Snow removal

Please take the time to clear your sidewalks of snow.  Ghent is a pedestrian friendly community, and we want all our residents to be safe.  Thank you for doing your part during these snowy days!

a note from State Senator Lynwood Lewis forwarded from Henry Conde;

February 23, 2015

Ref: Congestion at the HRBTDear President Conde:

I wanted to give you an update on my efforts to help with the congestion at the HRBT.  I am pleased to report that Senate Bill 956 which seeks to address the problem of over-height trucks has been passed by both House and Senate and is on its way to the Governor’s desk.  As you may recall, this Bill attempts to create a solution by providing additional incentives for over-height trucks to wait to be turned around when traffic conditions are more favorable.  Hopefully, this will have a positive effect on the over-height truck turnaround problem.  In addition to that Bill I have also written Colonel Flaherty, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police, asking for additional State Police personnel at the HRBT and also in the alternative asking if the hours of the trooper now assigned can be staggered so as not to be predictable.  I have attached a copy of that letter.

I hope to visit with you after we complete the 2015 General Assembly Session on February 28 to discuss the Assembly.


​​Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

Senator, District 6

Attached letter:  HRBT Letter to State Police

Feb. 19th, 2015

Given the lousy state of the neighborhood roads at the moment and the prospect for even more hazardous conditions this evening once the sun sets and the temperature drops into the teens (and lower later), Henry has decided that tonight’s GNL Board meeting is cancelled.

Stay safe.





FEBRUARY 19th 2015


Advocates for the conservation and promotion of the Historic Character of Ghent

 6:30 PM:    Call to Order

Introductions of Board Members, Neighbors and Guests


  • Approval of Minutes
  • Crime Report: Officer Jacob Medley, Community Resource Officer, Norfolk Police Department
  • GNL Board Reports
    • Treasurer’s Report
    • Ghent Task Force – no meeting in February
    • Ghent Business Association
    • Ghent Homeless Task Force
    • Elections Committee
  • Ghent Applications to City of Norfolk
    • Review Committee Report – Note: Next Meeting March 10 @ 9:30am @Panera Bread
      • The New Do-Nut Dinette (presented at Jan GNL Meeting)
      • Update – Parking Compliance information as requested from City of Norfolk at January GNL Meeting
      • Vote – GNL Board position on Applicant’s Request for ABC Licenses for 1) Beer; 2) Wine; and 3) Mixed Drink/Liquor
  • Guests with Business before the Board
    • Introduction of New Business toCommunity-
      • Bottle Box – Proposed new growler re-fill and gourmet take out food business – location: The Palace Shops (20th St) – (application has not yet been submitted to City of Norfolk)
  • Presentation
    • Update: Colonial Avenue Traffic Calming Project (traffic calming measures between Princess Anne and Olney Road)
    • Update: Westover Avenue Traffic Calming Request (part of Towne Bank Approval Process)
    • Informational Presentation – City of Norfolk’s “No Parking spaces required” policy for outdoor restaurant seating
  • Committee Business
    • Committee Chair Reports
      • Community Improvement – Paige Rose/Susanne Ott/Karen Reynes
      • Membership ———————-Ben Crumpler/Michael Spencer
      • Communications —————-David Zellmer
      • Program —————————- Sharon Plawin/John Ryan
      • Publicity and Social Events – John Ryan/Emily Birknes
      • Sector Representatives ——-BarBara Murphy/Michael Spencer
      • Zoning ——————————- David Zellmer/Joan McEnery
  • Committee Presentations
    • Website Revamp – Request for Board and Member Input – Communications Committee
    • Review Committee Process and Procedures – Request for Board and Member Input- Review Committee
    • GNL position on parking for outdoor dining seating – Request for Board and Member Input – Zoning Committee
  • Update: Treaty of Ghent Bicentennial
  • Other Board Business
    • Discussion – Resumption of Monthly Board Work Sessions @ 6pm


Upcoming Meetings:

Nominations Committee- TBD

March Review Cmte Meeting March 10 @ 9:30am @ Panera Bread

GNL Monthly Meeting – March 19th @ 6:30pm @ Chrysler Museum



Below please find the memo from Henry provided to City Council members regarding the Sassi Cakes planning application.  {My apologies for not posting this sooner; I recently learned of a “feature” (ahem) of Gmail which caused me to miss some emails being sent to my GNL board member account.}


(26 January)

Dear Terry and Barclay,

We met with the applicant for “Sassy Cakes and Sweets” at our January GNL meeting.   Overall, the emphasis and theme of the applicant’s presentation was simply a “continuation of what was already there” with some added entertainment though understandably downplaying the entertainment aspect of the business.  A number of members remain concerned that we may be opening the door to a “Night Club” with events that start at 10:00pm which is not necessarily compatible nor consistent in what is arguably a residential neighborhood. A related issue with this application is the continued approval of alcohol use into the late hours through the special exception process in Ghent.  GNL generally supports businesses in our community. Having said this , it is with the clear understanding that not all businesses may be good business to further strengthen what makes Ghent vibrant, unique and safe for all to enjoy.
Though we remain somewhat divided concerning this application, two factors  led us to cautiously support the application. One is the location on 22nd street which affords somewhat of a buffer to the immediate residential context of Ghent.  Secondly, is the longstanding reputation of Claus Ihlemann who was present and committed to maintain close oversight of this applicant’s operation. Having said this, we wholeheartedly support the request that any special exception granted to “Sassy Cakes and Sweets” expire on 31 December 2015 with the purpose of assessing their viability beyond this date.


Henry Conde
Ghent Neighborhood League