VB civic league concerned about plans for empty lot

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — There is a community meeting scheduled to happen in two weeks that centers around a piece of land in Virginia Beach.

The 4.5-acre land sits at the corner of Warwick Drive and Holland Road in the Scarborough Square neighborhood.

Neighbors are opposed to certain development there. They’ve been fighting against it for more than 10 years.

“We knew it was going to come back up again,” said Scarborough Square Civic League President Lyn Henry.

There have been plans for the open space near her home since 2007.

Back then Race Co. wanted to build a gas station, car wash and convenience store.

The neighborhood fought against it and those plans died.

But video from a November 2017 city council meeting shows the development request didn’t go away.

“They have been steadfast in their desire to be not just a good neighbor, a great neighbor and a good corporate citizens in our city,” said Attorney Eddie Bourdon of his client, Sams Real Estate.

They were then asking council to approve an application to change the use of the land.

Bourdon showed plans for the space and said the company agreed to rebuild the community sign, add landscaping, and even restrict business for the car wash and gas station it wanted there.

There was show of force from the neighborhood opposing the plan. 11 different residents spoke out.

Council’s reaction was mixed.

“Just because there is a gas station or other car washes in proximity is not a reason for disqualification,” Bob Dyer said.

After a lengthy discussion, council voted to indefinitely defer the vote on the permit.

But now news of a community meeting means some development plan is still in play.

Henry told 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings she’s concerned about increased traffic and potential crime.

“This is the entrance to our neighborhood. So anything that comes in here is going to directly affect us,” Henry said.

Sams has purchased the land, which means within zoning rules they can build without approval.

Henry doesn’t know yet what’s planned, but wants to make sure that whatever ends up there won’t have a negative impact on their community.

“We’d love for it to be something community related. A youth center. We would love a church, a bank. something that has regular business hours that’s not going to cause a whole lot of traffic,” she said.

That community meeting is scheduled to happen on March 14 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Green Run Elementary.

Councilwoman Shannon Kane said she plans to have several members of city staff and a representative from Sams there to answer questions for neighbors.

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