Reminder: Wards Corner Task Force meeting 1/8/15

January 6, 2015

The Wards Corner Task Force meeting is this Thursday, 1/8/15 at 8:30am at the Fitness and Wellness Center.  Agenda below:

1. Police Reports – 2nd and 3rd Patrol Updates

2. Parking along the grass W. Little Creek Road – Leonard Newcomb, Director, Zoning

3. Development Updates – Mike Cutter, Business Development Specialist

4. Riverfront Infrastructure Plan Update – Richard Broad, Assistant Director, Public Works

5. Reports

  • Utilities
  • Community Updates
  • Wards Corner Business Association Update

6. New Business

The next task force meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 12, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. at the Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center

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Wards Corner updates

September 11, 2014

The following are some quick updates from the Wards Corner Task Force meeting held on September 11, 2014 at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

Utilities:

The new mast arm poles and traffic light signals at W. Little Creek Rd and Armfield Ave will be installed by mid – late October.

The new mast arm poles and traffic light signals at E. Little Creek Rd and the new Harris Teeter shopping center will also be installed by mid – late October.

Wards Corner Business Association:

A Wards Corner Business Association has been re-started thanks to the work and dedication of Elyse Kalfus.  The first meeting was held on August 19th and 14 of the businesses in Wards Corner were represented.  Top priorities of crime and trash were mentioned.

A cleanup has been arranged with the Norfolk Sheriff’s department and the Business Association is in touch with VDOT on cleaning up their portions of Wards Corner as well.

Norfolk Southern has also been contacted and has agreed to do a cleanup of their property in Wards Corner.

Kroger / Workforce Development Center property:

Everyone was reminded that the City has an option to purchase this property that was built into their lease for the Workforce Development Center.  This option comes up in 2015.  If the City has not found a development partner by then, the City needs to step up and purchase the property to preserve it for appropriate future development in the corridor.


Wards Corner Task Force meeting notes for June 12, 2014

June 15, 2014

Thanks to Karen Mayne for her note taking:

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting

June 12, 2014

 

Council Members Barclay Winn, Andy Protogyrou, and Terry Whibley were present.

Norfolk Public Schools

School redistricting is being studied by NPS; no changes will take place during the 2014 – 2015 school year, other than the temporary closing of Lafayette-Winona Middle School.  Lafayette-Winona will close for one year and its students will be placed at the other middle schools throughout the city except for Lake Taylor Middle.  The student census at the other middle schools can accommodate these students.  In the 2015 – 2016 school year, Lafayette-Winona will reopen as a “choice facility” for students in grades 3 – 8, with a focus on international studies and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

The high schools are the major focus of the school redistricting study.  NPS is considering changing the boundaries of the high schools and adding a CTE (Career Technical Education) high school.  NPS will continue to seek public input throughout the study process.

Department of Development

Mid-Town Shopping Center is in negotiations with the Original Mattress Factory and Liberty Tax but leases have not been signed.  A restaurant is also under consideration.

The owner of the Farm Fresh parcel (including the vacant building), Cedar Realty, has put the property up for sale.

K&K Square is still looking for a restaurant to fill the south end of the shopping center.

Department of Public Works

The City will be paving the intersection of Granby Street and Little Creek Road, including the replacement of the crosswalks.

Community Reports

Walgreens will conduct free HIV testing at the Wards Corner store on June 26 – 28.  Hours will be 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm onJune 26 – 27, and 10:00 am – 2:00 pm on June 28.  Flyers about the event are available at the store.

The Oakdale Farms/Denby Park Civic League had a successful week-long trash/debris removal event with the City of Norfolk Waste Management.  A large amount of trash was collected and removed at the curb throughout the week.

The North Shore Road bridges in Algonquin Park/North Shore Point will be repaired/replaced.  The construction plan no longer includes large sidewalks on the bridges at the request of the civic league since there are no sidewalks adjacent to the bridges.  This will save a significant amount of money.  One lane of each bridge will remain open during construction.

