Monday, May 9, 2011

Fwd: York County District 5 Report - May 2011

From: Thomas Shepperd <>
Date: Sat, May 7, 2011 at 4:38 PM
Subject: York County District 5 Report - May 2011
To: Thomas Shepperd <>

Dear Neighbors,


The York County District 5 Report for May 2011 is provided to help keep you informed of local and state government actions that could impact our homes and communities.* Crime Watch information is included as a supplement to your local Crime Watch program.  York County residents are added to the report distribution lists upon 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 others residents in your communities.




Tom Shepperd

District 5 Representative

York County Board of Supervisors


Home (757) 868-8591

Office (757) 240-5836

Mobile (757) 618-3335


-----York County District 5 Report for May 2011----


1.  Crime Watch.  As many of you already know through the Crime Watch Alerts, we had several recent break-ins within District 5 and District 4 (Coventry-Kiln Creek-Tabb Lakes).  Quick thinking by a Coventry homeowner in snapping a few pictures of a culprit's car as he made a hasty getaway from a failed home burglary was instrumental in his arrest for multiple break-ins throughout the area.  This is not the first time that an alert resident with a camera has played a significant role in taking criminals off the street.  Recall last year's case when an 11 year old in Kiln Creek took pictures of two suspicious individuals removing items from the next door neighbor's house.  A quick 911 call and the pictures resulted in the arrest of both individuals while in the process of committing another burglary within the neighborhood.  Here are a few observations and conclusions that I have reached over the years concerning home break-ins:


            A. Residents are very interested in hearing about any criminal activity within the neighborhoods but the dissemination of alerts is hit and miss.  Some neighborhoods have very aggressive Crime Watch Programs but the success of these programs is usually driven by one or two highly motivated individuals.


            B.  While break-ins can and do occur throughout our communities, the greatest concentration of break-ins occur near major thoroughfares such as Route 17, Route 134 and Route 171.  It appears that many of the break-ins along these routes are due to easy access.  If successful near the main routes, burglars will move further into the neighborhoods as they become more familiar with the area.


            C. York County has a relatively low crime rate when compared to the larger cities that surround us.  Usually, our biggest neighborhood issue is speeding.  While we occasionally do find some home grown criminals, many of the burglaries are due to criminals who live in areas such as Hampton, Portsmouth and as far away as Richmond.  As the Commonwealth Attorney once told me, York County is considered "high shelf", meaning criminals see our neighborhoods as rich targets.


Our Sheriff's Department has a good record in catching the bad guys but we all need to do our part.  You are the first line of defense for your home.  Working together, your community becomes an effective second line of defense.  The Sheriff's Department is the third line of defense.   Often all three lines are at play at the same time and word eventually gets out to the bad guys that, if you commit a crime in York County, you can expect to get caught.


2.  Notices and Announcements


            A.  York County is seeking a District 5 volunteer to serve on the York County Library Board.  The purpose of the Library Board is the control and management of the York County Public Libraries.  A successful candidate for this position must have a strong desire to maintain and enhance our library system.  The length of term is for four years.  Meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at one of our two libraries.  If you are interested in serving on the Library Board, send an email to or  or better yet, call me at 757-618-3335.


            B.  York County is seeking volunteers to serve on the Colonial Behavioral Health Board.  This is a regional board serving York County, James City County, Williamsburg and Poquoson with the purpose of providing overall administration and coordination of mental health, intellectual disabilities, and substance use disorder programs.  The board meets the first Tuesday of each month at a facility on Route 143 at the Williamsburg end of York County near Route 199.  The length of term is for three years. If you are interested in serving on the Colonial Behavioral Health Board, send an email to or  or better yet, call me at 757-618-3335.


C.  This year Dominion will be performing routine vegetation maintenance (removal of dead trees, etc.) along its transmission facilities from approximately Oriana Rd. in Grafton, through the Running Man neighborhood, to its Peninsula substation near Magruder Blvd.  This work is expected to begin in mid May and continue into the fall of this year.  Individual properties where work is required will be notified with a door card and brief description of the work that will be performed on their property. The door card will also provide contact information for a Transmission Forestry Representative if the property owner has any additional questions.   For more information on Dominion's Transmission Vegetation Maintenance please visit and type "Trees" into the search bar.


