As discussed, this month’s August Ghent Neighborhood League meeting has been re-scheduled to Wed., August 22nd @ 6:30 pm at the Chrysler Museum to feature a discussion of the City’s of Norfolk’s proposed Character District Zoning amendment to its General Plan and impact to Ghent, to include: boundary lines, open space requirements, zoning issues, etc. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Zoning & City Planning’ Category
The attached letter is GNL’s submission to Planning Commission regarding an additional 7-11 to be allowed the special exceptions to have 24 hr retail and alcohol sales. This is in addition to the recent converted convenience store located at Monticello & Princess Anne.
On two occasion representatives of the 7-Eleven Corporation presented their proposal to establish a new store on the corner of Granby Street and 21st Street in the Ghent neighborhood. At both presentations the plan was met with overwhelming opposition from the community. Objections by the resident’s revolve around two basic issues: 1) concerns over operations at existing locations within the neighborhood and how that may predict what to expect from a new addition; and 2) a basic belief that the neighborhood is already saturated with 24-hour type convenience stores and the addition of one more is not in keeping with the character of this historic neighborhood.
The most frequent complaint from residents was over the persistent loitering, pan-handling and the general harassment often experienced on and around the current stores. Whether alcohol or homeless related is not the issue, but rather the failure of the stores to maintain a safe environment supportive of their neighbors. It was not until the current 7-Eleven proposal met with neighborhood resistance that there was an effort on 7-Eleven’s part to attempt to address these issues. While 7-Eleven’s corporate representatives now say they “are going to resolve those issues”, they have a long history of failing to provide the kind of environment appropriate for a neighborhood such as Ghent.
The addition of one more 24-hour a day convenience store offering the sale of alcohol for off-premise consumption is another neighborhood concern. The location of alcohol sales should take into account both the number of existing licenses and the proximity to schools and community services. As can be seen in the figure below pulled from the 7-Eleven website, there are seven stores located within an approximate 1 mile radius of the center of the Ghent neighborhood and the proposed store location.
In addition, there is an elementary school, a high school, a daycare, a halfway house, Salvation Army Shelter and other social services all within a couple blocks of the proposed location.
Based on the history of activity on and around existing stores and the general lack of action by store employees, managers and owners, there is no reason to believe they will act any better in the future as good neighbors. Residents’ made it clear that they have grave concerns over the possible negative impact to the character and safety of the Ghent neighborhood. As such, we have asked that the Planning Commission recommend denial of the two requested special exceptions.
The following link is a proposed draft of the City of Norfolk Historic district Design Guidelines.
DOCKET FOR THE COUNCIL
TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011 – 7:00 P.M.
PH-1 PUBLIC HEARING scheduled this day pursuant to action of the Council on April 5, 2011, under the State law, public notice having been inserted in the local press by the City Clerk, on the application of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, for a change of conditions to the existing conditional IN-2 (Campus Institutional) district on property located at 835 Redgate Avenue.