ࡱ> hjg#` yebjbj\.\. .x>D>Dy]<<<<P4kkkmoooooo$hV"Nkkmm j.<Y0"""|k(<Yrkkkkkk  Mr. ONeill read the next public hearing item. C. Use Permit Application No. 1015 by the City of Hampton to construct a fishing pier on property identified as LRSN #13001556 that southerly portion of the property identified as LSRN #12007408 that has a C-1 zoning. This property is located at the southern end of Buckroe Beach between the termini of Resort Boulevard and Bay Shore Lane. The property is zoned Neighborhood Commercial (C-1), which allows fishing piers with an approved Use Permit. The Hampton Community Plan recommends mixed use land uses in the area. The Buckroe Master Plan recommends rebuilding the fishing pier. Mr. Michael Hayes, City Planner, presented the staff report, a copy of which is attached hereto and made a part hereof. Staff recommends approval of Use Permit Application No. 1015 to rebuild the Buckroe Fishing Pier that was lost during Hurricane Isabel from 590 to 709. Mr. James Holt, 15 Thimble Shoals Court, stated his main concern about the proposed pier is the lack of economic development that the pier and location will bring to the city. He stated the property that the city brought from the Abbitt family is currently valued from his estimate at $1.5 million based on his home assessment. Therefore, if the city opted to move the pier, it would not be a financial burden to the city and may be a break even situation. He suggested two sites, which is the old Pier 1 site, and anywhere north of Point Comfort Avenue. He stated the city has land on three quarters of a mile of beach front that they own. He questioned why the city would want to encumber a neighborhood such as Chesapeake Landing or the land behind the proposed fishing pier which the city hopes to market as an upscale waterfront community overlooking a fishing pier and parking lot, as well as properties along Bay Shore Lane which is owned by Ms. Rene Riley. He wants to see upscale housing, but believed the proposed pier should be relocated to another site. Mr. James Robert Croft, 3 Lands End Circle, stated he previously lived at 3 Thimble Shoals Court in the Chesapeake Landing community. He gave the Commission some background information of what it was like to live near a fishing pier. He stated it would be a tremendous disservice to the residents to continue a noise nuisance and undesirable activity. He urged the Commission to take a closer look at whether or not they want people in the community to go back through the fishing pier issues that Hurricane Isabel has taken away. He stated after the pier was demolished by Isabel, it was nice, peaceful, and quiet. He and his wife could open their windows and listen to the surf and breathe in fresh air from April until October. He asked the Commission to consider the peoples investment and deny the application. In response to a question by Commissioner Thorstad, Mr. Croft stated the police were called when there was a problem and 30 or 45 minutes later, they would not respond. In response to a question by Commissioner Thorstad, Mr. Croft stated he felt it was his duty to call the police, but he was not going to call the Police Chief because of lack of response. He stated his residence was the closest, and there were four or five houses that would experience what he had experienced. In response to a question by Commissioner Thorstad, Mr. Croft stated his house was built in 1978. He stated there were times when the police did respond, but he believed they had more important things to do, and they got there after a lot of the activity had ended. Mr. Lacy Scoggin, 16 Thimble Shoals, stated it is important for the Commission to briefly look at the history of the area and see the changes that have occurred to determine what relevance it has on the application before them. He gave a brief history of the surrounding area near the fishing pier. He stated the pier was destroyed in September 2003 by Hurricane Isabel, and in view of all the changes that have occurred in the proposed area, it is time to take a fresh look at the proposal by the city. He stated there is an item that is extremely critical that is not on the Commissions agenda. The Chesapeake Landing Homeowner Association managed to get a hold of pertinent documents, including drawings for the pier, and particularly the proposed restaurant. The restaurant is to be a three story open third deck, serving liquor and food until 2:00 a.m., which is immediately adjacent to the neighborhood. The most logical thing to do is to place the pier as suggested, into the old Pier 1 location, which to his knowledge, did not have any problems when the restaurant was located there. He stated in regards to comments earlier regarding certain characteristics at the bottom of the bay that made fishing more likely than other spots, copies were obtained from the Corp of Engineers Surveyors regarding soundings in the area. In comparing it to the Pier 1 Restaurant, there was no difference that they could find in the soundings, so there is no benefit to be obtained. He stated this is a chance for the Commissions recommendation to create something that would make their neighborhood a good place to live on a continuing basis. He stated to put the pier and noisy restaurant next to them would certainly not be a good neighbor and grossly detrimental to their neighborhood. The city is back before the Commission because after Hurricane Isabel, the governor and his wisdom in terms of an executive order, would allow the city to rebuild the pier and complete it within certain time constraints, which the city did not meet. He stated now is the time to take a fresh look, and determine whether or not there is anything compelling to locate the proposed pier at its former location. He suggested to the Commission that it is not. He had the pleasure of serving on the Commission between 1969 and 