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mikefaceless

What About Shore Drive?

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Are their any Developments in the works for Shore Drive? There are alot of nice condo towers in that area and im wondering if more are to come?

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Are their any Developments in the works for Shore Drive? There are alot of nice condo towers in that area and im wondering if more are to come?

Lesner bridge at the old duck in site.

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I think that the city wants to build a new bridge but the civic groups over there are raising cane over increases in traffic, speed, etc. I'd think that a new span would be safer, but I really think that they don't want a six lane highway cutting through and spoiling the small beach town feel.

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I think development has changed that small beach area so much, that the city really needs to come in and set up a real urban growth plan for it. I really think a new bridge could easily be a landmark feature as well as providing that it is done right.

But then again that area has always been against any government involvement when it comes to planning, so they are sort of getting what they deserve.

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The City is working on this.

Step one: nice, continuous sidewalks and better pedestrian crossings at stoplights. Short term and long term.

Step two: improved (for safety and continuity) trails and bikeways.

Issues to be settled: lower speed limits and where and by how much?

Design for the new Lesner Bridge: it could be a real beauty.

A very large development could happen just west of the bridge, involving at least one high-rise, and possibly three. Nothing finalized or approved yet, but it is expected.

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what are they building there?

More 5-story condos. The Millers held out for a long time until the money was too good to pass up.

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I think that the city wants to build a new bridge but the civic groups over there are raising cane over increases in traffic, speed, etc. I'd think that a new span would be safer, but I really think that they don't want a six lane highway cutting through and spoiling the small beach town feel.

VDOT won't approve a new bridge unless it's 6-lanes. Not all 6 lanes have to be operational, just 6 lanes have to be built since traffic counts warrant them. Travel Shore Drive during rush hour and you'll see a good argument for more lanes. The area of concern is between W. Great Neck and Northampton. Eventually, the area may stretch to Pleasure House and even Independence. This area like Oceana and Kempsville is an area that the city bungled in terms of planning.

In the times I've been back I haven't seen the number of pedestrians and bicyclists along the heavy trafficked stretch. Only east of Great Neck do I see a lot of people. Maybe the time has come for more lanes. What I would hate to see is a reduction in speed limits. The problem with speed isn't along the populated stretch but along the park stretch. And it isn't with people obeying the limit but with those highly exceeding it. Lowering the speed to 35 isn't going to do anything but upset locals. What we need are more speed limit signs so uninformed tourists would go faster than 30 in the left lane.

If pedestrian and bicyclist safety is a concern especially in terms of speed limits, then build some sidewalks and bike paths instead of forcing people to share the road. Placing the blame on lack of funds from VDOT is poor. Bike paths and sidewalks, even temporary ones until a new road is built, are needed.

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VDOT won't approve a new bridge unless it's 6-lanes. Not all 6 lanes have to be operational, just 6 lanes have to be built since traffic counts warrant them. Travel Shore Drive during rush hour and you'll see a good argument for more lanes. The area of concern is between W. Great Neck and Northampton. Eventually, the area may stretch to Pleasure House and even Independence. This area like Oceana and Kempsville is an area that the city bungled in terms of planning.

In the times I've been back I haven't seen the number of pedestrians and bicyclists along the heavy trafficked stretch. Only east of Great Neck do I see a lot of people. Maybe the time has come for more lanes. What I would hate to see is a reduction in speed limits. The problem with speed isn't along the populated stretch but along the park stretch. And it isn't with people obeying the limit but with those highly exceeding it. Lowering the speed to 35 isn't going to do anything but upset locals. What we need are more speed limit signs so uninformed tourists would go faster than 30 in the left lane.

If pedestrian and bicyclist safety is a concern especially in terms of speed limits, then build some sidewalks and bike paths instead of forcing people to share the road. Placing the blame on lack of funds from VDOT is poor. Bike paths and sidewalks, even temporary ones until a new road is built, are needed.

