February 2018

President’s Report


Dear Neighbors,


It has been a fairly quiet year, and despite a few nor’easters and these past Winter snow

events, we appear to have remained relatively unscathed. After February’s Annual Membership

meeting, here is a final update and recap of all that has been accomplished to-date: The membership has voted on and approved the Princess Anne Hills Civic League Board of

Directors for 2018-19 as follows:


Officers:

President - David Ware

Vice-President - Kyle Korte

Treasurer - Molly Ford

Secretary - Camilla Savin


Street Representatives:

Discovery - Tom Johnson

Susan Constant - Kevin Hartz

Goodspeed - Betsy Roberts


At-Large Members:

Kate Michaels - Past President

Michelle Laborde

Kari Jacobs

Mike Byrnes


PAHCL 2018-19 Dues will remain $30. Please make checks payable to PAHCL and mail/drop

to Treasurer, Molly Ford- 424 Susan Constant Dr.


Drainage Committee: Michelle Laborde and others on the committee have met this past

Monday, February 12th with the project manager contracted by the City from the engineering

firm Hazen Sawyer, on the following action items for Goodspeed Rd: pump settings, remote

reactivation of the pumps, options for the existing pipes, and stadia locations. Stadia sticks- to

clarify, this equipment will be placed where it is determined to be the lowest points on the street

and the breaches from water. Placement of the stadia will require permission from homeowners

to be installed, and it will also fall upon residents and members of the committee to record water levels (either on paper, photos, or both).


In a related issue and previously reported in the “Winter 2018 Bulletin”, the City of Virginia

Beach has contracted with various firms to offer Sea Level Rise and Recurrent Flooding

workshops, as well as requests for the completion of two surveys related to this topic.  Please

consider participation in these surveys. A link with all of this information/surveys has now been

added to the website under the heading Sea Level Rise.


Sea Level Rise and Recurrent Flooding workshops - This past month, several of us on the

Drainage Committee attended the workshop held at Bayside High School. It was very

informative, with a presentation given by the City Planning Department, engineers, and ODU

Scientists/Sea Grant team. There will be additional phases of these public workshops in

Spring/Summer: Solution Perspectives, and the third stage will be Implementation in the Fall.

The City of Virginia Beach is also currently asking residents to consider becoming

ambassadors. Ambassadors would engage in these workshops and act as a liaison to City

officials. They would help to educate the community on Sea Level Rise, listen to concerns, and

facilitate discussions about the program, adaptation, and resilience efforts.


Adopt-A- Drain- Another one of the resilience initiatives the City is going to begin in March

2018, is an Adopt-A- Drain program. Many North End residents clean their drains from mulch

and debris.  Unfortunately, our drains feed directly into the water, then come back up with the

tide, and do not drain properly. It would probably provide some good will with the city if our

drains were adopted by our PAH residents, especially given our ongoing plea for solutions.

Thanks to many of you who have already been doing this. See the following link for more

information:

https://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/public-works/surface- water-

regulation/Pages/adopt-a- drain-11- 8-17.aspx


Short Term Rentals/Event Home: There has been no easy resolution, as we heard from

NVBCL President/Chair of the City Council Ad Hoc Committee, Jack Drescher, at January’s

general membership meeting. There are currently three proposals to be voted on by the

Planning Commission and then City Council: Here is the following report from the NVBCL,

whose position was determined by the Zoning Committee:


Any ordinance enacted by City Council should distinguish between Home Sharing and House Rentals.  In either circumstance, registry with the Commissioner of Accounts must be required in order that the City know where the rentals are occurring and to insure that appropriate transient occupancy taxes are collected.  Under such an ordinance a non-occupying owner who pays the transient occupancy tax prior to January 1, 2017 would be “grandfathered” and thereby allowed by right to use his/her property for short term rentals.  If, however, no such payment of transient occupancy taxes has occurred by that date, anyone desiring to use his/her property as a short term rental would be required to obtain a conditional use permit from the city.  In no event would a Home Sharing owner be required to obtain a conditional use permit as he/she would by right be able to rent a portion of his/her residence while living under the same

