VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — They say good fences make good neighbors, but a fence the Navy installed at the north end of the beach has made for angry neighbors.
They used to be able to walk the beach in front of Fort Story, despite some no-trespassing signs. Then the fence went up and it became the end of the line for beach walkers.
A portion of the fence is damaged, so crews were taking it down late Friday morning.
It’s been up for less than a year, but portions of the chain link, the barbed wire on top and the support posts were beginning to fail. With special ops training and the use of explosive ordnance nearby, the Navy erected the fence for safety and security reasons.
“I’m sure the Navy has its own good reasons for putting up a fence,” said Roger Schultz, who’s lived in the neighborhood with his wife Bev for about 30 years. “But It’s a pity because the beach is lovely here and we used to love walking it.”
The fence extends anywhere from about 50 to 100 feet into the ocean depending on the tide. Locals say the barrier changed the whole vibe of taking a stroll by the surf.
Ellen Zito and her husband Larry were enjoying the sun, the low humidity and a gentle Friday breeze, but not the fence.
“We’re caged in! You go and take a walk and you meet this wall and you can’t go any further.”
The Zitos and the Schultzes watched with other beach goers as workers removed the damaged portion of the fence. The Navy says it will be back in place in the coming weeks.