These are mostly correct observations. The ability to go to six lanes as needed ought to be part of any plan, but not everyone is in agreement on this point. The corridor is multi-functional now. The section east of the bridge to the state park is much more urban than it was, and needs to be treated as such. People do fly through there, and it is dangerous, although none of the recent deaths reflect that directly. The speed reduction issue is a real quandary. Those who want to turn the area just east of the bridge into a nice destination, with character and real identity probably would like to reduce the speed limit to 35 or 40 and put in better pedestrian crossings, sidewalks and more. Those who see the road as the only east-west arterial in the north part of the beach understand the need to keep traffic flowing. The Regional traffic model forecasts lots more traffic volume in that area, and it goes way beyond capacity as you move towards Norfolk. Also, I think we'll see an additional 4,000 to 9,000 daily trips added soon, when a very large development proposal is approved just southwest of the bridge.

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A very large development could happen just west of the bridge, involving at least one high-rise, and possibly three. Nothing finalized or approved yet, but it is expected.

I skipped right over this, this is good to hear though. What type of timescale are we looking at?

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I skipped right over this, this is good to hear though. What type of timescale are we looking at?

This is one of the developments that I would fight. It's over the Pleasure House Creek land. The original proposal was for 1800 homes and a shopping center anchored by Harris Teeter. I can't remember the name of the property owner but Stanley Tseng was in talks to develop it. Like the Sandbridge development that should have never been built, neither should this. The City is actively persuing this property to purchase it for parkland. The most recent asking price which is over a year old was $50+ million. This would have drained the City of its remaining money to buy open space.

Although a lot of people are fighting this project because of traffic concerns, the bigger issue remains the environment. The developer was seeking several variances since much of the land is within 100 feet of the waterline. Further considering its proximity to the Lynnhaven River, additional urban runoff from a development of this magnitude would pollute a waterway that the city and state are trying to clean.

There's also the question of city services. With so much infill occuring in the northern half of the city particularly in the Bayside/Cypress Point, Oceanfront, and Pembroke areas, where exactly are all the kids gonna go to school? Yes, school enrollment is decreasing, but that's based on current population. FC, Cox, PA, and Bayside as well as Bayside, Independence, Great Neck, Lynnhaven, and VB can only take so much and all are at 5% over capacity now. Anymore and the school board will be in violation of its 5% over-capacity school enrollment limit.

Finally, growing up, I've watch Shore Drive turn from a pleasant beach road with local seafood joints, bungalow homes, and pockets of open space with native vegetation into a corridor of uninspiring mid-rise condos. Places like Shore Drive, the North End, Ocean View, and Buckroe/Phoebus need to keep their good beach characters. Turning them into beachfront condo corridors is not progress, it's sacrilege.

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This is one of the developments that I would fight. It's over the Pleasure House Creek land. The original proposal was for 1800 homes and a shopping center anchored by Harris Teeter. I can't remember the name of the property owner but Stanley Tseng was in talks to develop it. Like the Sandbridge development that should have never been built, neither should this. The City is actively persuing this property to purchase it for parkland. The most recent asking price which is over a year old was $50+ million. This would have drained the City of its remaining money to buy open space.

Although a lot of people are fighting this project because of traffic concerns, the bigger issue remains the environment. The developer was seeking several variances since much of the land is within 100 feet of the waterline. Further considering its proximity to the Lynnhaven River, additional urban runoff from a development of this magnitude would pollute a waterway that the city and state are trying to clean.

There's also the question of city services. With so much infill occuring in the northern half of the city particularly in the Bayside/Cypress Point, Oceanfront, and Pembroke areas, where exactly are all the kids gonna go to school? Yes, school enrollment is decreasing, but that's based on current population. FC, Cox, PA, and Bayside as well as Bayside, Independence, Great Neck, Lynnhaven, and VB can only take so much and all are at 5% over capacity now. Anymore and the school board will be in violation of its 5% over-capacity school enrollment limit.