roof or in a house with an accessory rental unit. The remaining restrictions favored by the Civic League regarding Home Sharing and House Rentals are as follows: (1) vehicular parking must be provided on-site;  (2) city code provisions dealing with noise, fireworks, fires on the beach, trash, etc. must be posted conspicuously inside (Home Sharing owners would not face such a requirement.);  (3) trash must be placed in automated bins, (4) a small sign (1’ x 1’) would  be affixed to the exterior of the dwelling (Home Sharing owner exempted);  (4) $1 million in general liability insurance on the property would be required; (5) a contact person must be identified (with a telephone number) available to  reach the site in 30 minutes.  A Home Sharing owner presumably would be this contact person.  (6) Maximum Occupancy: 2 persons per bedroom plus 4 additional people would be allowed for House Rentals. No such requirement would be mandated for Home Sharing.  (7)  A critical requirement is a limitation of one rental contract per 7 day period, which would eliminate daily rentals to different people and importantly would keep the residence from becoming the equivalent of a hotel or motel.  There have been any number

of disruptive instances in the North End and elsewhere in the City over the past couple of years where homes have been rented by non-occupying owners for less than 7 days wreaking havoc on neighboring residents.  (8)  Special Events (such as those occurring in Sandbridge and elsewhere in the past few years) would be limited to more than 50 people and no more than 100, with a maximum of 3 such events per year:  A special permit would be required of a non-occupant owner.  No such requirement would be mandated for a home sharing owner. 


Additionally, just before the Annual meeting, we received a letter from Donna Watson, Co-chair

for Protect VB Neighborhoods, stating that the Planning Commission is on the verge of

recommending to City Council that Short Term rentals and Home Sharing will be able to occur

in all neighborhoods as a Principal Use. (If interested, see attached letter)


Additional Updates: The agreement to build an Arena was voted to be terminated by City

Council, with a focus now on 19 th Street “Dome” site. In April 2017, the City partnered with

Venture Realty Group on a proposal to develop the 10 acres which span the current parking lot

and blocks from 17th-19th Street. The project will incorporate Offices, Residential units,

Restaurants, a Cinema, Entertainment venue, Retail shops, and a world class Surf Park.

http://www.venturerealtygroup.com/dome-site


The Cavalier Hotel will open on schedule, February 2018. Tours opened to the public to share

its history this past Friday, February 16th and will run through March 1st. These tours are free

and begin at the top of every hour from 9am - 5pm, daily.


The 15th Street Pier Project- At this past public meeting, City Council heard comments from

residents who were either in support of, or opposed to the project. The city would like to start the bidding process to lease and construct a pier on city-owned property near 15th Street, but has not designed or funded the pier yet.


Respectfully,

Kate Michaels



Letter from Donna Watson, Co-chair for Protect VB Neighborhoods


YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

The Planning Commission is on the verge of recommending to City Council that Short Term

Rentals and Home Sharing will be able to occur in ALL neighborhoods as a Principal Use.  

 

Principal Use means that any homeowner can turn their house into a hotel.  Principal Use also

means that the neighbors and the City will not have any recourse if there are issues caused by a

Short Term Rental.

 

It is VITALLY important to let the Planning Commission know that there are groups and

neighborhoods within the City who are opposed to allowing anyone to rent out their home like

a hotel.  If people do not express opposition, then it will appear that the public accepts what

the Planning Commission is expected to recommend. 

 

You do not need a lengthy statement.  You do not need to get into the details at the Planning

Commission hearing.  It would be good to include the following points:

 

While it appears that the Planning Commissioners have made up their minds on Short

Term Rentals, you want to go on record that you oppose allowing Short Term Rentals to

be permitted as a Principal Use.

Allowing any homeowner to turn their house into a Short Term Rental will de-stabilize

ALL the neighborhoods in Virginia Beach.

Permitting Short Term Rentals as a Principal Use is a drastic step.  If it turns out that

there are issues in the future, the City will not be able to correct the mistakes. 

Addressing the Short Term Rentals issue incrementally is a better approach.

You believe that Alternative #2, as written by City Staff, is fair and equitable to both

neighborhoods and to those who are currently renting their houses on a short term

basis.

 

Please plan on attending the Planning Commission hearing on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 12 PM in City Council Chambers.  Please sign up and speak.  It is recommended that you be

there 30 minutes early to sign up to speak. 

 

Also, please put the following dates on your calendar:

 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 – City Council Public Hearing, 6 PM, Building 1, City Council

Chambers. Building 1. PUBLIC CAN SPEAK. Be there early to sign up to speak. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 – City Council Public Hearing and Vote, 6 PM, City Council

Chambers, Building 1. PUBLIC CAN SPEAK.

 

If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at 757-689- 8928.

 

Donna Watson, Co-Chair

Watson3dek@cox.net

Protect VB Neighborhoods