Sunday, March 22, 2020

York County District 5 Report and Crime Watch Update - March 2020

Dear Neighbors, 

The purpose of the District 5 Report is to keep you up to date on activities in and around our area.  Residents and homeowner associations are encouraged to share the information with others in their communities.  For those who do not receive the report, I will gladly add you to the distribution list upon request to either or  Please include your name and address in the request.  Comments and questions are always welcome.  You can reach me at the phone numbers and email addresses listed below my name.*

 I greatly appreciate your help in disseminating the report to other residents of our communities.





Thomas G. Shepperd, Jr.

District 5 Representative

York County Board of Supervisors


(C) 757-903-1875

(H) 757-868-8591


…………………………………………………………..March 2020 District 5 Report and Crime Watch Update……………………………………………


1.  Announcements  and Comments:


a.  Writing about County services, Board of Supervisors actions, road projects, crimes and other related activities within our county seems trivial in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, while most of us are hunkered down to avoid getting infected and spreading the disease, life still goes on around us.  Eventually, we will come out of this crisis and return to a normal routine.  We will win the war against COVID-19 but it is going to be a while before claiming victory. 


The current battle is to reduce the rate of infection. You have heard and read about flattening the curve.  The curve simply refers to the rate of infection.  Italy is a prime example of what can happen if the rate of infection gets out of control. COVID-19 is highly contagious, has a high mortality rate and there is no vaccine.  This means that hospitals can quickly become overwhelmed to a point where there just aren’t enough beds, medical supplies and personnel to treat everyone.   As one doctor put it, it’s easier to treat 20,000 patients in a year than 20,000 in a month.  To learn more about the facts, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at or the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) at The VDH site shows the spread of COVID-19 across Virginia.


The York County Staff is coordinating COVID-19 action with local, state and federal agencies on a daily basis.  However, public access to County offices is limited in an effort to reduce COVID-19 exposure.   Office closures and meeting cancellations are updated regularly on the County’s website at  York County office phone numbers can be found at


What to do if you think you have COVID-19?  Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.  If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are having symptoms, call your doctor for medical advice.  Remember, there is no treatment for COVID-19.  Keep away from other people and animals in the home by staying in a specific room. Use a separate bathroom.  Avoid sharing personal household items and wash your hands often.  If your illness gets worse and you are having difficulty breathing, call 911 and notify the dispatcher that you have or may have COVID-19.  Emergency warning signs for COVID-19 may include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away, confusion, or bluish lips or face.


b.  Recycling Problems:  Just over a year ago, China restricted 57 types of waste materials from entering its country.  This had a dramatic negative impact on the recycling business in the United States and many recycling companies are now struggling to survive.  The market change has led to an increase in the cost for curbside collection, which many municipalities cannot afford.  York County is continuing its recycling program.  One of the big ways we can help address the market change and possibly save on future fees is to ensure that only the correct materials go into the recycling bin.  Identifying the correct materials is not as simple as one might think.


We all know of the four types of acceptable materials.  They are (1) paper and cardboard, (2) plastic bottles and jugs, (3) glass bottles and jars, and (4) metal cans.  You probably are not aware of the exceptions.  For example, paper cannot be shredded or have been in contact with food, i.e. pizza boxes.  In fact, pizza boxes (lids too) are automatically removed by the company and thrown away.  For plastics, the container must have a neck. This means that the plastic containers that hold greens, tomatoes, cookies, etc, cannot be recycled even though they are marked with a number 1 or 2.  The recycling company requests that all caps be removed and throw in the trash.  The caps are not recyclable.  Plastic containers that hold oil, pesticide, poison and automotive products are not recyclable because they are considered hazardous waste. Glass bottles and jars are for me personally a questionable item.  Why? It’s because glass is heavy and drives up cost.  There is no real market for glass.  This may change later on but for now, glass and jars are pulverized by the recycling company and used as landfill cover.  As for cans, only aluminum and steel cans are recyclable.  Cans should not be flattened because the real time cameras used in sorting materials will often mistake flatten cans as paper, which in turn pollutes the 2,000 pound paper bundles.  Also, do not put other metal objects such as lawnmower blades, aluminum chairs or foil, nails, nut and bolts, curtain rods, etc. in the recycle bin.  These items will only end up in the trash.  Other items that cannot be recycled are:  plastic bags, Styrofoam, and any type of yard debris. Ignoring the exception only drives up the cost of curbside recycling. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.   This means throw it into the trash bin.  Let’s all do our part in reducing the cost of recycling.


