Planning Commission to consider alternatives to prevent vehicles being parked in lawns

February 12, 2015
Robert Tajan, Principal Planner with the City of Norfolk, presents to the Planning Commission on 2/12/2015 with ideas to curb parking in the lawns along W. Little Creek Road

Robert Tajan, Principal Planner with the City of Norfolk, presents to the Planning Commission on 2/12/2015 with ideas to curb parking in the lawns along W. Little Creek Road

For years the Wards Corner Task Force has complained to city staff and police about residents along W. Little Creek Road parking their motor vehicles in the grass and in their yards.  Civic League presidents and Council members alike have complained of the grass parking and the answer has always been to hand out tickets and take the violators to court.  This has been met with some success in the short term but usually within a few months the violations return.

Now, at the request of the Task Force, the Planning Commission and planning staff will work to come up with new regulations that will allow residents along busy thoroughfares in Norfolk to park their vehicles in a manner that will be both legal and allow for the safe ingress and egress of the properties.

The Planning Commission will vote at their February 26, 2015 meeting to initiate zoning changes.  That vote will allow planning staff to begin working on options and recommendations.  Those options and recommendations will be discussed at the Planning Commission meeting in mid-March and the results thereof will be brought to the Wards Corner Task Force for comment and input before being adopted.

 


Satellite Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to open at Wards Corner

October 25, 2012

The Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office is opening a Community Collaboration Center (CCC) in the Workforce Development Center at Wards Corner.

The CCC supports the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the City by having a small group of prosecutors evaluate and integrate specialized resources and programs into the daily prosecution of cases.  The prosecutors are responsible for representing the Commonwealth in Norfolk Circuit Court’s Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and Offender Re-Entry Court programs.  In addition, the CCC follows the guidelines of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA, http://www.apainc.org) for community prosecution – a philosophy that encourages collaboration between prosecutors, criminal justice partners, and the community to develop safer neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life of citizens.

Examples of  CCC work:

  • Lethality Assessment Protocol – A risk assessment tool utilized by the Norfolk Police Department when officers respond to domestic violence situations.  LAP helps increase victim safety, reduce the risk of lethality, increase aggressor accountability, and provide victims with immediate connections to resources like shelters.
  • Virginia Rules – An educational program we implemented in Norfolk Public Schools to help students understand the importance of making good decisions and the consequences of making poor decisions.  This is done through a series of lesson plans on a variety of topics developed by the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.  Topics include gang awareness, dating violence, and internet safety.

Linda Bryant is a Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Director of the CCC.  With 15+ years of prosecutorial experience here in Norfolk, she has the knowledge base and perspective to carry out the work of the CCC.  Greg Underwood, Commonwealth’s Attorney, firmly believes the CCC is an important extension of the Office – enabling his office to remain deeply committed to their duty of criminal prosecution while fully recognizing the importance of crime prevention initiatives in Norfolk.  Physically being located outside of downtown in a satellite office of sorts will increase our accessibility to citizens with public safety/criminal justice needs.  Another connectivity goal of the CCC is to recognize citizens may not need our assistance, but that we can facilitate contact with the correct department/agency.

A grand opening is scheduled for Thursday, 11/1, from 4pm-5pm at the Norfolk Workforce Development Center (NWDC).  The program, which will include the ribbon cutting, will be brief but meaningful and will be followed by a simple reception.  They are expecting at least 100 people; Mayor Paul Fraim, City Manager Marcus Jones, and Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe have confirmed they’ll be attending.  Civic league members should feel free to attend.


Op-Ed: Fed up in Denby Park

January 24, 2012

We live in Denby park.  If you stand in our drive way and look down to your right, you will see a beautiful tree lined street, the trees bloom beautiful in the spring.   The yards are kept up and the homes charming.  People walk their dogs, kids play in their backyards.  Neighbors know and take care of each other.

If you turn and look the other way you will see  run down apartment buildings on Galveston. People sitting outside drinking beer, yelling and loitering.  If you looked at night you would likely see a young lady or two walking up and down the street offering her services.  You would be brave to cross from our side to the other side.  We just don’t do it.
My children cannot ride their bikes, play out front and climb those beautiful blooming trees in the spring, and we sure can’t leave our doors or cars unlocked.  We are awakened by gun shots and sirens on a weekly basis it seems.

City of Norfolk, you disappoint me. When we were looking for a home we found this charming 5 bedroom, we were told the projects were coming down, the city installed cameras.  4 years later, we are still waiting.  We have witnessed no improvement.

Wards Corner has so much potential.  While I am excited about the upcoming improvements I think the city is wasting their money until they deal with Denby Park.  It just festers like a boil in the community.  IF I had my wish they would tear it down tomorrow and build a nice park complex or new homes.   We are tired of the excuses, we are tired of a slum lord that keeps passing by.  Why are these projects still here?

So Norfolk, I would appreciate it if you would come and tell my children the reason they can’t play in their own front yard safely is because the city keeps finding excuses to fix this problem.  Please tell them that you cannot keep their street safe enough for children to play outside.  Please don’t tell me again after a group of teens almost robbed my child of his bike and I stupidly chased them down into the ghetto that there is nothing you can do about it.  Please tell my neighbors who were robbed point blank at 7 am in the morning last year that it happens.  Stop making excuses and clean it up already.

