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Respected City Council Members,
The Voice of Reason From a Fellow Beach Resident is Below.
With all due respect, Vice Mayor Louis Jones’ offered explanation is an opinion without an economic analytical foundation, is disassociated from the principles of free enterprise, and is misaligned with the concept of limited government. Louis and I often find common ground but on City View Two we come to a different conclusion.
Virginia Wasserberg in her own words ..,
“Respected City Council Members,
I would like to ask that you vote to not approve the City View Two $10.2 million tax incentive on August 15, 2017. Not only do I believe the price per parking space for the parking garage is an enormous fee to lay on Beach taxpayers, but I do not see the need to give the developer a tax break.
The Ripley Heatwole Company is capable of funding the cost.
I had a conversation with Councilman Jones today in which he explained to me that the developer has been paying the TIF taxes for 15 years and believe the development will produce additional income for the City in the future, so he is in favor of the incentive. If Ripley Heatwole has been able to afford the cost for the past 15 years, they most certainly should be able to afford the cost for the rest of the time they own the property.
Councilman Moss was out, live, at the site yesterday and posted a video on Facebook showing that the office buildings across the street from the City View Two site are for lease and the apartments down the street on Bonney Rd are for lease. And while I can understand Councilman Jones’ long term vision for strategic growth in that area, which can produce more money for the TIF, I don’t see that potential in the near future. It appears that the mantra of live, work and play in that area of town is not going so well at the moment. So, it seems a risk to give up $10.2M in hopes that it will produce more, later.
There have been other developments in Virginia Beach that were approved the past with the thinking that they would improve the area and bring more tax money (example: Ashville Park) and yet, reality has proven these developments produce more problems in the future that raise taxes and create concerns that could have been avoided if a more wise and conservative approach had been taken, to begin with. In this case, with this tax incentive, that the wise and conservative approach should be taken. Homes and businesses just down the road from this development site are flooding. Even Town Center itself has water standing in the streets when it rains hard.
Mr. Dan Heatwole spoke at the public hearing and said that the two parcels are, “located on high ground outside of the FEMA flood plain.” I fact checked Mr. Heatwole from the City ArcGIS maps and his information to the Council on August 1, 2017, was wrong. The majority of Parcel 1 is in a FEMA mapped AE zone and the majority of Parcel 2 is in the FEMA mapped 0.2% zone. My home is in the 0.2% zone and it flooded during Hurricane Matthew. Parcel 2 is where the apartments are proposed to be built. It would be a shame for more flooding to occur.
There are obviously current problems that need to be taken care of in this City before new ones should be created. If my roof is leaking, I don’t go out and buy new floors, hoping one day I will get the money for the roof, I fix the roof first. Same principle. This City must begin caring for the problems it already has and focusing great effort into fixing those problems before creating new ones – or else one day, the entire house will collapse.
Please consider voting no, on this $10.2 Million tax incentive for the Ripley Heatwole Company to develop a parking garage at City View Two.
Also, I know that Mr. Ronald Ripley, Mr. Francis Scott Ripley, and Mr. Andrew Heatwole have contributed to some of your campaigns in the past, but I ask that you not pay them back for their campaign contributions by voting in favor of this tax incentive, but you pay back the voters who voted for you and came to the Public Hearing on August 1, 2017 and asked you to vote no.
I ask that you put the needs of the tax paying community above the desires of your campaign investors.”
Virginia A. Wasserberg