Va. Beach says rumor of plans to develop Rudee Loop ‘not really accurate’

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — City leaders in Virginia Beach are looking to clear up a rumor they have plans to develop Rudee Loop.

The city said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that a rumor they are planning to develop the Rudee Loop is “not really accurate.” This comes after some people took to social media with the hashtag #SaveRudeeLoop.

The city said in the post it’s clear more parks and green space are needed based on more than 1,300 survey responses.

Two months ago, the city asked members of the public for comment on an update to its Resort Area Strategic Action Plan — which acts as a guide to development and public works initiatives.

Rudee Loop was identified as the top priority for green space in the public survey and a June workshop, according to the city’s Facebook post.

The city’s current vision for the 10-acre Rudee Loop site isn’t green money, but green space. Two city leaders, one retired, envision a people’s park.

10 On Your Side met up with City Councilwoman Rosemary Wilson and former City Planning Director Barry Frankenfield to talk about why preserving Rudee Inlet is so important, though not everyone agrees.

“It has to do with active places for children to play, for adults for entertainment and special events,” Frankenfield said. “We want them to just enjoy the open space, and enjoy the fishing, surfing. It has to do with everything that everybody likes to do here,” Councilwoman Wilson said. “Once everything is developed, give us a year to raise the money for this plan. The people have spoken, let’s make it happen.”

In a June survey that is part of the Resort Area Strategic Action Plan, residents stated what they wanted. “The plan has many court activities, tennis, basketball, entertainment areas,” Frankenfield said.

What’s interesting about this is the high profile plans in the past dealt with economic development (hotels, restaurants, shops and a mall), but not this time.

Not everyone agrees. Charles Petty sees a need for dog parks and skate parks as much as he sees a need for hotels, economic development, generated taxes. “There should be case for a restaurant, mall, shops. There should be upscale condos, a nice hotel, and still accommodate all the things … Virginia Beach needs tax money.”

“Virginia Beach is a destination. Not just for hotels, they come here for the experience,” Wilson said.

William William was fishing in Rudee Inlet. “Name so nice they named me twice,” he told us with a big friendly grin. “I have been here 80 years, so I know all the places we use to fish. They have built up so much there are only so many places you can go. This here at Rudee Inlet is one of the last places that we have right now to go fishing.”

Frankenfield sums it up this way: “This has to do with active places for children, for adults, for entertainment, special events, just enjoying the open space. The fishing, surfing it has to do with everything that everybody likes to do here.”

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