Sunday, June 20, 2021

York County District 5 Report - June 2021

Dear Neighbors, 

The purpose of the District 5 Report is to keep you up to date on activities in and around our area.  The June report has a few announcements and focuses on transportation, area development, and provides a summary of Board of Supervisors actions. 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


…………………………………………………………..June 2021 District 5 Report……………………………………………


1.  Announcements:


a.  Personal Property Tax – The Board of Supervisors did not raise the personal property tax this year, but you may have noticed an increase in your vehicle value, which led to an increase in your personal property tax.  Commissioner of the Revenue Ann Thomas values vehicles per State Code by contacting the National Automobile Dealers Association to verify the price.  Her office uses the lowest value in the book, which is the loan value.  Factors that have influenced pricing this year include the closing of some auto manufacturing plants in order to produce Personal Protective Equipment for the COVID-19 pandemic, a shortage of preowned vehicles caused by rental agencies and large fleet companies choosing not to replace inventory, and a strong demand fueled by the Fed cutting interest rates to near zero.


b. Stormwater Ponds – Ponds built to manage stormwater runoff are often referred to as BMP’s, which stands for Best Management Practice.  Nearly all new subdivisions and commercial properties are required to have one or more BMPs.  I have received numerous questions over the years concerning BMP maintenance, particularly the need to dredge a BMP.  These questions are understandable considering the potential cost to homeowners in the HOA.  Here are a few guidelines to help you and your HOA understand maintenance responsibilities:


            -  At last count, there are only four BMPs in York County that include a York County stormwater easement.  The only one that I’m aware of in District 5 cuts through the center of the Woodlake Crossing BMP.  The significance of the easement is that without one the County cannot performance maintenance.  This means your subdivision HOA takes on all responsibilities for BMP upkeep. 


            -  In 2004, the State mandated the creation of BMP Stormwater Management Plans. These plans specify actions that must be accomplished by the owner of the BMP.  The County inspects BMPs for compliance and offers advice on how to maintain BMPs in good working order.


            -  Neighborhoods platted before 2004 have BMPs that were built under the 1994 Sediment Control Ordinance (SCO).  The SCO addresses only stormwater pre flow/post flow equalization.  It does not establish a requirement for scheduled maintenance of the BMP.  In other words, there is no agreement between the County and the HOA that drives a requirement to dredge, etc.  This means that the BMP over time can fill in with sediment.  It is up to the HOA to determine what maintenance should be performed on the BMP.  However, the flow of stormwater though a BMP must be maintained.  It cannot be blocked.  Also, debris such as grass clippings, unused soil and other debris cannot be placed in a BMP.  Doing so will lead to swift action by the County to include a possible citation.


c.  Stormwater Ditches – Over the past year, I’ve received several requests from homeowners to have ditch work performed either by the County or VDOT.  The first action taken is to determine which agency has responsibility.  This is done by identifying the stormwater easement. 


So far this year, County crews have cleared debris from the stream that flows out of Woodlake Crossing down to Victory Boulevard and the ditch behind the homes on Heavens Way in the Lotz Acres neighborhood.  Ditch restoration work behind Kyle Circle in the Meadowlake Farms neighborhood was extensive.  The work was hampered by wet weather, loose soil composition, and questionable success in using new stabilization material. 


I’ve been able to get VDOT to address drainage issues on Stone Lake Court and Lake Dale Way in the Woodlake Crossing neighborhood.  Also, thanks to neighbors notifying me of drainage issues along Victory Boulevard near the Edgewood neighborhood, I was able to notify VDOT and the problem was resolved in short order.  In addition, VDOT reformed the ditches along Carys Chapel Road from Coach Hovis to the County’s line with Poquoson.


It may surprise you to know that VDOT has only 12 workers to handle all VDOT right of way ditch work in York County.  On average about 800 work orders are outstanding at any one time.  The bad news is that only 80% of the work orders are cleared each year.  The County has five stormwater crews that work multiple projects.   The recent budget contained money for an additional crew that will work along Hampton Highway to clear the ditches, collect litter, and perform mowing.   You may have already noticed the improvements along Hampton Highway near the Tabb Library.


d.  Real Estate Assessments – The County performs a real assessments every two years.  This year (2021) is the second year of the cycle and in December property owners will receive their real estate assessment in the mail.  The reason I am bringing this to your attention now is because home values are going up quickly.  It is estimated that home values in general will increase around eight to nine percent.  Homes that were valued not too many years ago in the $350,000 to $450,000 are now selling in the $400,000 to $500,000 range.  Another indication are the new homes in the Smith Farms subdivision.  Currently, not one has sold below $580,000.  The current median sale price is just below $700,000.   On the flip side of the real estate value is commercial property, which is stagnant to declining.  


