Litter Baskets Initiative to include Wards Corner

June 16, 2008

This month’s Civic Connection, produced by the City of Norfolk, mentions Wards Corner in an article about a Litter Basket Initiative.

Litter Baskets initiative – Public Works has purchased a number of litter containers that will be placed in high litter areas throughout the city.  There are criteria for selecting the locations.  The new containers were selected by Design Review and are similar to those in use downtown and along 21st Street.  Waste Management will empty the containers 3 times per week.  In the past, we have had a limited number of wire baskets for litter.  These will be phased out. The first area where we will be adding containers will be Ward’s Corner.  John Deuel and his staff have been working with the businesses.  We are exploring ideas of limited advertising on the containers.  This has been a combined initiative of the Norfolk Environmental Commission and staff and Waste Management.


April Civic Connection

April 21, 2008

The Civic Connection is produced by the City of Norfolk on a monthly basis. Below are some highlights from April’s edition.

City Council Action:

Adopted an ordinance to purchase properties located at 1210 and 1227-29 West Little Creek Road—Properties of Elko Associates, LC. This agenda item authorizes the purchase of properties located at 1210 and 1227-29 West Little Creek Road. The properties are owned by Elko Associates, LC. The negotiated purchase prices are based on the appraised values of the properties and the owner’s willingness to vacate the premises, at his sole effort and expense. The purchase of these properties is in support of the Wards Corner Plan Task Force recommendations.

These properties are being purchased in support of the Titustown Recreation Center for adjacent parking and the retail businesses along the West Little Creek Road corridor. The closings for the purchase of these properties would occur in two phases.  Closing for 1210 West Little Creek Road would occur as soon as possible following Council approval subject to funding appropriated for FY08. Subsequently, closing for the purchase of 1227-1229 West Little Creek Road would occur after July 1, 2008, based on appropriation of funding for the purchase price.

The negotiated purchase prices for the properties are based on the total appraised value of $2,200,000. The agreed purchase price for 1210 West Little Creek Road is $960,000. The purchase price of 1227-1229 West Little Creek Road is $1,440,000, subject to funds to be appropriated for FY09 and available for closing after July 1, 2008.

The purchase of these properties by the City is in support of the Wards Corner Plan. Therefore, it is recommended that the City Council adopt the attached ordinance which authorizes the City Manager to negotiate and execute a Purchase and Sale Agreement and the appropriation of funds to cover the agreed purchase prices and other costs of the transactions.


March Civic Connection

March 7, 2008

The Civic Connection is produced by the City of Norfolk on a monthly basis. Below are some highlights from January’s edition.

CITY COUNCIL UPDATES

Project Focus activity in Denby Park. City Administration has been working diligently on improving the Denby Park area in spite of the many challenges it has faced. Some outcomes of the small meetings and walk-through include tree trimming and park maintenance, overlapping police patrols, bi weekly street sweeping, and the Department of Public Works has an ongoing review of traffic patterns and pedestrian safety crossing along little Creek Road. The Administration is also working on a number of youth initiatives. These initiatives include expanded enforcement of truancy and curfew violations and the development of new programs including the Police Youth Academy, partnership with the YMCA for First T (youth golf program) and a youth chess program.
In an effort to ensure all shifts were aware of the issues involved in Denby Park, the Administration requested two police officers from each shift to participate in a walk through last fall in order to hear first hand the issues the residents of Denby Park want addressed.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Project Focus Initiatives. The City is working on enhancement to the Neighborhood mapper application currently deployed on the Internet. The new version includes a search function that allows the user to select one of the three Project Focus areas. The new version also includes additional information on activities related to code enforcement, zoning violations, placarded buildings, and waste management violations. These enhancements include data from the HTE system and stand alone databases. Currently the data is updated monthly, but a future goal is to have the data refreshed on a weekly basis.
The new version of Neighborhood Mapper will be available on the GIS Internet web page by mid-month.


January Civic Connection Updates

January 22, 2008

The Civic Connection is produced by the City of Norfolk on a monthly basis. Below are some highlights from January’s edition.

