Thanks to Karen Mayne for the following meeting minutes from the April 10, 2014 meeting:
The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting
April 10, 2014
Council Members Barclay Winn, Andy Protogyrou, and Terry Whibley, and Mayor Paul Fraim were present.
Future police reports will include the entire area of the Greater Wards Corner Task Force so that neighborhoods will know what is happening throughout the area.
Karen Rudd, Manger of Norfolk’s Cultural Affairs, provided an overview of the artist who was selected to design the public art for Wards Corner. Gordon Huether of Napa, California, will come to Norfolk in several weeks to look at the area and meet with the public arts selection committee and the developers of K&K Square and Midtown Shopping Center. The City has allocated $150,000 for the project, which should take about a year to complete. The City’s public art program is funded through donations and from a set-aside of 1 percent of all Capital Improvement Projects over $500,000. Norfolk leads the way in the region in its support of public art projects.
Karen Mayne reported on a meeting between the Norfolk Right-of-Way/Transportation staff and task force representatives. The group discussed traffic congestion and signaling around the intersection of Little Creek and Granby Street. Traffic engineers will wait to see how traffic moves through the intersection at the new K&K Square before deciding whether to turn the right northbound lane on Granby Street at Little Creek Road into a right turn only lane. There is concern that doing so could create a hazard to pedestrians. The new traffic light that will be installed on Little Creek Road between the K&K Square and Midtown Shopping Center should help with traffic in that area. It was requested that the City consider reestablishing the audio-visual crossing signal for pedestrians at that light, but the FHWA has new rules that may make such a signal cost prohibitive. The issue of illegal left turns coming out of Virginian Drive onto Little Creek Road has no structural solution due to the narrowness of the road; enforcement is the best solution. The City will be repairing/replacing the faux-brick crosswalks with a new and stronger material.
Department of Development
Sam’s Club will rebuild at the old K-Mart property after demolishing the building. Wal-Mart is proposing a gas station as part of this project.
The Albano’s Cleaners in Titustown on Little Creek Road is closing. The company is restructuring its business. A new Albano’s will be at K&K Square.
The demolition of the Denby Park properties acquired by the City last year was delayed by the winter weather and should be completed in May.
The rezoning of the Talbot Hall property to allow for the construction of 14 private homes and roads will go before the planning commission on April 24.
Dr. Barbara Laws of Norfolk Public Schools has been named the 2014 National Supervision/Administrator Art Educator of the Year by the National Art Education Association. The award recognizes exemplary contributions, service, and achievements of art educators. (Dr. Laws also serves on the committee that selected Gordon Huether for the public art at Wards Corner.) Congratulations, Barbara!!
I’m glad to see the issue of crossing between K&K and Midtown Shopping Centers is being addressed. It is very difficult and dangerous now without the signal that used to be there. K&K is one beautiful shopping center! I have already had some wonderful experiences in the new stores there!