Residents in Virginia Beach’s Acredale community concerned after new construction

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Residents in a Virginia Beach community said they’re concerned after some new construction started in their neighborhood.

The issue came to light after a plat of land was split into two lots and a new home was built.

Homeowners tell 10 On Your Side part of the charm of living in Acredale is that the neighborhood is spread out and doesn’t have your typical city atmosphere. 

They don’t want to lose that, so now they’re fighting to keep subdivision of lots from happening again in the future.  

It was a packed room for the Kempsville Civic League meeting. A few dozen residents came to listen to their options after a new home was built in the neighborhood. 

“There was a home that subdivided their lot and there are questions as to whether or not that was permissible and why that didn’t get brought to city council,” said City Councilwoman Jessica Abbott.

“This is a very special place. It’s unique to Virginia Beach itself and to see that happen without us knowing about it or being able to speak about it is something we’re concerned with because we care about the neighborhood,” said homeowner Casey Staidl.

The lots in Acredale are zoned R-15, meaning you need at least 15,000 square feet to subdivide a lot. Other criteria also applies. According to the city, the landowner was able to subdivide it “by right” and didn’t have to get council approval. 

“It just means you don’t have to go through the planning process, do you have a natural right to do that to your property,” Abbott said.

Acredale residents are now considering petitioning for a historical overlay, which would classify the area as a special district. 

“We have to find a qualifier, what makes the area historically significant? It could be a building or buildings that make it significant, they can be an event. It can be a cultural significance,” Abbott said.

There is a home in the area that was built in 1877, but getting that historical overlay could result in certain restrictions for residents.

“What would that come with? I know we have a lot of residents who like their home, they like their freedom, they like to do what they want to do, myself included. We have to do more research,” Staidl said.

We’re told of the lots that are in Acredale, only six of them could be subdivided “by right.”

However, some residents said they still want to protect the neighborhood from subdivisions that could also happen with city approval. 

We’ll continue to follow this story and let you know what happens. 

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