RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE PROPOSED INDUSTRIAL FACILITY AT THE LYNNHAVEN BOAT RAMP AND BEACH FACILITY (LBR&BF) POSED BY THE OPCL-WATERWAYS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

DMTS: Dredged Material Transfer Sites

Q & A follows below:

1. What is the process of creating and implementing the DMTS proposed plan? Briefly describe, from start to finish, including who initiated the DMTS proposal and the steps through city departments and any other agencies needed, the approvals required, including the acquisition of permits and award of contracts.

Response:

The Lynnhaven River was reasonably divided into five control areas. Within each control area, the staff selected at least one site which will be able to serve as a public transfer site. Essential to that site selection is its proximity to main transportation routes and a minimal impact to residential areas. The purpose for creating public transfer sites is because many of our residential streets cannot support the load bearing weights of multiple trucks which would result in the destruction of our neighborhood streets. Additionally, these transfer sites will be used for supporting the transfer of material in support of maintaining Coast Guard approved navigation channels whose responsibility for periodic maintenance resides with the city of Virginia Beach.

2. The Virginia Beach application for the dredging of the Western Branch of the Lynnhaven, page 3, notes that spoils will be transported to Thalia Creek. Does that mean that the dredge spoils from the main channels from the Lesner Bridge to Thalia can be handled by the Thalia site?

Response:

No, not without an exception being granted to the control area concept. The Thalia site distance from the Lesner Bridge creates an extraordinary financial burden to the contract costs and is located in a different control area.

3. Who is or was responsible for identifying the potential sites for DMTS locations in

2008 and now?

Response:

The City Water Resources Staff, overseen by the Department of Public Works and Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen, comprise the Neighborhood Dredging SSD Project Delivery Team who undertook the task of identifying potential sites for transfer operations.

4. What other potential sites have been identified and what criteria have been used to evaluate them, especially sites in benefitting neighborhoods?

Response:

In addition to the Thalia site and the Crab Creek Dredge Material Holding site, we are looking at the Pep Boys site to support the dredging program.

5. How can we be assured that the City has conducted a thorough evaluation of alternative sites when you previously failed to identify the Thalia site and Boatel site?

Response:

Staff has spent a considerable amount of time assessing all waterfront properties and has a thorough knowledge of the neighborhood road system as well as the boat ramp accesses within the Lynnhaven watershed.

6. With the citizen identified “Lynnhaven Boatel” site now city approved, why is it necessary to have another spoils site located less than 1.25 miles away?

Response:

At this point we are not pursuing the Boatel site. With City Council’s recent Resolution, we will not pursue the Maple Street to support Neighborhood Dredging SSD projects. Whether the Boatel site is finally developed is a future question, but it is nonetheless located within another control area and does not serve the interest of the northern portion of the western branch channel, nor does it serve the interests associated with the inlet itself.

7. A posting on the Virginia Beach city website from 2009 states: “Based upon feedback received at the Public Meeting, alternate sites for a dredged material transfer station were evaluated. The proposed transfer facility has been moved from the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp Facility to a site located near the crossing of Thalia Creek and Virginia Beach Blvd.” Why has the LBR site been added back to the plan?

Response:

Once again, the location of the Thalia transfer site is not felt to be fiscally affordable to support the northern reach of the western branch or the Lynnhaven Inlet itself. The Beaches and Waterways statement that the Thalia site was the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp site being moved is incorrect and without fact.

8. The report prepared by the Beaches & Waterways Advisory Commission in January 2012 states that the decision against using Maple Street was due to the negative impacts on the neighborhood, property values, and quality of life. Why do you believe that those negative impacts would be acceptable in our neighborhood? Particularly, since we will not benefit from this program in any way.

Response:

Use of the LBR for transfer operations will minimally impact the Ocean Park neighborhood, not reduce property values, and will not reduce the quality of life for the neighborhood which already entertains significant public access traffic for using the public boat launch amenity and beach access parking.

9. Why does the city think it’s appropriate for Ocean Park to bear the acknowledged impacts of a DMTS for the benefit of waterfront property owners’ miles away?

Response:

Because the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp is a public site as is the Crab Creek Dredge Material holding site. Creating an ability to support multiple tasks makes it an ideal location without incurring additional costs to our City’s taxpayers.

