com will be providing information on the candidates running. If you are considering running for one these elected positions, please send a Facebook message via the Facebook page of ChangeChesapeake with your contact information so we can help promote new voices in our city.