This afternoon Virginia Beach's Resort Advisory Commission (RAC) held it's July meeting.
The first topic was the the Lighthouse Center, the services center for the homeless. The City is looking to build a new, larger building for it in the Resort Area. The current structure was designed for the single homeless, while over 40% of our current homeless population is families with children. The new building would be more than triple the size of the current facility and would seek to be an one-stop service center for the homeless, with different government agency representatives under the same roof.
Tailing off of that, the Oceanfront Enhancement Committee (OEC) is looking to see if labor services can work through the new facility to help the homeless get work. The pilot program of parking meters to collect money for homeless services is tentatively looking at putting meters in the periphery of the Boardwalk, starting at 16th Street and moving northward.
The Plan/Design Review Committee (PDRC) is looking at the issue of advertising on the canopies of sidewalk cafes. Some businesses in the Resort Area appear to have advertising that is in violation of sign ordinances.
During July and August we're going to be auditing garbage collected on the beach. Yes, auditing garbage. The idea is to find out how much of our trash is recyclable. Recycling is not only more environmentally-friendly, but cheaper than sending it to a landfill.
Representatives from the adjacent neighborhood and the Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) were present to discuss safety on the Norfolk Avenue bike path. The good news is that the incidents appear to be largely isolated to a single location (in the periphery of the Atlantis Apartments) and a particular time of day (between 10 P.M. and Midnight). The even better news is that, since the culprits seemingly are using brush on City property (i.e. the former Norfolk Southern Right-Of-Way) to ambush people, the City can legally clear cut the brush. There will be an attempt to organize a follow-up meeting among stakeholders.
Finally, residents wishing to go to the Resort Area for Fourth of July fireworks may park in the convention center parking lots for free. However, there will be no shuttle, so you will need to walk up 19th Street.