This afternoon Virginia Beach's Resort Advisory Commission (RAC) held it's June meeting. Despite a long agenda, the meeting lasted only about 70 minutes.
There were two Presentations to the RAC. First was on the Laskin Road Gateway project (CIP 2-043), the four-phase $28.42 million plan to transform the roads, utility lines, and sidewalks around the Laskin Road entrance to the Resort Area. The Presentation was by Barry Frankenfield, who will officially become Strategic Growth Areas Manager on July 1. The second was on the Noise Ordinance enacted by City Council on May 12. The Ordinance is effectively an interim ordinance, enacted when the Virginia Supreme Court struck down the previous Noise Ordinance as too vague. The new Ordinance will be reviewed and probably amended at the end of the Summer, based on this season's events.
The RAC was asked to begin to think about taking positions on offshore energy options, with Commissioners asked what additional Presentations they would wish. The RAC may hear Presentations from Dominion Virginia Power and Virginia Natural Gas at it's July meeting, a session that will be attended by the City's chief lobbyist, Bob Matthias.
Speaking of Matthias, the RAC's committees were asked to prepare submissions for the 2010 Community Legislative Package.
Resort Administrator Mike Eason informed Commissioners that a number of properties in the Resort Area are beginning the process of being redeveloped, the first fruits of the Resort Area Strategic Action Plan.
RAC Chairman Ken Taylor asked Commissioners if they wished to keep the July meeting on the planned date of July 2, and no objections were made. The RAC normally meets on the 1st Thursday of the month at 3 P.M., and each year someone inevitably complains about the RAC meeting as Resort Area businesses are gearing up for the Fourth of July holiday. (Therefore, I wouldn't chisel that July 2 date in stone even after today's decision to not move the meeting.)
The RAC was told that talks were "close" to allowing horse riding at Fort Story during the Summer. The same company operates along the Resort Area beach in the off-season, but safety concerns (i.e. horses in proximity of that many tourists) have led the City to not permit rides there during the Summer.
After a hiatus of several months, Bob O'Connor attended today's RAC meeting. Also present was former City Councilman Jim Reeve.