Finally, growing up, I've watch Shore Drive turn from a pleasant beach road with local seafood joints, bungalow homes, and pockets of open space with native vegetation into a corridor of uninspiring mid-rise condos. Places like Shore Drive, the North End, Ocean View, and Buckroe/Phoebus need to keep their good beach characters. Turning them into beachfront condo corridors is not progress, it's sacrilege.

Plus this development would also destroy wetlands. There are a lot of watersheds along the Lynnhaven River which are good for oysters, and the Lynnhaven oysters are one of the best found in this region. I think if the development is approved and wetlands are destroyed, then the oyster areas would eventually die off and there would be no oysters left when the future President comes over. I read an old article in the Pilot that stated William H. Taft was a big fan of Lynnhaven oysters. He would come over often to the area and eat those oysters.

I agree that the condos overfilling Shore Drive is a sign of poor planning by Virginia Beach. If you go from the east end of Lesner Bridge to Great Neck Road, the area north of it is all condos and little space for the rest like stores, parks, etc. Virginia Beach allowed condos to overfill the area because of the proximity to the Bay. Plus, the area is very expensive, and if one wanted to build a house, he would have to fork over millions, and that is why they are building all of the condos. But if Virginia Beach adopted a plan for Shore Drive back then, then we would not have been complaining about the useless condos overfilling it. Condos plus power lines overhead is a bad sign for Shore Drive. I think about 10 to 20 years from now, the road would be a very clogged corridor, and Virginia Beach would have to spend a lot of money to clear that up. Pain in the neck if you can ask me. Richmond is also going through the same growing pains (too many houses in Chesterfield County and Goochland County).

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Very good to hear some environmentally responsible comments. Market forces are very strong in that part of the city, and Lynnhaven Inlet is a big concern. It's also an issue that is getting some attention, because citizens care about it. But you have to remember that we're not talking about the Eastern Shore. There must be some give and some take. Frankly, the Shore Drive corridor is one of the only areas (several) in Hampton Roads where I really would like to live. And that's in spite of an apparent lack of good planning.

Well, the Navy doesn't want much residential growth in the Oceanfront area. Shore Drive is close to being built out. Similar environmental battles are waged in the southern part of the city, and in Sandbridge. The Green Line was a good method for slowing growth, and other policies will keep density low in the south part of the city. The Strategic Growth Area policies were designed to frame a different, denser pattern of growth, but they haven't been fully explored and expanded yet. How many people really will choose to live along the I-264 and Virginia Beach Boulevard spine?

I think we could see a lot more growth pressure along Shore Drive, and some spot redevelopment in the Chesapeake Beach area. I agree that it must be approached wisely and carefully. But it's going to probably happen, and I personally think it should happen, all things considered. Feel free to disagree; it's no black or white issue.

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In my ideal world, I'd love to see Shore Drive developed kind of like a Miami Beach or Fort Lauderdale. A few high rises, spaced out (not the "wall" effect of the Oceanfront) and appreciably taller/more architecturally pleasing than the existing ones with low or mid-rise mixed use buildings lining the road with moderately-priced apartments above (cough... right). I think that would turn it into a sort of "second Oceanfront", only better-planned and residentially-oriented, not hotels and lodging-oriented. Something has to be done about the traffic situation as well, and it would be great to see a better connection between Town Center and Shore Drive, linking all the major sections of the city together... But that's just a dream.

For the realistic future:

- Eliminate overhead powerlines. In-ground is more expensive, but boosts property values tremendously.

- Improve transportation concerns.

- Promote mixed-use developments and more-affordable housing (below the $1mil mark, generally).

