Fri12192014

Last updateWed, 27 Dec 2017 12am

   201412metrocast

Beach officials assess housing needs

Beach officials assess housing needs

Eight residents are counting on the town winning a housing-needs grant to see improved living condit...

beach health center saved, to stay open

beach health center saved, to stay open

King George clinic owners ready to take over facility
Not so fast.
The planned closure of the Colonial...

Rockfish tournament

Rockfish tournament

Annual event takes on special meaning for several special anglers

Scouts collect food for thanksgiving

Scouts collect food for thanksgiving

Month-long drive yields about 2,100 pounds of food to be distributed by CB Baptist Church

Local Sco...

Colonial Beach election results

Edward Blunt, Michael Looney and Burkett Lyburn have won four-year terms to the Colonial Beach Town ...

Geddes: Bike Fest was good for businesses

While the final numbers from the first Colonial Beach Bike Fest won’t be known  until December ...

 

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Colonial Beach awarded Safe Routes To School Grant

Good news just keeps coming in for Director of Building and Zoning, Gary Mitchell. In late January Mitchell got word that a $10,000 planning grant to study and prepare a redevelopment plan for town owned property was awarded by the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA).

But this news was overshadowed on Feb. 6 when the Virginia Department of Transportation awarded the town with a $482,053 grant to fund the Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Project.

The project will provide sidewalk installation and/or repair along Douglas Avenue, Wilder Avenue

Read more: Colonial Beach awarded Safe Routes To School Grant

Commission takes no action on too-small lots

After extended discussions concerning the definitions of minor and major home occupations, the Colonial Beach Planning Commission decided to pass zoning ordinance amendments with minor changes, with the idea of revisiting the home occupations issue at a later date if needed. Meanwhile the commission decided not to address ordinances that might make some properties on the Point useless.

The commission did not see a need to discuss the issue of minimal lot sizes and the impact it could have on some homeowners wishing to sell, or land owners who have not began to build.

Residential areas have two designations — R-1 and R-2. Minimum lot sizes for R-2 are 5000 square feet while

Read more: Commission takes no action on too-small lots

Commissioners review proposed changes to residential zoning districts

Planning commissioners continue to review changes to R-1 and R-2 zoning districts.  According to a proposed Statement of Intent, “The general intent of this district is to promote single-family dwelling units and open areas...to protect and enhance the essential characteristics of residential communities and to promote a suitable environment for family life.” 

Commissioner Margaret McMullen summed up the work of the commissioners by saying “Our job is to plan for the future.”  At stake is how strict or relaxed standards for new construction become. 

Read more: Commissioners review proposed changes to residential zoning districts

Planning Comm. looks at beach history

Grapples with right-of-way vacations of town-owned waterfront land

Ret. Col. John Biemeck of Colonial Beach presented a video history of Colonial Beach at the August Planning Commission meeting.  The presentation was full of interesting information on this riverfront town and included bits of trivia such as a total of 2 million people visited Colonial Beach on the St. John’s steamboat in the early 1900s.  The last steamboat docked in 1933. 

Biemeck bemoaned the town’s decisions in the late 1980s to tear down abandoned buildings on the boardwalk that had once served as visitor attractions, such as hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues, which, he believes “ended any chance of the boardwalk coming back.”
With that history lesson in mind, Planning Commissioners then heard from property owners Cornelius Little and Adam Leeman both of whom

Read more: Planning Comm. looks at beach history

Beach right of way sale voted down

Beach homeowner Bill Speight appeared before the Planning Commission May 5 looking for a favorable recommendation from the commission regarding the sale of part of a town-owned right-of-way that runs between his backyard and Monroe Bay.

According to Speight, the alleyway runs parallel to Monroe Bay and was originally fashioned for access to water in case of fire back in the days of “horse and buggy” travel.  Speight noted the sale of the alleyway will “enable me to own my dock which I now lease from the town.”  Speight informed the commission that “both neighbors have signed off on my application.”  Speight’s application was to purchase a portion of the alleyway.

Read more: Beach right of way sale voted down

Beach Planning Commission reviews its annual report

At its February meeting, the Colonial Beach Planning Commission, under the direction of Vice Chairman Maureen Holt, reviewed an annual report prepared by Gary Mitchell, Director of Planning and Zoning. Chairman Cynthia Misicka and member David Coombes were absent.  
According to the annual report, in 2010 the commission approved one conditional use permit, four zoning text amendments, five right-of-way vacations, and one amendment to the Capital Improvement Plan that entailed a complete re-write of the Colonial Beach subdivision regulations, which is in the final stage of approval.
As the commission looks forward to 2011/2012, according to Mitchell, upcoming issues will include Capital Improvement Plan updates and updates to the Comprehensive Plan, including more user-friendly zoning ordinances and final adoption of Phase III Chesapeake Bay Act requirements.   
The only new business under discussion was that members had noticed the Day’s Inn in Colonial Beach had lost its franchise and that the hotel was operational, but had taken the signage down.  
The Planning Commission meets the first Thursday of every month at 4:30 p.m. at town center.

— Kathy Flanagan

First woman elected to chair commission

Misicka takes the helm, joined by Holt as vice chairwoman
 
Colonial Beach is on the cusp of change.  The Planning Commission, with its six appointed members, is tasked with taking the lead on land use issues that shape the future of the town.  Leading the commission in 2011 will be newly elected chairwoman Cynthia Misicka and newly elected vice chairwoman Maureen Holt.  
Misicka is the first woman to be elected chairperson of the commission.  She brings to that position 20 years experience as a federal civil rights attorney and an experienced eye for detail.  Misicka was appointed to the commission in January 2009 after becoming a full-time resident of the beach in 2007.  As with many town residents, Misicka “instantly fell in love” with the town and relocated here from Falls Church.  She has been able to continue her career part-time by way of telecommuting.
As to the significance of the commission electing two women as chair and vice chair, Misicka commented, “Although I believe women and men are more similar than they are different, it is an occasion to celebrate given the historic exclusion of women from government and positions of leadership and that women remain underrepresented in these roles.”

Read more: First woman elected to chair commission

As CB town council pushes forward, businesses oppose C-1 zoning changes

At a special meeting yesterday morning, Gary Mitchell, Director of Building and Zoning, presented the latest revision of proposed text amendment changes to Article 8, Commercial Limited C-1 District zoning that many believe adversely impacts businesses in town.  There were approximately 25 business owners and citizens in the audience.
The zoning text amendment revisions began approximately three years ago in response to the proposed creation of a Maritime Commercial district on “The Point” south of Boundary Street that offered to provide appropriate locations for a variety of commercial activities related to water oriented issues.  It offers a mix of residential and commercial uses that includes marinas, restaurants, single family dwellings and hotels and motels among other permitted uses.  It includes front and rear yard setback regulations, height and screening regulations.

Read more: As CB town council pushes forward, businesses oppose C-1 zoning changes

 

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