1989, and in that context, he could not think of a worse idea at this juncture in changes that have occurred in putting the pier back where it was before. Mr. Joel Petery, 4 Thimble Shoals Court, stated based on last weeks planning session, it is apparent that the master plan for Buckroe Beach is a living document that is revolving and changing over time. He stated several of the homeowners participated in the sessions, and he believes as a group, they fully support the positive changes coming in Buckroe. They want to see the pier rebuilt, but they would like to see it built in the right location. He believes the right location is Pier 1. In an effort to move forward, he asked the Commission without being exactly site and size specific, could the pier location be adjusted anywhere on the 4,000 feet of the public beach that the city owns in range of 500 to 1,000 feet. If that would be possible, the homeowners would support the permit, but if not, they would object to rebuilding the pier at the proposed location. In addition to disturbances to the neighborhood, the city would also be building a parking lot in the coastal primary dune which is an environmental impact, and could potentially harm the bay. He believes the city should be setting an example, and not taking exceptions. Ms. Alice Callahan, 225 North 1st Street, President Elect of the Buckroe Civic Association, and District 6 Commissioner, stated the Buckroe Civic Association supports the proposal by Planning staff to rebuild the pier in the proposed location. The fishing pier has been an important landmark to Buckroe Beach for many years, and vital to the Buckroe Master Plan. She encouraged the Commission to move ahead with obtaining the permits for construction of the pier at the proposed site. She stated moving the pier to Pier 1 would affect many residents in that area, and would present the same problems that the neighborhood had before. It could also affect just as many people in terms of noise, etc. She stated at the public hearing several weeks ago, the Commission asked the Buckroe Civic Association and residents of Chesapeake Landing to get together to reach a compromise. Several attempts were made to meet with the Board, but there were several setbacks with the Chesapeake Landing community. The drawings she reviewed of the restaurant were not three stories with a flat surface on top. The most recent drawings she reviewed had pitched roofs which cannot have dancing and bands playing on the top of them. She encouraged the Commission to move forward with supporting the Use Permit. Chairman Young stated there have been two references to the restaurant, and he reiterated to everyone that the restaurant is not part of the Use Permit application. Mr. Scoggins stated his concern is that the restaurant can be built in C-1 without a Use Permit. This is the Commissions chance to impose a limitation on it. If the Commission feels the pier is necessary to be located where the old pier once was, the community would have to live with that, but the Commission can attach a condition that the restaurant would have to be located further north down the beach and some distance away from the residential area. Commissioner Wallace stated there is no restaurant involved in the proposed application. It is simply the replacement of a pier that was located on Buckroe Beach for many years, and that is what the proposed Use Permit addresses. It would be the operation of a fishing pier in the way it has always been operated. In response to clarification for Mr. Steve Moore, 18 Thimble Shoals Court, Commissioner Wallace stated there will not be a restaurant at the proposed location. Mr. Moore stated that is wonderful news, and he appreciates it, and hope there would be a condition to the Use Permit if the Commission decide to allow the pier to be built back. His concern is do we really want to see the right thing done. He stated the homeowners do not believe this is the right location to put a commercial fishing pier, which is next door to a residential area. He stated ultimately, if the Abbitt property is developed, the homeowners presume it is going to be upscale residential, and the fishing pier and parking lot is going to be in front of it. He stated the city owns 3,000 feet, but the residents do not want the proposed pier moved down to the old Pier 1, because that may create problems for people who live in that area. He stated Pier 1 is 1,000 feet from the nearest residents, and the city has the capability of going anywhere they want for the pier. A Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) permit would have to be obtained for the pier, a wetlands permit, and permit for the parking lot to be constructed on the beach, and the homeowners will fight it. He thanked the Commission for not having the restaurant, but he asked the Commission to do the right thing and put the pier in its appropriate location. Commissioner Wallace stated the proposed project is a result of community meetings which was the desire for the pier to be located in the proposed area. It is part of the Buckroe Master Plan to be located at the proposed site. The proposed pier replaces the pier that was destroyed by Hurricane Isabel and the operation would be the same. He reiterated that there is no restaurant involved with the proposed project. In response to a question by Commissioner McCloud, Commissioner Wallace stated all of the permits and legal documents at this point pertaining to the proposed location have been filed. In response to a question by Commissioner McCloud, Mr. ONeill stated in summary, the issue regarding the pier was a fairly long attractive conversation. When the discussions first began about the pier, City Council asked staff to explore this very issue regarding replacing the pier. Staff spent the better part of Spring 2004 after the pier was destroyed, at the