Just for starters, of course. I think Shore Drive could become something awesome, and I hope one day it all comes to fruition :)

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In my ideal world, I'd love to see Shore Drive developed kind of like a Miami Beach or Fort Lauderdale. A few high rises, spaced out (not the "wall" effect of the Oceanfront) and appreciably taller/more architecturally pleasing than the existing ones with low or mid-rise mixed use buildings lining the road with moderately-priced apartments above (cough... right). I think that would turn it into a sort of "second Oceanfront", only better-planned and residentially-oriented, not hotels and lodging-oriented. Something has to be done about the traffic situation as well, and it would be great to see a better connection between Town Center and Shore Drive, linking all the major sections of the city together... But that's just a dream.

For the realistic future:

- Eliminate overhead powerlines. In-ground is more expensive, but boosts property values tremendously.

- Improve transportation concerns.

- Promote mixed-use developments and more-affordable housing (below the $1mil mark, generally).

Just for starters, of course. I think Shore Drive could become something awesome, and I hope one day it all comes to fruition :)

Very good analysis. :thumbsup: I too enjoy the Chic's beach area! Its the best area in Vabeach IMO besides sandbridge.

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In my ideal world, I'd love to see Shore Drive developed kind of like a Miami Beach or Fort Lauderdale. A few high rises, spaced out (not the "wall" effect of the Oceanfront) and appreciably taller/more architecturally pleasing than the existing ones with low or mid-rise mixed use buildings lining the road with moderately-priced apartments above (cough... right). I think that would turn it into a sort of "second Oceanfront", only better-planned and residentially-oriented, not hotels and lodging-oriented. Something has to be done about the traffic situation as well, and it would be great to see a better connection between Town Center and Shore Drive, linking all the major sections of the city together... But that's just a dream.

For the realistic future:

- Eliminate overhead powerlines. In-ground is more expensive, but boosts property values tremendously.

- Improve transportation concerns.

- Promote mixed-use developments and more-affordable housing (below the $1mil mark, generally).

Just for starters, of course. I think Shore Drive could become something awesome, and I hope one day it all comes to fruition :)

You have just described my nightmare scenario for Shore Drive. A second Oceanfront? Miami Beach? Shore Drive has its own character with its overhead power lines, single-family homes, seafood restaurants, and native vegetation. It is Virginia Beach. We don't need to transform the area into a copy of Miami or Charlotte or wherever. HR should be HR and this is especially true for areas like Shore Drive, North End, Buckroe, and Ghent.

BTW, the City plans to finish widening Independence to Shore Drive. You also have Great Neck Road. Beyond that, you have water.

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You have just described my nightmare scenario for Shore Drive. A second Oceanfront? Miami Beach? Shore Drive has its own character with its overhead power lines, single-family homes, seafood restaurants, and native vegetation. It is Virginia Beach. We don't need to transform the area into a copy of Miami or Charlotte or wherever. HR should be HR and this is especially true for areas like Shore Drive, North End, Buckroe, and Ghent.

BTW, the City plans to finish widening Independence to Shore Drive. You also have Great Neck Road. Beyond that, you have water.

I wasn't suggesting we tear down what's there and put up replicas of MB and Charlotte landmarks, I'm just saying take the GOOD elements of both (the boardwalk atmosphere/architecture of Miami Beach is awesome) and mix it with what Virginia Beach already has. I just want to see something new injected into an area before it's forgotten..

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I wasn't suggesting we tear down what's there and put up replicas of MB and Charlotte landmarks, I'm just saying take the GOOD elements of both (the boardwalk atmosphere/architecture of Miami Beach is awesome) and mix it with what Virginia Beach already has. I just want to see something new injected into an area before it's forgotten..

Forgotten? The only way that happens is if people decide that they don't want to live next to the beach. That's what happened with Ocean View. Coastal living fell out of favor only to pick up strong about 10/15 years ago.

Anyway, by incorporating Art Deco elements in new structures or having the city embark on its now abandoned dream to be build a marina village by "buying" Bubba's, Chick's Oyster Bar, etc. would push the area away from its current character. The soul would be lost and replaced by Disneyesque kitsch. Correct me if I'm wrong, but from your suggestions, it appears that you want Shore Drive to become a destination. I don't want to see that. Places like Long Pointe, Lynnhaven Fish House, Bubba's, and the City boat landing are destinations. The rest of the area, however, is for locals, and not HR locals but Shore Drive locals. It's a neighborhood not an attraction.