D. Solicitation – Many neighborhoods have "No Solicitation" signs at the entrance to the neighborhood.  These signs represent only a statement of desire and actually have no standing in law when it comes to individual homes within a neighborhood. It's a bit complicated but unless a neighborhood association actually owns the streets, it cannot restrict access to the streets or individual properties of the neighborhood.  Based on concerns expressed by residents over the issue of neighborhood safety and questionable sales throughout our area, I have proposed that the Board of Supervisors take up the solicitation issue later this year.   The Board has agreed and the plan is to provide reasonable limits as to when and how solicitation can take place within the County.  State law does not permit localities to prohibit solicitation in its entirety or to restrict door-to-door solicitation for charities and political activities.


            E. Stormwater Projects – After nearly 10 years and $3.5 million, the Moores Creek Drainage Project is finally finished.  Moores Creek was the County's number one drainage project and improved the drainage for approximately 1000 homes within District 5.  The last aspect of the Moores Creek Project was the modification to improved drainage from Galaxy Way.  The County Staff is currently re-evaluating the ditch along Big Bethel Road from the Homestead pond to the Big Bethel Road outflow near the New Bethel Baptist Church.


F.  The Water Way Alliance (WWA) has, through the County's "Adopt a Spot" program, adopted the new Moores Creek drainage pond area near the corner of Calthrop Neck Road and Yorktown Road.  The WWA will be responsible for removing trash from the pond and reporting the pond's condition to the County Staff.  A sign will be posted near the pond recognizing the Water Way Alliance's adoption of the pond and contribution to a healthy environment.   This is a great community effort and will significantly help to reduce Bay pollution.


            G. Sewer Projects - The Dogwood Sewer Project (neighborhood behind the Dairy Queen on Hampton Hwy) and the Moores Creek Sewer Project are currently in the design phase.  Construction bids are expected for September and August with construction to begin in November.   The Dogwood Sewer Project will encompass 48 homes and the Moores Creek Sewer Project will encompass 18 homes.  Estimated cost for both projects is $1.5 million or approximately $23,000 per home.


The first public meeting for these sewer projects is scheduled for June 2011. Residents will be notified by the County in writing of their requirement to connect to the public sewer system.  Connection is mandatory and the tap fee is $3,700 payable within 90 days.  After 90 days, the price climbs to $8,625. The County has a payment plan for those who wish to pay through installments.  Homeowners are responsible for plumbing services to the sewer tap.  Connection must be accomplished within 120 days of service availability.  The County's Environmental Development Services (EDS) will provide more details concerning the sewer tap rules.


            H. Widening of Route 17 – Pending any changes by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, VDOT's draft 6-year Statewide Improvement Program will include $33,944,000 for the widening of Route 17.  The project is scheduled to begin in 2015 and will include the widening of Route 17 from Route 134 (Hampton Hwy) to Wolf Trap Road.  The bulk of the funding ($20 million) will come from a state revenue bond. VDOT is making plans for utility relocation and, as part of the widening project, the Board of Supervisors has agreed to pledge $7 million as its share of the $12 million cost to bury the power lines.


            I.  Route 171/Bike Trail Update – The County staff continues to investigate the possibility of construction of a multi-use trail over the HRSD and Stormwater pipes along Route 171 (Victory Blvd) from Route 134 to the City of Poquoson line.  If Poquoson decides to participate, the path will extend all the way to Wythe Creek Road.  The staff believes that placement of the trail over the buried pipes will not interfere with VDOTs future widening of Victory Blvd.  The proposal is still being discussed with VDOT.  The staff is also exploring funding options for the project.  One option is to seek $2.9 million in federal funding under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program.  This option requires a 20% local match.  More on this effort as the planning progresses.


