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Greenbrier Town Meeting held February 2, 2016
Reporting a Street Light Outage: To report a street light outage, contact Dominion Virginia Power at www.DOM.com or call 1-866-DOM-HELP. You can also contact the Customer Contact Center at 757-382-CITY (2489) or submit your request to the City online and we’ll be happy to report your concerns to Dominion Virginia Power for repairs.
Requesting a New Street Light: There are a variety of factors that go into the decision to install a new street light. To learn more about the process or to request a new streetlight, call the Customer Contact Center at 757-382-CITY (2489) or email the Traffic Engineering Division of the Department of Public Works at email@example.com.
Chesapeake Expressway Girders
The steel girders used to construct the bridges on the Chesapeake Expressway are complete and protected. The girders are made of “Weathering Steel”, also known under the trademark COR-TEN or ‘Corten Steel’. This is a type of steel which was developed to eliminate the need for painting by ensuring that the steel forms a stable rust-like appearance when exposed to the elements. That is, the steel creates a patina which acts as a protective layer to guard against future corrosion. Various chemical compounds in the steel allow this layer to develop and regenerate continuously when subjected to normal atmospheric conditions, eliminating the need to paint the steel.
Security Camera in Parks
Security cameras have been installed and are operational at Elizabeth River Park and Northwest River Park as part of the capital projects security programs. Individual flash cams have also been installed at several areas with a history of high vandalism, such as Deep Creek Park and Lakeside Park. An additional flash cam was also installed near the new dog park area in Elizabeth River Park. Additional cameras and security systems in parks are scheduled to be purchased and installed with FY17 capital funds.
Boat Ramp at Great Bridge Lock Park
The ingress and egress areas of the boat ramp parking lot will be paved as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 Capital Improvement Plan. There are no immediate plans for any major reconfiguration of the parking spaces at this time. Once paving is complete, new signage will be added to help navigate patrons more effectively in and around the lot. Designated areas need to be established for loading and securing boats, away from the direct access points of the ramp, to allow for quicker and safer boat retrieval. The parking lot has recently been graded to improve the overall condition.
Gates – The gates at the park have been inspected and all are operational with no gaps from which dogs can escape.
Water – The water at all the dog parks has been shut off for the winter season and will be reactivated on April 1. Signs were recently posted alerting dog park goers of various nearby water sources for their dogs. Staff is looking at other options for maintenance and better water access for dogs in the future, including freeze-resistant water fountains, which can be less dependable and frequently need repair.
Rotation – The heavily-used dog park in the front of City Park was always planned as a temporary dog park. The new dog park, located in the back side of City Park, opened in late summer 2015 and is another site for dog park users, although used less frequently to this point. Parts or sections of the temporary dog park in the front will be closed for maintenance in the coming months now that there are options with the new dog park being open. Although it is not foreseen how long two dog parks can remain operational at City Park, current plans are to continue until a time the front space is needed for other activities or facilities.
Walking Trails in Greenbrier
To City Park from Volvo Parkway: The most direct route to City Park from Volvo Parkway is prohibited at this time by the area owned by Norfolk-Southern Railroad on which Chesapeake and Albemarle Railroad still has an active line. Public Works has plans for connecting the sidewalks from the south side of Volvo Parkway west of Crossways Boulevard to existing sidewalks across the existing railroad crossing. Crossing gates would also be added. This is part of the Greenbrier Sidewalk/Crosswalk Improvements (TIF) project and would further connect Volvo Parkway to Greenbrier Parkway leading into City Park.
From the Chesapeake Arboretum to City Park: There is no formal path from the Chesapeake Arboretum to City Park. There is a trail through the Arboretum to Green Tree Road. Although not currently a priority, with funding, an on-street trail could possibly be added to Green Tree Road, which could allow for a connection to the existing sidewalk. There is a roadway and sidewalk along Kempsville Road; however, there are railroad tracks that prohibit crossover to the gravel path leading into City Park. This path is adjacent to Greenbrier Road and also to a Dominion Power easement. To make this route a formal path from the Chesapeake Arboretum to City Park would require funding for which there are no plans at this time. Private property further inhibits an official straight walking trail to City Park from the Arboretum.
From Oak Grove Lake Park along Dominion Right-of-Way to Chesapeake Regional Medical Center on Battlefield Boulevard: There is currently no funding to tie the existing trail from Oak Grove Lake Park to the closest point from Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. Dominion Power and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center are, however, amenable to the possibility of providing access to this easement and working towards a connecting trail.