More information about York County’s recycling program, to include what not to place in the recycling bin, can be found at  On the red banner at the top of the page select “government” then “Waste Management.”


2 .  Road and Bridge Update:


a.  Hampton Highway Bridges (Rte 134) – Major construction work began in October 2019 on the two Hampton Highway Rte. 134 bridges that connect York County and the City of Hampton.   The construction entails the refurbishment of one bridge and the replacement of the other.  The contractor’s schedule calls for the project to end around November or December of 2020.  However, the project can extend out to May of 2021.  Currently, work is underway to demolish and replace the northbound bridge.


b.  Wythe Creek Road -  Construction is delayed due to the lack of funding.  Originally, construction was to begin in 2020 but is now delayed until 2022.  VDOT will not allow construction to begin until the project is fully funded.  There is some good news.  VDOT requires that the project establish a traffic light at the intersection of Wythe Creek Road and Carys Chapel Road.  In addition to the traffic light, there will be dedicated turn lanes.  This will greatly improve traffic flow and safety.


c.  There is no repaving scheduled in 2020 for residential streets in District 5.


3.  Development:  Legacy of Poquoson - This 600 unit residential development next to City Hall in Poquoson has received permits for development.  However, the project which was to start this year is now delayed until 2021.  The first phase of the project will include the four story apartment buildings along Victory Boulevard.


4.  Board of Supervisors Actions:


a.  Approved Ordinance. No. 20-4 for the rezoning of 7.5 acres of land along Pocahontas Trail (Route 60) from General Business to Planned Development Residential.  This will allow the owner to demolish the Village Shops of Kingsmill shopping center and replace it with a four story age restricted senior housing development consisting of up to 150 units.  The senior housing age limitations are not established for this development at this time.  All residential apartments are classified as independent living.


b. Approved Application ZT-182-20 to change several sections of the York County Zoning Ordinance that addresses the standards for boarding houses, tourist homes and bed and breakfast establishments.  The changes also address minimum off-street parking and loading requirements.  Comment:  Tourist homes are becoming more popular in York County.  The ordinance change will still require a Special Use Permit for a tourist home in a residential area.  This provides an opportunity for residents to express their support or opposition for an application.


c.  Approved Ordinance No. 20-1 that established procedures and requirements for the use of golf carts and utility vehicles on streets in York County.  Comment:  Golf carts and utility vehicles can only be operated between sunrise and sunset on streets with a speed limit not exceeding 25 MPH.  Some other requirements include having a valid driver’s license, insurance coverage, slow-moving vehicle signage, and occupancy limitation.


d.  Approved amendment to County Code Section 19-6 for the enforcement of failure to keep property free of accumulations of solid waste (trash) as a civil penalty.  Comment:  The civil penalty is not to exceed $50 for the first violation.  Subsequent violations within 12 months are subject to a penalty of $200.  Civil penalties from a series of violations arising from the same facts shall not exceed $3,000 in a 12-month period.


5.  Crime Watch:  In reviewing the past couple of months of Sheriff Reports, I did not see any exceptional criminal activity in our area.  It was notable that in the first two months of 2020 there were no arrests of York County citizens.  All the arrests were of people living outside and traveling through the County.  In early February, there was a series of larcenies from cars in the Four Seasons Apartments and along Hampton Highway.  These crimes seem to run in spurts and eventually lead to arrests later in the year.  It was notable that all the cars were unlocked.  Vandals are continuing to steal items from cars parked at day care centers.  The usual technique is to pull up next to a parked car, take a quick look to see if a purse is on the seat, then break the car window with a glass breaker tool.  These tools, which are legal to own, are designed to help people escape from a vehicle during an accident and often include a blade for cutting the seat belt. 


I did notice quite a few credit card fraud reports.  Recently, I personally experienced credit card fraud when $4,300 of unauthorized purchases were made on my credit card account.  Yes, the card was in my possession.  Bank of America quickly noticed the suspicious activity, which included multiple purchases of different car insurance policies, a house payment in California, electronic games, and a Cox Cable payment.  The bank quickly notified me by text of the questionable activity.  All the fraudulent charges were stopped within a couple of hours and removed from my account.  The downside was that I had to wait for a replacement card, which came in about three days.  In the meantime, I had a back up card for needed purchases, which is a lesson I learned the hard way years ago.  Fraudulent credit card use and scam phone calls are on the rise.  If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to set up an automatic notification with your credit card company when purchases are made with your credit card.   


Overall, York County continues to be a very safe place to live, work, and enjoy life.


* Comments and opinions expressed in the District 5 Report are authorized and approved by me and do not necessarily represent the position of other elected representatives.  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.



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