I'm all for urbanization and densification of core centers like downtown Norfolk, Atlantic City, downtown Portsmouth (although it's a delicate balance with Olde Town), Pembroke, the Oceanfront, South Norfolk, Greenbriar, Coliseum area, downtown Hampton, downtown Hampton, and Oyster Point. But areas like Ocean View, downtown Suffolk, Buckroe, and Shore Drive need very careful planning to make sure that they remain true to their roots and not corrupted by developer greed.

The reason I feel so strongly is because I grew there. I grew up on the sands of Duck In, the pool tables of Bay Billards (now Shorebreak), the quad lattes of Thom's Coffee (now gone), Bubba crabcakes, pit stops at 7-11 before hitting 81st St, parties at beach, and barely edible food form the Mexican dives. My friend's mom's childhood house was torn down to make way for cluttered townhomes. The bay view coming over the Great Neck bridge is gone, blocked by the more condos. Just imagine YC/Poquoson transforming from home-town charm to national chain monotony.

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Hoobo--those are great images. I used to live on Pleasure House Road for a while during the early '70s beforte I moved to California. I hope that the City can help to tie the neighborhood aspects of that area together rather than encourage it to be a circus.

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I suppose I'm less-attached to Yorktown/Tabb/Poquoson. I'd rather live anywhere but Tabb in this area, save the East End or portions of Portsmouth and such. I respect the character of Shore Drive, but urban density will come one way or the other due to the desirability of the area and the views it affords and I think it makes more sense to have it planned out sooner rather than later.

And mind you the beach areas in Hampton Roads tend to be the FIRST to be forgotten. Look at Buckroe, Christopher Shores or portions of Ocean View... I don't want to see the same happen to Shore Drive by any means.

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I suppose I'm less-attached to Yorktown/Tabb/Poquoson. I'd rather live anywhere but Tabb in this area, save the East End or portions of Portsmouth and such. I respect the character of Shore Drive, but urban density will come one way or the other due to the desirability of the area and the views it affords and I think it makes more sense to have it planned out sooner rather than later.

And mind you the beach areas in Hampton Roads tend to be the FIRST to be forgotten. Look at Buckroe, Christopher Shores or portions of Ocean View... I don't want to see the same happen to Shore Drive by any means.

Urban density is controlled by zoning codes. Around Lesner, the residential zoning was a lot higher than what it is now. The city recognized that services could not support the zoned density. 8 high-rises are enough for this area. I'd like to see 3-story duplexes built rather 6-story condos.

An area is forgotten because its drawing power falls out of favor. If Shore Drive is forgotten, it will be because people don't care to live near the beach anymore. You can't project future human whims. Downtowns used to be the most desired places over 100 years ago. Then, because better modes of transportation allowed for urban flight, people left for the expanse of the suburbs. We are witnessing the rebirth of the American downtown much like the rebirth of coastal living over the past three decades. Both these rebirths are being fueled by the upper-middle and upper classes. As these rebirths stablize, market demand will stablize allowing for the middle class to catch up financially and move into these areas. That may depress prices a bit as the wealthy flee to the next hot and exclusive place. Soon, the working class moves in, and the middle class leaves. Then the place deteriorates like Ocean View and downtown Suffolk did. They remain in such a state until prices are so low relative to the hot places that speculators start grabbing pieces, and soon you have another rebirth. Molding Shore Drive to fit some vision is not going to prevent deterioration in 40 years if market forces move it towards that state.

Shore Drive is thriving in its current state. Places like Pembroke and East Ocean View needed a push to get going much like 19th Street needs a push at the Oceanfront. What is needed is a reduction of growth so that Shore Drive doesn't choke on its own success.

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