Police Body Cameras
Each uniformed officer within the Operations Bureau is assigned a wearable camera. The camera is turned on, by policy, during any call for service or other citizen contact. The footage from these recordings is used to review the officers’ actions and to provide information for training.
Public Safety Staffing
Both the Fire Chief and Police Chief have responded that there are various factors which go into determining the staffing numbers of firefighters, paramedics, and police officers. In order to maintain optimal public safety, personnel safety, and service delivery, major elements considered are federal, state, and local mandates, standards of coverage, service delivery and deployment, current demand and demand forecasts, travel times, new development, and the overall totality of the service delivery system.
Making a determination for additional personnel requires balancing the safety concerns of citizens, risk factors and the financial condition of the local government. National standards are a consideration, but are not the determining factor. As with many things, one size does not fit all. For example, there is no absolute right number of public safety personnel per 1,000 citizens. Every locality is unique. A locality that has a large older population may very well require a greater than average number of paramedics, but a lower than average number of police officers. A locality with a large number of high rise residential structures may require a greater number of firefighters than a suburban locality.
As indicated, many factors are considered and the City Manager and City Council work to strike an appropriate balance between resources available and all the required services of the City.
New Traffic Signal – Plantation Lakes Circle
Public Works reports that a new traffic signal is presently under design for the intersection of Volvo Parkway and Plantation Lakes Circle. Signalizing this intersection is warranted with the increase in traffic projected with the extension of Lynnhaven Parkway to Centerville Turnpike. The signal project is scheduled for completion in fall 2016.
HRT Services in Greenbrier Area
Concern was expressed that the high development growth planned in the Greenbrier area, to include the Dollar Tree re-development, will further congest roadways without adequate choices for transportation other than single-occupancy vehicles. Further, less expensive options, such as, express bus routes should be considered first before construction of light-rail.
To this point, a regional planning effort is currently ongoing to develop and implement a high quality regional multi-modal transportation system. The Connect Hampton Roads (CHR) initiative is a strategic plan that proposes significant improvements and service increases to the local and regional transit system. These improvements include increases in the frequency and span of existing bus service (local and express bus service), development of new high capacity transit services such as Bus Rapid Transit (high speed bus service with exclusive lanes separated from road traffic) and light rail, and development of new Park-and-Rides and passenger facilities.
Need for Job Creation
The Chesapeake Economic Development Department is tasked with encouraging and enabling new and existing businesses to make capital investments and to create jobs in the City, thereby lessening the tax burden on, and increasing the employment opportunities for, the citizens of Chesapeake. This is accomplished by marketing the assets of the Commonwealth, Region and City to business entities both domestically and internationally by attending tradeshows, participating in marketing missions, building relationships with site selection consultants and meeting directly with business prospects. Economic Development has an extensive existing business outreach program as well that provides Chesapeake businesses with information concerning growth opportunities, solutions to ongoing issues affecting businesses and a streamlined development process for expanding businesses. The Existing Business Development Manager coordinates these services and a Professional Engineer on staff ensures that the development service needs are well coordinated. Additionally, the department offers coordinated partnerships and assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs through the “Ready...Set...Grow” program. This service offers growth strategies through the patented GrowthWheel program and includes a Certified Trainer/Small Business Development Manager on staff who coordinates assistance from partners like the SBA, SCORE, Old Dominion Gateway, TCC and many more.
The City Seal is one standard of the City’s identity, which can be used on documents that have long term archival value. The City Clerk must approve all uses of the City Seal according to the City Charter. The agenda is a permanent document that is not required to bear the City Seal. It has been the policy of the Office of the City Clerk not to use the City Seal on the agenda, and at this time the Office will continue with that custom.
Illegal Dumping on Harbour North Drive
The Traffic Division of Public Works will be installing signs near or on the dumpster enclosures which will read in effect “Harbour North Townhome Residents Only, No Discarding of Construction Material Allowed”. The signs are expected to be installed by the end of February.
Though definitions may differ, it can be said that the City does actually do both strategic and tactical planning. In the area of strategic planning, the City of Chesapeake has developed and adopted an official Vision Plan for the year 2050. This Vision was first developed in 2003, and officially adopted in 2005. The Vision was the culmination of an extensive 2 year effort involving feedback from the community-at-large, targeted representative stakeholder groups, Planning Commission and City Council. The Vision was reaffirmed by City Council in 2014 with the adoption of the Moving Forward 2035 Comprehensive Plan and continues to be the long term guiding framework for both land use and infrastructure planning.