-Tricia in Denby Park.  Tricia asked that her last name be kept anonymous to protect herself and her loved ones.


Become a Norfolk AIRhead

April 3, 2010

Norfolk’s Neighborhood University is conducting a course on Norfolk’s new address driven data base. The city’s address driven data base is a project that has been in the works for over a decade.  Take it on a test run by clicking on this link: Norfolk AIR. Below is information on the course that will educate you about this great city resourse:

Become an AIRhead!
Norfolk Address Information Resourse

Thursday, April 29
6-8pm
Granby Municipal Building, 4th Floor
401 Monticello Avenue

Free parking is provided in the Freemason Street Garage.

In this course, learn about Norfolk AIR (Norfolk Address Information Resource) – a new City website that allows for easy access to information, maps and aerial photography for any address in the city. The website displays data on over 150 items such as property assessments, property sales, municipal services, active and historical code enforcement cases, and much more. For more information and registration, visit the NU web page at http://www.norfolk.gov/Neighborhoods/NU.asp

(For your convenience, the link for Norfolk AIR can be found under the “Links” on Wards Corner Now)


Norfolk develops a new address driven database

January 14, 2010

Check out this new feature on the City of Norfolk’s website – Address driven database, full of information about Norfolk properties that we have been requesting for years – type in any address in Norfolk and get tax assessment info, school info, municipal services, planning, public safety, city services, lot dimensions off map, code enforcement cases, (current and historical) etc.. 

  Click the below link:

 http://www.norfolk.gov/Assessor/

and then click Norfolk Address Information Resource under the “Norfolk Air Tab”  on left.


Cradock is taking Cradock back

June 9, 2008

The Virginian-Pilot has an article about how the residents in Cradock are taking their neighborhood back. The activism has caused a 49% decrease in property crime when comparing the first five months of 2007 with the same period in 2008. The article: Cradock residents encouraged by drop in crime

Tim Smith, Talbot Park resident, wrote in with the following:

Someone needs to contact this man and find out how he did this and how we can do the same here in Wards Corner and the neighborhoods around.

I said it before, get 25 to 50 people together and with a pair of uniform police officers, pick random Friday & Saturday nights each month and walk back and forth from Wards Corner to Southern Shopping Center (through the neighborhoods)from sunset to sunrise.

Write down ALL license plates of cars entering and exiting; make yourselves seen and show the people that live in this area that we are taking our streets back. Force the criminal element to move out of our area cause their customers will not want to be seen by us.

As the story shows below, IT WILL WORK but people need to get involved. We have enough civic leagues in the Partnership Area we would only need one or two deticated people from each neighborhood to be willing to work together. We could even move around the Partnership Area after we clean up the hot spots, keeping the criminals off guard like they do to the police.

I live in Talbot Park, contact me at timsmith114@cox.net.

Remember, we are the only ones that have our best interests in mind and developers do not like to invest in declining neighborhoods. No back room deals; no vote for this & I’ll vote for that; no Ward boundries, just our actions; in our neigborhoods; our results; our rewards.


VP: Denby Park to be initial target of “Project Focus”

September 24, 2007

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the Norfolk City Council had its annual retreat in Smithfield today and one of the things they addressed was the increase in crime in the City.  Specifically they mentioned increasing efforts in Denby Park in the Wards Corner area, the Pleasant Avenue area of East Ocean View and Huntersville initially.  Later this year efforts will expand to 10 other troubled neighborhoods, including Park Place and Fairmount Park.

The tools that the City intends to use are increased police patrols, code enforcement sweeps to clean up blighted property, and the rental inspection program that the Partnership has already been briefed on:

The interior of most rental units in the three neighborhoods would be inspected for code violations. If a unit passed, it would not be inspected again for four years.

Landlords also would be required to register a name, address and phone number with the city. 

Norfolk also would initiate landlord-city neighborhood improvement agreements. Landlords would be encouraged to do criminal background checks on tenants and to ban illegal behavior, such as drug dealing. In return, the city would provide enhanced services, such as improved lighting and sidewalks.

Surveillance cameras also would likely be used along several blocks of the three neighborhoods, although details haven’t been finalized.

Notably, the Council did decide to follow through and turn Denby Park, Oakdale Farms, and Monticello Village into a conservation area:

The council also directed Williams to begin the process of turning three Wards Corner neighborhoods into conservation areas, which is required for the city’s housing authority to be able to offer loans to rehabilitate housing.

Denby Park, Oakdale Farms and Monticello Village “were promised this,” Councilwoman Theresa Whibley said. “We need to keep that promise.”

Although not entirely clear or explained, it appears the increased patrols and code enforcement will only last a year:

“We believe we have to focus an intensive effort for a year to get these neighborhoods empowered,” Williams said.

Let’s hope that a year is all that it takes to empower those neighborhoods and let’s hope that there is a “bold move” around the corner.


%d bloggers like this: