The District 5 Report for June 2015 is designed to keep you informed of local activities and government actions that might impact your family, home and neighborhood.* Crime Watch information is included as an addition to your neighborhood Crime Watch Program. Comments and questions are always welcome. I greatly appreciate your help in disseminating the report to other residents in our community.
Chairman and District 5 Representative
York County Board of Supervisors
Home (757) 868-8591
Cell (757) 604-3079
------District 5 and Crime Watch Report June 2015*------
- Crime Watch Report
- Transportation Updates
- Questions from Residents
- Board of Supervisors Actions
1. Crime Watch Report
a. In analyzing Sheriff crime reports in and around District 5 over the past five months, I can state with confidence that we live in a pretty safe area. The murder case in January near Windy Shores that involved the shooting death of a minor is an anomaly for York County. Two individuals involved in the case, one from the Greenlands neighborhood, are facing numerous felony counts. The case is in the hands of our Commonwealth Attorney. Other reported crimes of importance over the past five months are:
(1) Champions Path in Woods of Tabb, a neighbor noticed a stranger opening a neighbor’s car and called 911. The Sheriff’s Office caught the individual after a foot chase. This led to charges of not only tampering with a vehicle but also obstructing justice.
(2) Lake Dale Way in Woodlake Crossing, an individual accidently shot himself. The individual was charged with reckless handling of a firearm.
(3) Home break-in occurred on Collington Run in the Victory Estates subdivision. Resident called 911 and reported hearing someone rummaging around downstairs at 3:30 a.m. Entry into the home was through the garage. Several days later a 19 year old male suspect was charged with the break-in.
(4) Home burglary in Tabb Lakes subdivision. The glass on rear door of house was shattered. Electronic equipment was taken. The investigation is ongoing.
(5) A neighborhood reported possible drug use by three individuals sitting in a parked car in the Meadowlake Farms subdivision. The Sheriff’s Office responded and issued citation for possession of Marijuana and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
(6) A women suspected of shoplifting at the WalMart on Route 17 was followed to her car and confronted by deputies. In an attempt to escape, the woman backed up her car at a high rate of speed nearly hitting a deputy. She escaped the scene but law enforcement had the license plate number. She was later arrested and charged with reckless driving. This was a third offense, which makes it a felony.
(7) A resident on Creek Terrace off of Lambs Creek Drive reported coming home from vacation to find that the home had been broken into. The burglar forced open a living room window. A 33 year old male suspect has been charged with breaking and entering.
(8) A car was broken into on Kinnakeet Run. The owner reported that $60 was taken from a purse. There were no marks on the car. This indicates that the car was left unlocked.
(9) A window was broken out of a car parked on Saint Clair Circle in the Belmont Apartments. The owner reported that his wallet was removed from the car.
(10) The Tabb Exxon at the corner of Big Bethel and Hampton Highway was broken into after store closing. Video captured the incident and a 15 year old has been charged in the case.
(11) We are seeing more and more panhandlers in York County. The Sheriff’s Office believes the increase is due to more aggressive policing in the surrounding cities. The Sheriff’s Office will issue citations for panhandling when such actions becomes too blatant or aggressive. Recently, an individual was cited for panhandling in Washington Square.
b. Domestic violence is an ugly situation in any household. Sometimes the violence can turn deadly. Normally, I do not publish reports on domestic violence because such activity is internal to the household and the Sheriff’s Office is really good at handling such cases. However, due to the number of domestic violence cases we are seeing throughout the County, I thought it appropriate to point out a few things. Domestic violence cases occur in all neighborhoods regardless of wealth. When a domestic violence report is received, the responding deputy will assess the situation and arrest the aggressor. The remaining spouse will receive guidance for contacting social service and court action as required.
a. June 9th Primary Elections. This is an election year for all 15 local government positions in York County. This includes the Board of Supervisors, School Board, Commonwealth Attorney, Sheriff, Treasurer, Commissioner of the Revenue and Clerk of the Court. Also, our state senators, delegates and the Soil and Water Directors will be up for election. Before the November 3rd General Election there will be a state-run primary on June 9th. Since the residents of Virginia do not register by political party as is the case in some states, the Primary on June 9th is open to all registered voters in York County. You will vote at the precinct listed on your voter registration card. The deadline to register to vote in the June 9th Primary was May 18th. You can verify your voter registration by going online to www.yorkcounty.gov and under “Government Services,” selecting “Voter Registration.” For additional information, call the Registrar’s Office at 890-3440 or visit the website, www.yorkcounty.gov/voting.
The York County and City of Poquoson Clerk of the Court position is the only local government contested position that will be listed on the June 9th ballot for the Republican Primary in District 5. There are two candidates running for the Clerk of Court seat. They are Kristen Nelson and Tu Ritter. I, along with Senator Norment, Sheriff Diggs, Delegate Helsel and Commonwealth Attorney Ben Hahn are endorsing Kristen Nelson for the Clerk of the Court position. Mrs. Nelson has served in the Clerk of the Court office for18 years, was the Deputy Clerk of the Court and in August 2015 was appointed by 3 judges to serve as the interim clerk when the previous clerk resigned. Kristen Nelson has served the public well and is the right choice for the Clerk of the Court position.
b. I want to thank everyone for the tremendous support during my candidate petition drive, which has allowed me to stand for election as the District 5 representative on the York County Board of Supervisors. I greatly appreciated your willingness to sign my petitions. Since I am unopposed in the primary election, I will not be listed on the June 9th Primary ballot. I will be listed on the November 3rd General Election ballot. Again, thank you for the support. It is an honor and privilege to represent the citizens of York County.
c. The French ship L’Hermione is scheduled to arrive at the Yorktown pier on the morning of June 5th. Lafayette’s reconstructed ship Hermione set sail from France on April 18th. The President of France and U.S. Ambassador were present for the sendoff. Yorktown will be its first port of call for the ship in the U.S. The $31 million dollar 18th century warship will be docked in Yorktown until June 7th. The county has launched a website dedicated to the ship’s visit – www.HermioneYorktown.com. The site contains information about the history of the ship, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Yorktown, as well as a schedule of events, shopping and dining information, and more. For more information about the ship’s visit call the public information office at 890-3300.
d. NASA gate closure. Starting May 1, the NASA Gate to Langley AFB will only be opened from 0600-0900 & 1500-1800. This is an indefinite change, and isn't expected to change. The change to the gate schedule is not a surprise in light of funding limitations. Recently, the Joint Base Langley-Ft. Eustis Commander stated that the Langley AFB King Street and the LaSalle Avenue gates would soon be opened on a limited basis in the evenings. The NASA gate on Commander Shepard and the Langley AFB gate on Armistead will be the only gates opened 24 hours/7 days a week.
e. Outstanding Youth Awards. The winners of the 2015 Outstanding Youth Awards were selected by representatives from the York County Youth Commission, Board of Supervisors and School Board. Each winner received a Jefferson Cup with the County’s logo, a resolution of congratulations from the Board of Supervisors, and a $500 scholarship. The winners are:
1. Community Service Award – Hannah Speight, a junior at Tabb High School
2. Compassion Award – Julia Smith, a senior at Tabb High School
3. Courage Award – Kourtney Warr, a senior at Grafton High School
4. Overall Achievement – Megan Crow, a senior at Tabb High School
We are very proud of your youth.
a. Potholes. This past winter was really tough on our neighborhood streets. Potholes seem to be popping up everywhere and VDOT is struggling to keep up. You can help VDOT with their repair efforts by reporting the location of potholes and other transportation related problems. Here are four options for reporting roadway issues. (1) Call the VDOT Williamsburg Residency Office at 757-253-5138. (2) Call the VDOT Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-800-367-7623. (3) Go online to the VDOT Report a Road Problem site at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/citizen.asp and submit a work request. (4) Send an email to me at email@example.com and I will contact VDOT Williamsburg Residency Administrator.
b. Widening of Victory Boulevard. Nope! Not yet. The good news is that Victory Boulevard will be included in the Hampton Roads 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan. Getting Victory Boulevard included in the 2040 Plan is quite an accomplishment. It took support from the Cities of Poquoson, Hampton, Newport News, York County, NASA and the Langley-Ft. Eustis Command to make it happen. I, along with Mayor Hunt of Poquoson, solicited the support of the Virginia Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Veteran Affairs. The bad news is that Victory Boulevard did not receive the highest priority for Primary Road funding from the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization. To put Victory Boulevard into perspective for funding, projects such as improvements to I-264 in Norfolk, Rte. 17 (not the current construction project) in York County and improvements to US60 near Ft Eustis are just some of the major road projects that received higher priority. Now that the 2040 plan has identified the prioritized road projects in Hampton Roads, the next step will be to develop a financial plan. Once done, we will have a better idea as to when Victory Boulevard can be widened.
c. Wythe Creek Road. I was informed by the City Manager of Hampton that adjustments to the Wythe Creek Road Project have now put the Project within available funding. This means that an environmental study and preliminary engineering can begin once the project contract is awarded. The Project will include the building of a new elevated causeway. I am uncertain if the project will include a traffic light at the intersection of Wythe Creek Road and Carys Chapel Road. The schedule for the Wythe Creek Road Project has not been established.
d. Mowing of VDOT Roads. According to VDOT, a contractor will begin mowing the shoulders and medians of our primary and secondary roads on June 10th.
4. Questions from Residents
a. Question: Why is Dominion not also removing the ash mountain that it is building here? The ash mountain that your board approved a few years ago, over my fervent protests? Maybe only because we have a "mountain" rather than a "pond"? Surely, if Dominion can remove its other dangerous sites, it can remove this one too -- before it ends up the Chesapeake Bay, which some members of your board are trying so hard to protect.
Response: The Yorktown Power Station Fly Ash disposal area is an engineered structural fill where slightly moistened fly ash is deposited in a controlled manner over an impermeable base (liner) that includes a complex leachate collection system. The material is placed in the facility in “lifts” that are compacted to an extent that the surface of the fill, once covered and graded with a soil cover, would be capable of supporting building construction. Because the Yorktown Power Station’s coal burning units have been operating only as a “peak load” facility, the quantity of fly ash byproduct needing to be disposed of has not exceeded the capacity of the fill area that has been in use since the 1980s and Dominion has not found it necessary to begin filling on top (building the mountain) as was proposed in the Special Use Permit application approved several years ago. Given that the two coal-fired units are scheduled to be retired no later than April 2017, all indications are that the “mountain” will not be needed.
b. Question: Hi, Tom--I have noticed a few flashing yellow arrows for left turns here in the county and in N. News. This is a big trend nationwide, actually (I travel a lot) and I am glad to see it here. Any chance we could get a flashing yellow at the intersection of Victory and Caltrop Neck? I feel so unsafe as I sit at the red light waiting to turn left onto Caltrop Neck, with no oncoming traffic, and people whizzing past me on the right at 55 mph.
Response: The VDOT Resident Administrator tells me the intersection is under review as part of a Region-wide left turn phasing review.
I received several inquiries concerning the development of the Big Woods along Victory Boulevard in Poquoson. Mid-Atlantic has submitted a plan to develop a subdivision near City Hall and behind the Woods of Tabb neighborhood. The new subdivision will consist of apartments, townhouses, detached homes, cottages, and a pool area. Total housing is just over 500 units. The York County Board of Supervisors submitted a letter to the Poquoson City Council stating its plan to close off Champions Path, which runs through the Woods of Tabb neighborhood and not would serve as alternative entrance and exit for the new Poquoson subdivision. Two aspects of the new subdivision are attention getters. First, the proposed apartments along Victory would be 4-stories high and could have a setback of just 25-feet. Second, the estimated traffic to and from the new neighborhood would be about 5,600 trips a day. If Champions Path were to be connected to the new subdivision, I estimate the traffic through Wood of Tabb would increase to between 1,000 and 2,000 trips per day. This would be an unacceptable increase in traffic for any neighborhood.
Concerning the 7-acre cleared area north of Victory Boulevard across from Poquoson City Hall. This area is also part of the Big Woods. I’ve been told by the Poquoson City Manager that the City’s Economic Development Authority has established a contingency agreement with a developer that specializes in mall development. At this point, the developer has not submitted plans for the area. I’ve heard rumors about a WalMart development on the property but again, at this time the City has received no indication of any development whatsoever.
6. Board of Supervisors Actions.
a. Approved Application No. UP-853-15 authorizing a Special Use Permit for a electrical contractor’s office as a home occupation with non-resident employees on 1.05 acres of land.
b. Authorized the County Administrator to accept $2,113,428 in funding from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to implement the housing choice vouchers program in York County. The program provides rental subsidy for low-income residents. The County has operated the rental subsidy program since 1979.
c. Approved a concession services agreement at the Sports Complex. The new five year contract will result in the County receiving 12.5% of the gross revenue.
d. Approved Application No. UP-856-15 authoring a Special Use Permit for a home occupation mead production business. Mead is an alcohol drink made by fermenting honey and water. The business will be located in the Seaford area.
e. Authorized the County Administrator to execute a lease agreement with Yorktown Sailing Charters, LLC for the berthing of the schooners Alliance and Serenity at the Yorktown piers. Yorktown Sailing Charters, LLC will pay $1,300 per month for the berthing. The 105-foot Alliance has three masts and the 65-foot Serenity has two masts. The two schooners have been plying the waters around Historic Yorktown since 2005.
f. Authorized the purchase of new voting machines at a cost of $232,095.
g. Authorized the renaming of the York County Sports Complex. The complex will be renamed the James “Mac” O. McReynolds Sports Complex. Mr. McReynolds passed away suddenly on October 19, 2014 (Yorktown Day). Mac, at his death, was York’s longest serving administrator and had been with the County for over 35 years. He was instrumental in the successful development of the Sports Complex.
h. Authorized the hiring of Mr. Neil A. Morgan to be the County Administrator. Previously, Mr. Morgan was the City Manager for the City of Newport News and is well known throughout Hampton Roads for his administration and leadership skills. He was selected from a list of 106 applicants. Mr. Morgan will assume the Administrator’s job on June 15th.
i. Approved the Fiscal Year 2016 budget and tax rates for York County. The General Fund Budget is $133.4 million and the real estate tax rate remains at $0.7515 per $100 of value. This means your real estate taxes for the year will remain the same as last year. New real estate tax assessments will be mailed to you in December 2015.
j. Approved Application No. UP-859-15 to authorize a Special Use Permit for a video arcade and an outdoor commercial amusement center (miniature golf course and go-karts) on 3.6 acres on Route 17 near Washington Square. The electric powered go-karts create almost no noise.
So, how does York County compare with other Hampton Roads and Peninsula governments? Our tax rate is the third lowest of 13 local governments. York County has the second fewest number of employees per 1,000 residents. When you exclude roads and education, York County has the lowest per capita cost of any local government. Over 45% of the County’s budget is allocated for schools and the allocation jumps to 68% when you add in our fire department and law enforcement. What makes the low taxes and conservative budgeting standout is that our school system is one of the best in Virginia. Out of over 134 school systems, York County is only one of 22 that are fully accredited. We have the number one ranked high school in Hampton Roads and two of our high schools are ranked in the top 400 out of 27,000 high schools in the nation. Our crime rate is low and the quality of life throughout the County is the envy of many.
* Comments and opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the position of other members of the York County Board of Supervisors. If you wish to obtain comments from members of the Board of Supervisors, please visit the York County website at http://www.yorkcounty.gov. Supervisor contact information is located on the website under the title "County Government." Homeowner Associations are encouraged to use portions of this report in preparing their association newsletters. All email correspondence to and from this address is subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and to the Virginia Public Records Act, which may result in monitoring and disclosure to third parties, including law enforcement.