The 2050 Vision depicts Chesapeake as a multi-focal city, without a single exclusive city center, but with a series of centers and focal points throughout the City organized around an efficient transportation network. This pattern will be designed to minimize congestion and disperse city services and amenities conveniently to all citizens, rather than concentrating them in a single “downtown” district. Within this overall multi-focal urban form, there will be designated areas where four different scales and patterns of development will be encouraged: Compact, Dispersed, Nodal and Rural. This framework of development patterns was developed on a foundation of physical and environmental constraints as well as anticipated increases in population and employment.
The Moving Forward Chesapeake 2035 Comprehensive Plan represents a multi-year review and update of the Forward Chesapeake 2026 Comprehensive, which itself was the first major review and overhaul since the 1990 Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is a collection of written policies, maps, and supporting plans and studies that guide the future development of the City. It establishes a vision for the future and identifies a strategy for achieving that vision.
Although general in nature, the Comprehensive Plan includes a review of many different aspects of physical development including land use, transportation, public utilities, economic development, parks and recreation, historic preservation, redevelopment, libraries, public safety and environmental resources. The 2035 Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted by City Council in February 2014, includes coordinated policy goals, objectives and action strategies to address these aspects, as well as a 2035 Land Use Plan and 2050 Master Transportation Plan to help support the master vision. The 2035 Comprehensive Plan sets the framework and guiding principles for the City’s future. A key element in establishing the framework is the 2050 Preferred Development Concept, which reflects a consensus by the 2026 Comprehensive Plan’s Plan Advisory Team as the desired long-term development pattern for Chesapeake. This preferred development concept, which was endorsed by Planning Commission and City Council, organizes future land use and development into compact, dispersed and rural development areas, as well as transit or automobile-oriented nodes (major activity centers and villages) within those overlays.
As for tactical planning, I would contend that each year when the Council adopts its Operating Budget, Capital Budget and 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan, it has provided its short-term plan. There is no better way to see what a locality’s priorities are, than by the services and projects it deems to fund.
HB 367 – Nonconforming uses
The City has genuine concerns with HB 367, introduced in the 2016 General Assembly Session, as it provides an otherwise unlawful use of a subject property shall be a lawful nonconforming use if (i) the land use on a subject property has operated continuously for at least 15 years, (ii) there have been no building code or other local code violations or complaints arising out of the land use from neighboring property owners or other impacted parties, and (iii) all local taxes related to the property and business have been paid in a timely manner. The City has legitimate health, safety and welfare responsibilities. The purpose of a use-permit is to provide additional review of a proposed use to insure it is compatible with the surrounding land uses. Through the use-permit process, conditions may be added to preserve compatibility. An unlawful use should not be deemed lawful merely because it has operated unlawfully for an extended period of time.
Inter- and Intra- Departmental Communication
It is acknowledged that staff in some departments may not always know what is happening in other parts of their own department, much less other departments. Communication up and down and across the organization is extremely important, and something that can always be improved upon. The City Manager meets with the city-wide management team on a monthly basis and he will continue to emphasize the need for communication on all levels of the organization.
Traffic Signal at Libertyville Road and Great Bridge Boulevard
Concerning the report that the traffic signal at Libertyville Rd. and Great Bridge Boulevard is not detecting vehicles on Libertyville Road, the reported detection issue has since been corrected.
On-Street Parking Along Libertyville Road
The City's Traffic Engineer reports that the on-street parking problem along Libertyville Road is limited to the 5500 block in front of an apartment complex. Most of the vehicles that are parked along the road belong to unregistered residents of the apartment complex. Staff contacted the office that manages the apartments and they indicated that the parking lot is monitored and only registered vehicles are allowed on site. They provide parking permits to all residents on a lease and visitor parking is also available on-site. They strongly support restricting parking along the street.
No parking signs that will also prohibit parking along the shoulder will be installed. Following this action, staff will monitor the on-street parking to make sure that this parking issue will not shift to the adjacent neighborhoods.
Resurfacing of Georgetown Boulevard
Public Works reports that Georgetown Boulevard, between Military Highway and Providence Road, is scheduled to be resurfaced by July 2016. Rock Creek Drive, Bertwick Lane and Colonial Way are included on the next fiscal year's resurfacing schedule.