beginning of the Buckroe Master Plan process, to put the question out there as part of the public agenda discussion for the Master Plan. There were suggestions about moving the pier, all of which have been presented, to additional comments about getting rid of the pier completely, and have Grandview be the place where you go to fish on a pier. Staff explored all of the options, involved the community in those conversations, and some of the suggestions about moving the pier north along the public beach, ran into opposition from recreational beach users. He stated those who participated in the conversations last week in the sessions know there is a great deal of ownership around the park and the beach, and moving the pier causes you to: 1) figure out how you deal with parking and access to a commercial pier; and 2) the pier would have to have a clear zone around it where there would be no swimming. When these issues were presented, people who use the public swimming area were opposed to the location. In short, there was an opposition group for every location that was on staffs list. The options presented and discussed in the end, and the decision through the Buckroe Master Plan process which involved the community was, it is not a perfect location, but putting it right back where it had historically been in the community was the best location. It has been staffs marching orders from City Council since that point to pursue replacing the pier at its historical location. In response to a question by Commissioner Smith, Commissioner Wallace stated it is his understanding that staff can put conditions into the operation of the contract. Commissioner Smith stated as far as constructing the pier back in Buckroe, he does not see that any one site is going to have any less points than any other site. He stated there are just as many people on the other side complaining that the pier needs to go back where it started. The only thing that he has seen as an option is that the city not build the pier for a number of years until Fort Monroe was settled, and look at putting the pier at the end of Dog Beach where there is a rip rap wall and no beach, and make it part of the recreational component of Fort Monroe. If the bridge never goes through, what the city has done is made it a function of Fort Monroe, and cut it off from Buckroe completely, and any economic benefits it would have would be restricted to Fort Monroe. Besides that, it would also be a long drive around Fort Monroe to get there. Commissioner Wallace stated the army is not scheduled to vacate Fort Monroe until the year 2011. Commissioner Smith stated that it would be a long time without a pier and there are a lot of people who would like to have a pier yesterday. In response to a question by Commissioner Thorstad, Commissioner Wallace stated he believed the pier was built before the 1940s, but he does not know when it began operating as a commercial fishing pier. In response to a question by Commissioner Thorstad, Commissioner Wallace stated it was a commercial fishing pier long before Chesapeake Landing homes were built. Chairman Young stated his primary concern, which addresses one of the speakers concerns is regarding the illicit activities that had occurred at the old pier. He does not see a positive or negative, pro or con relative to the location because the impact of the residential area is at both locations. It seems that there could be some operational conditions made to help control the illicit activities. Ms. Cynthia Hudson, City Attorney, stated imposing conditions on the operation might address some of the nuisance type concerns that have been expressed. In the current agreement the city has with the individual who was going to develop the proposed project, there were a number of conditions that would address the homeowners concerns (i.e. noise, security, music, etc.). Various other conditions can be imposed in any kind of operational agreement that the city can come up with as it pertains to operating the pier. In response to a question by Chairman Young, Ms. Hudson concurred that it can include maintenance of the pier. She stated the city can contract that maintenance be included in the document, and make sure it happens in such a fashion that it can be enforced by the city. All other city ordinances that apply that pertain to noise and various other matters that the residents have expressed concern about can also be put in place and enforced. Mr. Moore stated it would be an awfully nice document to have executed and for the Commission to be able to see. He stated we do not know who the operator is and this is a Use Permit to operate a pier. It is not going to be the city to operate the pier, and they would have to find an operator and enter into a contract. He commented to the Commission if they think it would be appropriate to see the document before they grant the Use Permit. Mr. Scoggins stated if the pier is to be replaced at its former location, what would be wrong with the Commission recommending to City Council that any future lease of the property preclude construction or operation of the restaurant in the future. Otherwise, the residents have no guarantee, even though Commissioner Wallace has stated there would be no restaurant. He stated one Council cannot bind another. A motion was made by Commissioner Ralph A. Heath, III, and seconded by Commissioner Andre McCloud to extend the Planning Commission public hearing past 6:00 p.m. A roll call vote on the motion resulted as follows: AYES: McCloud, Thorstad, Heath, Smith, Wallace, Sapp, Young NAYS: None ABST: None ABSENT: None Commissioner Sapp stated he has the most profound respect for the community process with as much time and effort that has been invested in going through the process and trying to decide what to do about the pier. It was a paradigm the community was carrying that