The Lynnhaven Boat
Ramp and Beach Facility is a clean, safe, popular recreational facility at the
mouth of the Lynnhaven River on the Chesapeake Bay.
This facility served 154,837 boaters, fishermen, and beachgoers in 2011,
including residents of the adjacent Ocean
Park neighborhood. The
River is a model for
river clean-up. Over 40% is open to
oyster harvesting after decades of pollution prohibiting shellfish harvesting,
thanks to citizen/city initiatives. The river is enjoyed by thousands of residents
who boat, fish, and swim in its waters.
The City of Virginia Beach is planning to place a permanent dredge materials
transfer station at the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility as part of a
plan to provide Neighborhood Dredging for 2500 homeowners in the western branch
of the Lynnhaven River. The plan involves dredging muck from
neighborhoods along the western branch of the Lynnhaven, transporting it up to
10 miles to the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility by barge, and offloading
it to 15-ton dump trucks. Then the muck will be trucked through the boat ramp parking lot, across the
crosswalk between the bathhouse and the beach access boardwalk, through the Ocean Park
neighborhood, and east across the Lesner
Bridge. Trucks will
continue south through Great Neck
Road past several schools, and on to a disposal
area near Oceana approximately 20 miles away. Those homeowners in neighborhoods
receiving the dredging at their properties will pay extra tax via a Special
Services District, and will see increased property values. However they don’t
want the dredge transfer and truck hauling in their neighborhoods. All
taxpayers in Virginia Beach
will bear some of the total costs. Those homeowners in the adjacent Ocean Park
neighborhood will see decreased property values and a decline in quality of
life. Damage to the Lynnhaven River, its oyster beds and other marine life is
possible, however the City of Virginia
Beach has not done environmental studies to assess
The City of Virginia Beach claims
that neighborhood dredging is needed to reopen navigable waterways and to
improve water quality. The City of Virginia
Beach currently is responsible for the main public
channels, keeping those waterways navigable. Neighborhoods desiring dredging to
their own properties should do so privately and at their own expense. There is
no evidence that water quality will improve from dredging. Water quality will
improve if and when the root causes of the pollution are curtailed: stormwater runoff
containing fertilizers and other chemicals, and pet waste, and boat discharge. Without
environmental studies, the claim of improving water quality from dredging is
If this plan is
approved, pleasure boats, kayakers, and paddle-boarders will share the channel with
the loaded & unloaded 48 ft barges many times a day. Cars, trailered boats
and pedestrians will share the parking lot and roads with 15-ton dump trucks
making 30-50 round-trips per day – approximately one truck every 5-10 minutes.
These are serious safety issues.
imperative that the citizens who use the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility,
the citizens who live in the adjacent Ocean
Park neighborhood, and the communities
of Shore Drive
speak out in opposition to the Dredge Materials Transfer Station plan of the
City of Virginia Beach.
UNDERSIGNED, oppose the City of Virginia
Beach plan to place a permanent or temporary dredge
spoils transfer site at the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility.
We believe the
proposed location at the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility, would adversely
impact the safety and quality of life as described in the City of Virginia Beach Report of January 2012 prepared by the Beaches
and Waterways Commission. Impact assessments from this report are alarming, when the Commission specifically states
that Crab Creek will “have issues
associated with barge travel and there are concerns for safety and the
industrialization of a serene natural area.” We also believe that the potential harm to the Lynnhaven River, the marine life and commercial
oyster beds has not been fully assessed. To date, We are not aware of any
recent environmental studies that the City of Virginia Beach can use to substantiate the
claim of improvement to water quality as a result of the proposed dredging.
We believe that the
placement of a Dredge Materials Transfer Site at the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and
Beach Facility is inconsistent with the City of Virginia
Beach Shore Drive Beautification Plan, the City of Virginia Beach’s concept
of a gateway to the resort area, and
with the Pleasure House Point preservation plan. It is inconsistent with the
agreement between the City of Virginia
Beach and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission
which funded the construction of the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility.
The agreement specified requirements for recreational use only. It is also
inconsistent with the City of Virginia
Beach Comprehensive Plan which designates and
describes the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility as a park and recreational
We believe that the
City of Virginia Beach
has fiduciary responsibilities to all citizens. It is wrong for the City of Virginia Beach to give
privilege to 2500 property owners at the expense of the 154,837 annual visitors
to the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility and the hundreds of property
owners in the Ocean Park Community. And it is wrong for the city to “cost
share” a project that will benefit some citizens, and harm others.
We ask that Virginia
Beach City Council and the Mayor direct the City of Virginia Beach Public Works Department and
the Beaches and Waterways Commission to:
This petition will be
mailed in snail and e-mail format to City of Virginia Beach Mayor and City
Council members, members
Beaches and Waterways
Commission. If you support our efforts to save the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and
Beach Facility, please add your signature to the list attached. Thank you.
The users of the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility and the Residents of the adjacent Ocean Park Community want to save the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility from Industrial use.
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