Greater Wards Corner Taskforce minutes – Jan 14, 2016

January 17, 2016

Thanks as always to Karen Mayne for keeping the following minutes:

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting

January 14, 2016

 

Council Member Barclay Winn was present.

Police Reports – Residents discussed issues of concern.  A house with a rental sign on Suburban Arch had copper pipes stolen from the crawl space while vacant.  There have been several incidents where residents’ doorbells have been rung in the evenings and then attempted break-ins.  Police say this is common around the holidays when people are out of town and when empty boxes on trash day point to new purchases inside the home.  Call 911 when there are attempted break-ins.

Public Works/Utilities

Department of Public Works and Virginia Natural Gas are discussing the landscaping of medians in the areas of former and current work by VNG to replace natural gas mains along Granby Street.  While VNG replaced a damaged irrigation system, the City decided not to irrigate the plantings as a cost saving measure.  The City and VNG will discuss replanting with drought resistant plants.  The City is planning to install concrete along the narrow stretch of median on Granby to the south of Little Creek Road and then replace the fence.  This area is so narrow that the daylilies planted there have a hard time surviving.

DPW will seek public input to address the traffic problems on Granby Street south of Little Creek Road and on East Little Creek Road to Taussig Boulevard prior to making any changes in traffic light timing.  Pedestrian signs have been installed at Wards Corner to address pedestrian safety.

The estimated cost of installing sidewalks along Thole Street between the railroad tracks and Tidewater Drive is $35,000.  The estimated cost of fixing the standing water in the 500 block of East Little Creek Road would be $100,000 due to the need to raise the curbs and install more storm drain inlets.  Both projects will be added to the City’s Capital Improvement Project list, but there is no timeframe on when and if these projects would receive funding.

A request was made to restripe the intersection of Thole and Granby Streets.  City-wide street marking was also discussed.  The City has a maintenance schedule for street markings but cannot remark all streets in one year.  The priority is bridges first, then crosswalks, then main roads, and finally arterial streets.

The sewer line break on Draper Avenue has been fixed and a permanent street patch will be done in April.

Department of Planning

City staff continue to work on the problem of parking on the grass with property owners and residents along the section of West Little Creek Road between Granby Street and Hampton Boulevard.  Citations are being issued for vehicles that continue to park on the grass, some of which will likely result in court action.

The Neighbors Building Neighborhoods Academy is sponsoring a Grants 101 workshop for civic leagues, business associations and non-profits involved in neighborhood projects.  The workshop will be February 13, 2016, from8:30 – 11:30 am at the Norfolk Police Department building at 901 Asbury Avenue.  To register or for more information, call 664-6772 orneighborhoodengage@norfolk.gov.

The City has begun a planning effort called Vision 2100 that will create a long-term land use plan for the City and update zoning regulations, set priorities for development and infrastructure investments.  As a first step in this process, the City wants residents to get involved in identifying those “assets” (people, places, things, events) that make Norfolk communities great places to live.  The community meeting to identify such assets for the Little Creek and Ocean View areas will be February 18, 2016, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, at the Mary D. Pretlow Library in Ocean View.  Residents are encouraged to take a survey at www.norfolk.gov/vision2100 and to send a picture of a community asset or attribute they appreciate to #ShareNorfolk.  For more information, the Planning lead is Jeremy Sharp at757-823-1087.

Department of Development

The Auto Zone next to Rite Aid has implemented early morning deliveries to avoid times when shopping center customers use the parking lot.

Community Reports

The Wards Corner Business Association will host the Wards Corner 10K foot race on October 8, 2016.  Proceeds will benefit Virginia Supportive Housing.


Meet the Superward 6 Council Candidates

January 15, 2016

The Cromwell Farm/Ellsworth Civic League is jointly co-hosting a “Meet the Superward 6 Council Candidates” night with the Talbot Park Civic League on Tuesday January 19 @ 7 pm at Tabernacle Church at 7000 Granby Street.  Brian Donegan, President of Talbot Park’s Civic League, will be moderator.

Candidates Andria McClellan, Barclay Winn, and Warren Stewart are expected to attend.  The public is invited.

 


Yield to pedestrian signs coming to Wards Corner

January 6, 2016

r10-15Many thanks to local business owner, John Knight, for contacting the City about the crosswalk between the Midtown Shopping Center and the K&K Shopping Center.  It seems there have been a number of close calls for pedestrians crossing E. Little Creek Road at that location.

The City’s traffic engineer studied the location and agreed that it was dangerous.  New Yield to Pedestrians signs will be installed shortly on the appropriate traffic signal poles at the intersection.

John Knight owns the Book Exchange located in the Midtown Shopping Center.