The Unimart at 1033 West Little Creek Road has applied for an on-site ABC license, which has been opposed by the Titustown Civic League.

The public art planned for Wards Corner has been delayed.  After the arts commission met with the artist and reviewed his proposals, they asked him to bring back additional concepts.  The commission felt that his concepts did not reflect a connection to the Wards Corner area.

The Task Force will not meet over the summer.  The next meeting will be September 11, 2014 at 8:30 am at the Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center.


Wards Corner Task Force meeting minutes – April 2014

April 13, 2014

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.

Police Reports

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.

Public Art

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.

Public Works

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.

Community Reports

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!!


Wards Corner Task Force notes from February 13, 2014

February 16, 2014

Many thanks to Karen Mayne for keeping these notes:

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting

February 13, 2014

City Council Member Andy Protogyrou led the meeting.

Parking on the Grass on West Little Creek Road – Leonard Newcomb, Norfolk Zoning Services Manager, said that the City has sent letters to the houses in the 100 – 600 blocks of West Little Creek Road about parking on the grass.  The City will continue to use enforcement but is also trying to find a way to work with property owners to expand driveways.

Public Works

Medians along Granby Street that were damaged during the recent gas line and road work will be restored – damaged vegetation and sprinkler systems will be replaced.  Anchor poles on the southeast side of Granby at Little Creek will be removed by Virginia Power once the weather improves.  The City is looking at potential changes to turn lanes at the southeast junction of Granby and Little Creek and plans to install a traffic signal on East Little Creek Road at K&K Square.  After the task force’s discussion of traffic congestion, traffic lights, illegal turns, etc. in this area, the City will convene a small working group of task force members to further discuss these issues.

Construction work on the underpass replacement at the East Little Creek Road/Tidewater Drive intersection will start on February 17.  More information on this significant project can be found at:  www.norfolk.gov/index.aspx?NID=282

Department of Development

The new Director of Development, Steven Anderson, was introduced.  The City’s façade improvement program is being revised.

Harris Teeter will open on February 19 and other stores in K&K Square shortly thereafter.

The BP gas station property is under contract and should go to closing soon.  The underground gasoline tanks must be removed.  A one to three bay retail building is being considered; the City has not seen a site plan.  Driveways to this property may be enlarged – City will have to approve the building and its driveways.

Community Reports

Artist Gordon Heuther of Napa, California has been selected to design the public art for Wards Corner; the contract has not been finalized.   He will come to Norfolk to meet with residents before finalizing his design.  His website can be found at: http://www.gordonhuether.com/

Talbot Hall Update – The Talbot Hall property, owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, is under contract with a group of local residents.  The new owners propose to build 14 private homes on the 6+ acre property, while maintaining the manor house on ½ acre and setting up a foundation to restore and open it to the public.  The Talbot Park Civic League has invited the new owners to speak to the civic league about their plans.

 

Meadowbrook School – The City issued requests for proposals for the redevelopment of several unused school properties around the city, which have been unveiled and a public comment period is underway.  A public meeting will be held on February 19 at 7:00 pm at the Church of the Good Shepherd to discuss the potential redevelopment of the former Meadowbrook Elementary property.  The Meadowbrook Civic League is opposed to development of apartments or condos on this site.

Next Meeting – There were requests to discuss the crime statistics for the area, the proposed school redistricting plans and how that will affect the Wards Corner area, and the public art project.


Wards Corner Task Force meeting Thursday @ 8:30am

February 9, 2014

Reminder and invitation for everyone to attend:

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Thursday, February 13, 2013
Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center
7300 Newport Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia

Agenda

1. Police Reports

2. Parking on the grass – Leonard Newcomb, Zoning Services Manager

3. Traffic Patterns – John Keifer, Director, Public Works

4. Medians – John Keifer, Director, Public Works

5. BP Gas Station/Development Updates – Michael Cutter, Business Development Manager

6. Reports
– Public Art
– Community
– Schools

7. New Business

The next task force meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 10, 2014,
at 8:30 a.m. at the Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center


Taskforce meeting minutes from December 12, 2013

December 15, 2013

Thanks to Karen Mayne for keeping these minutes.

Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting – December 12, 2013

 The meeting was led by Council member Terry Whibley.  Council members Andy Protogyrou,   Barclay Winn, and Mayor Paul Fraim were also present.

Naval Station Norfolk/Light Rail Extension Study Update — Hampton Roads Transit provided information on the study of extension of the light rail to the Norfolk Naval Base.  Based on a series of public meetings, HRT is conducting further analysis of two potential corridors.  One corridor would go between the western end of the current Tide, from the area of the Mid-Town Tunnel north to the base along the general area of Hampton Boulevard.  The second potential corridor would go from the Newtown Road end of the Tide through the Janaf, airport, and Wards Corner areas to the base.  HRT will continue with civic meetings and will brief senior City of Norfolk staff in January.

West Little Creek Road/Parking on the Grass — Leonard Newcomb, Zoning Director for the City, reported that he and Police Officer Odell Davis recently walked the six block area to observe the parking situation.  He said this has been a long term problem resulting from too many cars on the small properties.  The City will continue to use enforcement as one approach, but will also look at working with property owners to determine if there are options for larger driveways.

Department of Development Updates

K&K Square – Anna Bowerman, the new manager of the Towne Bank branch, gave a presentation about their bank, which should open in May/June 2014.  It will have a drive through and an ATM machine.  Harris Teeter is scheduled to open in February.  Space for a restaurant is still vacant.  A traffic light at the intersection of Louisiana and Granby Street will be in place by the time Harris Teeter is opened.  Another light on Little Creek is still under study as the City has a right-of-way issue.  It was asked whether the light would include an audio-visual crosswalk signal as was previously in place.

BP Gas Station Update – Nothing new to report.  The property is currently under contract and the developer is seeking an end user (not a gas station or 7-11 store) for a 4000 square foot retail center.

Midtown Shopping Center – Firehouse Subs has signed a lease.  Other eateries have expressed an interest in this area.  A suggestion was made about the possibility of a food truck rodeo in the parking lot as a way of attracting attention, since the other food truck rodeos around the City have been so successful.  Mike Cutter said he would present this suggestion to Mrs. Dalis.

Denby Park Demolition — Demolition of 308, 317, 319, 321 and 325 East Little Creek Road; and 328, 334 and 338 Fort Worth is underway.

Public Art Update – Three artists have been selected as finalists, out of 75 who submitted proposals.  The selection committee will conduct interviews via Skype with the three finalists and make a selection.  The location for the art installation has not been finalized but will likely be either in the median along Granby Street or possibly a small City-owned area at K&K Square.

Schools

Tabernacle Church is continuing its support of Suburban Park Elementary School.  The church is conducting a winter coat drive in December.  They are also planning a teacher appreciation banquet.  A mentorship initiative is underway to help children with math, science and reading skills, which the church would like to see everyone in the neighborhood support.  The Suburban Acres Civic League and Coastal Convenience Stores (Tinee Giant) donated $635 in cash and canned goods to Suburban Park Elementary in November in support of the school’s Thanksgiving baskets for needy families.

Other

The issue of replacing the hanging traffic lights at East Little Creek Road in front of the Taco Bell with mast arm poles was again discussed.  The City reported a new mast arm pole would cost between $250,000 and $300,000.  It was agreed that the issue of traffic congestion and traffic control in the Wards Corner area of Little Creek would be discussed at the February 2014 task force meeting.

Another concern is the utility poles that have been on the ground in the area of Tucker House at Armfield and W. Little Creek.  The contractor who was undertaking that project went bankrupt and the City is working on getting the poles removed.

 


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