Sun04202014

Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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Planning Commission approves CIP and zoning ordinance amendment

Capital Improvement Plan

The planning commission performed their annual review of the town’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and sent a favorable recommendation to the council.

The council will review the five-year plan totaling almost 23 million dollars for town improvements and another 35.7 million for the school system.

Capital project or items are defined in the Virginia code as buildings, construction, studies, equipment, materials, renovations and maintenance or replacement items at a 

Read more: Planning Commission approves CIP and zoning ordinance amendment

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

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