ABC store coming to Wards Corner

January 6, 2016

 

IFB_S-016-09_AttachmentFA Virginia ABC store is coming to Wards Corner.  They will be occupying the old nTelos location which is between the current Your Pie and GNC in the Harris Teeter anchored K&K Shopping Center.

According to the regional ABC official I spoke to, the store is meant to be more convenient to those who live in the surrounding area and to alleviate some of the traffic at the Tidewater Drive location across from Southern Shopping Center.

The lease for the property commenced on December 1 and the store is planned to open before the end of January.


Self storage facility proposed for 801 W. Little Creek Rd.

December 31, 2015
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A self storage facility is planned for the area between Superior Pawn and the State Farm office.

A three story self storage facility is planned for 801 W. Little Creek Road between Superior Pawn & Gun and the State Farm insurance office.  The site is directly across W. Little Creek Road from the 7-11.

A storage facility is permitted by right at that location so no rezonings or approvals by the Planning Commission or City Council will be required.

A proposed site plan, subject to change, is attached here (PDF).

 


Starbucks has applied to serve Wine and Beer at Wards Corner

December 18, 2015

starbucks evenings‘Evenings’ at Starbucks is coming to Wards Corner.  Starbucks Evenings is a fairly new concept that Starbucks has been testing and now expanding across the country.

Our Starbucks Evenings menu features a thoughtful selection of wine and craft beer alongside the signature coffee and tea beverages you know and love. Enjoy one of our savory small plates – whether it’s our creamy Truffle Mac & Cheese or a delicious flatbread.

So take a moment to unwind, meet up with friends and enjoy a glass of wine and a delicious little something—with us. – Starbucks Evenings website

According to their special exception application filed with the City, beer and wine sales are to be 2pm – 10pm Monday – Friday, noon – 10pm Saturday, and noon – 9pm on Sundays.  No entertainment or live music is being proposed.

The City’s Department of Development recently  reported that the Wards Corner Starbucks is ranked second in sales regionally.

The PDF application can be viewed here: Starbucks Wards Corner


Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting Minutes

November 17, 2015

Thanks to Karen Mayne for keeping the minutes:

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting

November 12, 2015

Council Members Terry Whibley and Barclay Winn were present.

 Police Reports – Crime statistics in the Denby Park area are down.  Recognition was given to the Norfolk Police Department for their work in the area and to the City for the purchase and demolition of run-down properties.  Additional properties will be purchased with funds approved by City Council.

Public Works/Utilities

Virginia Natural Gas has started the next phase of its gas main replacement on Granby Street.  The City, who works closely with VNG on projects, has sent out a flyer provided by VNG.  Concern was expressed that VNG did not restore vegetation in the medians after previous right-of-way construction.

The City will be replacing the water main on Virginian Drive between Thole Street and Galveston Boulevard.  The project will move the current water main along the Norfolk Southern railroad right-of-way into the street.  Virginian Drive will be closed to through traffic during construction.  Project contact is David Speer in the City’s Bureau of Engineering at 757-664-6724.

Traffic problems have gotten worse on Granby Street south of Little Creek Road and on East Little Creek Road to Taussig Boulevard, due to the additional traffic lights and the Norfolk Southern trains that go through the area during rush hour.  The City has funded a city-wide traffic light timing study.  It was requested that the City consider making the Wards Corner area a top priority for this study.

It was requested that the City look into constructing sidewalks along Thole Street between the railroad tracks and Tidewater Drive.  It was also requested that the City look into the cause of water that stands in the street at 300 – 500 East Little Creek Road during heavy rains.

 Department of Planning

The City held a charrette on October 19th on the future of the Denby Park area and use of the properties the City has acquired.  Information on the results of the charrette has been sent out.  City staff will consider the public input and will continue to engage residents on short-term and long-term development options.

A zoning ordinance amendment on the size and shape of residential driveways was passed by City Council.  This amendment allows wider driveways where vehicles have been parked on the grass.  Zoning staff sent letters to property owners and residents along the section of West Little Creek Road between Granby Street and Hampton Boulevard on this issue.  Citations are being issued for vehicles that continue to park on the grass, some of which will likely result in court action.

Department of Development

K&K Square continues to be the major driver of the transformation of Wards Corner.  The Starbucks and Moe’s Southwest Grill in this shopping center are among the top performers of their franchises in the region.  The City would like to see additional restaurants in the Wards Corner area.  The Wendy’s on East Little Creek Road will be undergoing a façade change.  Kotarides closed on the purchase of the Kroger/Work Force property.  The existing leases will remain in place; no long-term plans for the property have been announced.

 Community Reports

The Wards Corner Business Association is working with the Tidewater Striders to consider a 5-K foot race in 2017 to showcase the Wards Corner area.  The WCBA will be in touch with civic leagues and the City to develop race plans and logistics.


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