            I.  Shellfish Area Condemnation – On March 15th, we received notice from the state's Department of Health that all Poquoson River tributaries were designated condemned shellfish (oyster) areas.  Specifically, the following creeks are affected by the condemnation order: Hodges Cove, Patricks Creek, Quarter March Creek, Moores Creek, Lamb Creek, and Bennett Creek.  The Director, Division of Shellfish Sanitation, said that we can expect the designated areas to remain condemned for at least a year.  The condemnation order prohibits the removal of any shellfish (oysters) for personal or commercial use.  Removal of shellfish that are in cages or bags require a special permit and tagging.


3.  Board of Supervisors Actions


A. Olde Port Cove Stub Street – Approved Ordinance No. 11-4 and Resolution R11-42 that vacated (sold) the unimproved street (stub street) right of way within the neighborhood. This action blocks any future street connection of residentially zoned property with Olde Port Cove.


Comment:   The connection of subdivisions is a very sensitive issue.  At issue is VDOT's effort to mitigate traffic congestion versus residents' desire for a safe community.  The state eliminated local government's ability to block subdivision connections and mandated by way of financial penalties that developers must connect subdivisions.  VDOT's effort to mitigate traffic congestion makes sense when you consider the tremendous cost of highway construction and the negative economic impact of traffic delays.  However, this one shoe fits all approach disregards the loss of community identity, tranquility and the potential increase in criminal activity and traffic related safety issues. York County's actions in support of Olde Port Cove set a precedent and established a means by which other communities can solve the neighborhood connection problem. The process was not easy nor the outcome assured.  It was only through agreement of the individual homeowners next to the stub street, the members of the HOA, and an understanding of the issue by the Supervisors that this effort succeeded.  Neighborhoods that wish to address future stud street connections must begin well in advance of any future development.


            B. County Redistricting – Approved Ordinance No. 11-7 to adjust district boundaries to comply with Federal and Virginia laws that require election districts to be drawn every ten years to ensure they have relatively equal populations.  In 2001, the County's population was 58,600.  In 2010, the population was 65,364, which means that the population of each of the 5 districts should be approximately 13,073.  The major change to the District 5 boundary was the inclusion of the entire area south of Yorktown Road that is behind Tabb HS all the way to Hampton Highway.  The residents in the new District 5 area will vote at Tabb HS.


Tied to the redistricting are this year's elections.  At the local level, the five members of the Board of Supervisors, five School Board members, Sheriff, Commonwealth Attorney, Treasurer, and Commission of the Revenue are up for election.  State elections will include seats for the state Senate, House of Delegates, and two directors for the Soil and Water Board.  The Supervisors and School Board members run only within their respective districts.  Other County officials are elected county-wide.  Party primaries for all elected official, excluding the School Board which by law must be nonpartisan, will take place on August 23rd.  The General Election will take place on November 8th.  Voting during the Primary Election and General Election is open to all registered voters and will take place at your assigned precinct.


C. Budget – Approved Ordinance No. 11-3 and Resolution R11-31, which established the Fiscal Year 2012 budget and tax rates for 2011.  The adopted budget is $122,999,088 and includes $55.4 million for Education and Educational Services (schools and public libraries), $28.3 million for Public Safety (Sheriff's Department and Fire & Life Safety), $8.5 million for Capital Outlay, Funding Transfers & Non-Departmental, and $8.2 million for Finance & Planning.  The tax rates remain unchanged from last year.  The Real Estate Tax Rate of $0.6575 has remained unchanged since 2008.  Comment:  The 2012 budget reflects the loss of $2 million in tax revenue from the refinery.  Next year we face an additional $2 million loss.  An additional loss of revenue will come from an anticipated 3% reduction in the average real estate values.


* The York County District 5 Report is produced about every two months and distributed to residents on the York County District 5 Report email list.  I will gladly add you to the distribution list upon request to or  Please include your name and address in the request.  All information is kept confidential.  Comments and opinions express 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 Supervisor, please visit the County website at  Supervisor contact information is located on the website under the title "County Government."  Homeowner Associations are encouraged to use this report in preparing their association newsletters.


---End Report---

Alexander of York

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