Recent Action by City Council

  • Approved the concept of a memorandum of understanding between the City and the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and authorized the City Manager to negotiate the agreement. It will establish a program to help the City address blighted areas through NRHA. Council also designated the first neighborhoods to be included in the program: Denby Park, Monticello Village, and Oakdale Farms.
  • Approved an ordinance for the possible future use of surveillance cameras in Project Focus neighborhoods (currently Denby Park, Olde Huntersville and Pleasant Avenue in East Ocean View. The ordinance Council outlines the process by which neighborhoods or the police chief can request the installation of cameras and where the cameras would be placed. The purposes of the cameras would be to deter crime, assist in the apprehension of known suspects, and to reduce public fear in perceived higher-crime areas. The next step is the issuance of a Request for Proposal for a contractor to help the City investigate technology and issues regarding the placement of cameras. Council would hold a public hearing prior to implementing any program in a neighborhood.
  • Established “rental inspection districts” for each of the three Project Focus areas (Denby Park, Olde Huntersville, and the Pleasant Avenue area of East Ocean View). The Department of Neighborhood Preservation is in charge of implementing the rental inspection program and notifying renters and owners.
    The program allows the City to inspect all of the units in a property with fewer than 10 units. For a multiple family (10 or more units) complex in the initial and periodic inspections the codes compliance office shall inspect only a sampling of the total dwelling units of not less than two and not more than ten percent of the dwelling units However If the codes compliance office determines upon inspection of the sampling of dwelling units that there are violations of the building code that affect the safe decent and sanitary living conditions for the tenants of such multiple family complex the codes compliance office may inspect as many dwelling units as necessary to enforce the building code. Once a property is found in compliance, it cannot be re-inspected for four years except at the request of a tenant.

Contracts – Notice to Proceed
Wards Corner Signal / ADA Improvements
Contractor: Highway Electric, Inc.
NTP Date: December 3, 2007


November Civic Connection Updates

November 30, 2007

Updates related to the Wards Corner Partnership area, taken from November’s Civic Connection:

• PROJECT FOCUS. The Civic Connection says “A Youth Academy for residents of the Denby Park neighborhood began on November 19, 2007, the Crossroads Recreation Center, and will run for four weeks.” This is untrue. The Denby Park Youth Academy has been postponed indefinitely for lack of interest in the program.

• TRUCK RESTRICTIONS. The Norfolk Police Department began enforcement of a new city ordinance passed by the Norfolk City Council in October 2007 limiting truck traffic on Hampton Blvd., Granby St., and Church St. Enforcement of this ordinance prohibiting trucks of 4 axles or more from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M. Violation of this ordinance may result in a fine of $250.00. Members of the Norfolk Police Department have received training in preparation of enforcement of the new code from the staff of the City Attorney’s Office. Officers will be assigned to enforcement of this new ordinance in the initial week and there after as deemed necessary. Motorists can expect officers to strictly enforce any violation of this ordinance.

• CITY COUNCIL. Approved a resolution supporting passage by the General Assembly of legislation to prevent exploitative payday lending practices in Virginia.

• TRAFFIC SIGNAL BATTERY BACK-UPS. The Division of Transportation have installed and tested battery back-up systems at two intersections in Norfolk — Virginia Beach Boulevard and Military Highway, and Brambleton Avenue and St. Paul’s Boulevard – and plans to install the back-up system at other key locations. The new system will keep traffic signals operational during power failures and during periods of power fluctuation. Ideally, the traffic signal will continue its regular cycle, although it may – for a variety of reasons, enter a flashing red/ flashing yellow cycle. The back-up system ensures the safe operation of signals for a minimum of 4 hours. The next location planned to be equipped with battery back-ups is:
Hampton Boulevard and Terminal Boulevard

• SCHOOL FLASHING BEACONS. In an effort to ensure safe crossing at school zones, DOT has upgraded school flashing lights at Granby High School. The new flashing lights horizontal instead of vertical in order to increase the surface area visible to drivers, Light Emitting Diodes (LED) are now being used because they are brighter when they flash, and the background of the school flashing beacons are now florescent yellow-green which makes it apparent to drivers that they are crossing a school zone.

• ARTS COMMISSION. The Norfolk Commission on the Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce the December performances in its free, open to the public, Arts Within Reach series. Dec. 4 (Tues.) 7 pm Arts Within Reach. Virginia Symphony Holiday Brass Quintet. Members of the symphony’s brass section—Stephen Carlson, trumpet; David Vonderheide, trumpet; Wilford Holcombe, horn; Timothy Owner, trombone; Peter DuBeau, tuba; John Lindberg, percussion—ring in the holidays with a unique, seasonal concert. Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center, 7300 Newport Avenue. 664-4321


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