10. Ocean Park residents and homeowners are major stakeholders in the Crab Creek recreation area and propose DMTS site. How will the city keep an open dialogue on this with the Ocean Park Civic League in the future?

Response:

Just as we have recently done, through our briefings to the Bayfront Advisory Committee and our staff’s attendance at your Ocean Park Civic League meeting, we will remain available to continue the dialogue and have committed to a mid-project review of our performance in operating a construction equipment material and lay down yard in support of the Lesner Bridge Replacement Project.

11. The 150,000+ citizens who use the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility are also major stakeholders in the DMTS proposal. What is the city plan to create and maintain an open dialogue with them?

Response:

The City will go to great lengths to ensure that LBR is available throughout the construction period of the Lesner Bridge replacement and would create the operational procedures necessary for co-existing while any transfer operations for future missions were underway. Adequate public notices will be key to keeping our citizens and visitors informed.

12. Have you asked the VMRC for their position on turning a state funded boat ramp into an industrial site? (If not, why not? Or What was their response?)

Response:

We do not intend to turn the state funded boat ramp into an industrial site. It will remain a boat ramp facility. Adjacent to it will be the creation of a transfer site with appropriate accesses utilizing the boat launch site.

13. Given the proposed investment and plans of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for Pleasure House Point, have you contacted them for feedback on the proposed DMTS at LBR? (If so, please share.)

Response:

We have notified the Chesapeake Bay Foundation of our intentions for constructing a transfer site at the Crab Creek dredge material holding area and have not received negative feedback.

14. The Beaches and Waterways report recognizes the concern for decreased property values if a DMTS were to be located at the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp. How will property owners be compensated for the loss of value and/or the increased difficulty in selling?

Response:

We do not believe that the property owners will suffer any loss of value and/or any increased difficulty in selling by the location of a transfer facility at the Crab Creek dredge material holding site.

15. Has an economic study been done that includes the loss of tax base as property values decrease and the loss of revenue as boaters and fishermen go elsewhere?

Response:

We do not believe that property values will decrease as a result of the creation of a transfer site at a location the currently provides for the retention of dredged material. Furthermore, we do not believe that revenue will be lost from LBR because we intend to co-exist.

16. The report states that “the Crab Creek DMTS be restricted from operation for anytime greater than one work segment not to exceed 60 consecutive workable days during any three year cycle”. Does that mean 60 days in three years or 60 days per year for three years?

Response:

Staff does not agree with the Beaches and Waterways Committee that the Crab Creek DMTS should not be used in excess of 60 workable days in any three year cycle, nor has Council endorsed that recommendation.

17. On page 4 of the report it states that the program will operate at Crab Creek from Memorial Day to Labor Day (summer) while page 21 states that it will operate from Labor Day through Memorial Day (winter). Which one is correct?

Response:

Operational periods at the Crab Creek transfer site will be determined through the permitting process and with the approval of City Council. We prefer not to restrict time of use periods because, in any case, the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp will be fully functional at all times.

18. It also states that it may operate during the summer with “special relief’. What specifically is “special relief’? What will be the criteria for granting such relief?

Response:

We do not know what the Beaches and Waterway Committee is referring to by “special relief.” Therefore, no criteria have been established. Please refer to the answer to 17 regarding approvals for use of the transfer site.

19. Why can’t private property owners in private neighborhoods continue to develop and implement their own private dredging plans as previously done?

Response:

Staff’s first preference for locating a dredged material transfer site will be to limit it to that neighborhood in which that neighborhood dredging project is being conducted. As referenced in an earlier answer, many of our city’s roads were not constructed such that large truck traffic can be sustained. In such cases, the destruction of public roads is unacceptable. Establishing publically accessible logistics nodes with limited impact is key to the systems approach necessary for implementing the Neighborhood Dredging SSD Program.

20.Is dredging of privately owned neighborhood canals considered a “core” city service?

Response:

The Neighborhood Dredging SSD Program is a key initiative in support of the City Council’s fourth strategic goal: Revitalize the City’s neighborhoods and plan for the future. The cost sharing partnership establishes an acceptable fiscal arrangement whereby our taxpayers have an opportunity to reclaim the value of their properties while having a positive overall effect throughout their neighborhood. The definition of “core” can be construed many ways; but, the maintenance of navigable waterways could be deemed core.

From an email from Wendy.

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