they want back. He thought the historic summary that was given of how the pier has progressed from when it was put there (i.e., collocated with an amusement park, then the amusement park went away, then left with a pier that was originally designed to be operated in conjunction with commercial activity, and development constructed right next to it), and that was phase one of the transformation that has taken place. Now we are talking about further changing the nature of the neighborhood from small units, many of which are summer residences for people on vacation, to permanent residences for people, to make a significant investment in properties that will be their homes. It is a different nature of the neighborhood than what was there when the pier was first constructed on the site and what was there when the amusement park left. He stated there was further a sense of need to hurry because the city had the governor short term permission to go forth and rebuild the pier without permitting. That alone was a gift from heaven and the city did not want to by-pass it. A developer came along who was going to build the pier at no cost to the city, which was also good. Then there was the fishing hole that seem to drive the city to putting it there because that is where the big Croakers were located. In all of the things that has happened since then, the window has closed on the opportunities to take advantage of the governors short circuiting option. All of a sudden, there is no fishing hole, the developer is no longer wrapping around that deal, and this has compelled the city to put the pier back quickly where it is no longer in operation. He knows the army is not leaving until 2011, and nothing is certain about putting the bridge through from the north end of Fort Monroe into Buckroe, but all indications are that it makes sense. The Corp of Engineers has notified the city that if they do not see any significant barriers to permitting, a bridge could go over the wetlands. He stated it is duable and makes sense to make it a public accessible beach, and he cannot imagine something getting in the way of keeping it from happening. At the rate the city is going, 2011 will be before us before we know it, and he is not sure the pier will be built before then. Based on the change of the neighborhood, and everything that was discussed, he is compelled to oppose putting the pier back in the place that it is now. He believes the long range view is if we do wait, people will be disappointed, and he understands that. He advised the Commission not to approve the Use Permit, and put a pier in the right place in the not too distant future, as opposed to rushing into something and standing there looking at a monstrosity and wishing to move it 500 feet down the beach. He is compelled by the fact that people who want to leave it where it is, do not want it moved up to where they are located. In response to a question by Commissioner Thorstad, Mr. ONeill stated since the city is the applicant, they can act on the permit, defer it, or withdraw it. In response to a question by Commissioner McCloud, Mr. Wallace stated the city is prepared to go out on the street with an RFP for construction of the pier. In response to a question by Commissioner Smith, Mr. Wallace stated the city is still in negotiation with Mr. Boone, the proposed developer of the pier, but the city also plans to go out on the street with the RFP. Some talks will occur with Mr. Boone before the RFP is submitted. After discussion, the Commission approved the following resolution: WHEREAS: The Hampton Planning Commission has before it this day a request by the City of Hampton for a Use Permit to allow the construction of a commercial fishing pier; and WHEREAS: The subject property is located south of the Buckroe Beach Park and north of Fort Monroe on the Chesapeake Bay at the southern terminus of Resort Boulevard on LRSN12007408 and 13001556; and WHEREAS: The new pier would replace the Buckroe fishing pier destroyed by Hurricane Isabel; and WHEREAS: A Use Permit was granted for parcel LRSN 13001556, commonly known as the Old Abbott Property, on December 14, 2006; and WHEREAS: The Buckroe Master Plan, adopted by City Council in March, 2005, includes rebuilding the Buckroe Fishing Pier; and WHEREAS: The community has identified rebuilding the Buckroe Fishing Pier as a high priority; and WHEREAS: Five members of the public spoke against the application voicing concerns with the location of the pier being adjacent to existing and proposed residential uses; and WHEREAS: The President of the Buckroe Civic Association voiced the associations support of returning the pier to this location; and WHEREAS: Two members of the Planning Commission voiced an opinion of wanting to move forward with the fishing pier as an implementation of the Buckroe Master Plan and a community asset; and WHEREAS: Three members of the Planning Commission question the appropriateness of this particular site given the changes in character of this section of the Buckroe Neighborhood since the pier was originally built, the proximity of the proposed pier to residential uses, and the need to review other possible locations for the fishing pier. NOW, THEREFORE, on a motion by Commissioner Jesse Wallace, and seconded by Commissioner Charles Sapp, BE IT RESOLVED that the Hampton Planning Commission does recommend to the City Council approval of Use Permit Application No. 1015. A roll call vote on the motion resulted as follows: AYES: McCloud, Heath, Wallace NAYS: Thorstad, Smith, Sapp, Young ABST: None ABSENT: None Motion failed NOW, THEREFORE, on a motion by Commissioner Timothy B. Smith, and seconded by Commissioner Amy Thorstad, BE IT RESOLVED that the Hampton Planning Commission does recommend to the City Council denial of Use Permit Application No. 1015. 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