In May of 2022, the Supervisors will approve the County’s yearly budget and the real estate tax rate.  Since revenue from real estate, both commercial and residential, fund a significant portion of the budget, the Supervisors will be faced with tough decisions in setting the tax rate to meet service demands.  My expectation is that the increase in real estate values will exceed budget revenue needs and, if that is the case, the Supervisors will most likely lower the tax rate.


2.  Transportation Update.


Victory Boulevard Multi-Use Path - One of the Supervisors’ strategic priorities is environmental stewardship with a focus on resiliency.  Multi-use trails and sidewalks, which are categorized as a form of transportation, fit nicely within the strategic priority.  District 5 has several sidewalks that will give citizens the capability to leave their cars at home and walk or bike safely around the area.  For example, we have a sidewalk programed for Hampton Highway from the Edgewood neighborhood to Woodlake Crossing that will include a signalized crosswalk across Hampton Highway to the Victory YMCA and Tabb Library.  Also, there is a sidewalk planned along Big Bethel Road from Running Man Trail to the Tabb Elementary School.  It too will have a signalized crossing across Big Bethel Road. 


You may recall the multi-use trail along Victory Boulevard that was cancelled about six years ago.  Well, it is back but on a much larger scale.  The 10-foot-wide asphalt trail will accommodate bicyclists, walkers, and runners.  It will be 2.7 miles in length and run from North Bowman Terrace to Wythe Creek Road in the City of Poquoson.  The trail will be contained within the VDOT right of way and separated from the paved surface of Victory Boulevard by a grassy strip.  The plan is to build the trail in three segments:


(1)  Segment 1 is estimated to cost $3.65 million and will run from North Bowman to Big Bethel Road.  Funding for Segment 1 is being provided by the VDOT SMART SCALE Program, York County, and the Smith Farms developer.  The County’s contribution is $640,000, which also includes funds to help VDOT with the center turn lane on Victory Boulevard at the intersection with North and South Bowman.  The estimated construction dates are April 2027 and October 2028.


(2)  Segment 2 is estimated to cost $661,000 and will run from Big Bethel Road to East Yorktown Road.  Funding for Segment 2 is being provided through a federal program called Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAC).  VDOT is providing the local contribution. The estimated construction dates are December 2026 to September 2028.


(3) Segment 3 is estimated to cost $3.73 million and will run from Wythe Creek Road in Poquoson to East Yorktown Road in York County.  Funding for Segment 3 is being provided by VDOT and the City of Poquoson.  Estimated construction dates are April 2026 to October 2027.


3 .  Development Update:


a.  Smith Farms Subdivision – This development is well underway with custom build homes.  Interestingly, the original concept was to build homes in the $350,000 to $400,000 range near Mount Vernon Elementary School and million-dollar homes near the Taylor Farms neighborhood.  Well, the market has changed and not one home has sold for under $580,000.  Some of the home building applications submitted to the County will result in home values near Mount Vernon that range well over $1 million.  


b.  Victory at Tabb Subdivision - This subdivision was previously known as the Lanahan Subdivision.  It is planned for the 24-acre parcel next to the Kirkwood Presbyterian Church on Hampton Highway (Hwy 134), which is across from the Tabb Library.  The property is zoned R-20 (half acre lots) and is a by right development.  This means the development does not come before the Board of Supervisors for approval.   The subdivision plan calls for 41 single family homes to be built in a cluster format.  There will be walking paths, a picnic area, and a playground.  Approximately one-third of the property will consist of a large stormwater pond designed to trap sediment.  Stormwater will flow from the pond through the Woodlake Crossing lake as it runs to Moore’s Creek.  Recently, the plan was returned to the developer for minor changes.  Land disturbance will not occur until the subdivision plan is approved, which should take place this summer.  Building permits are issued after the land is cleared.


c.  Future Lotz Acres Development – The raw land between the Running Man subdivision and the current Lotz Acres subdivision near the corner of Victory Boulevard and Big Bethel Road is still being considered for development.  Approximately, 40 to 47 single family homes can be built by right on the property.  However, significant wetlands issues make development within the area problematic.  After surveying the property and identifying the major wetlands issues, the developer approached the County to discuss possible workarounds and mitigation steps.  No development plan has been submitted to the County. 


d.  In my last report, I talked about a proposal to build a Dollar General Store along Hampton Highway across from the Belmont Apartments.  The application to rezone the land from residential to commercial was denied by the Board of Supervisors.  It remains residential.


e.  Hampton Road Sanitation District Pressure Reducing Station (PRS) and Tank Project - HRSD purchased the 26-acre parcel behind Tabb High School for the purpose of constructing a facility that would help in managing the sewer flow and pressure along two major sewer truck lines that intersect in this area.  I have participated in several conversations with HRSD attempting to understand the scope, need and flexibility they may have with this concept.  What I have learned so far is that ultimately, a project in the general vicinity is needed for the regional system and that there are many benefits for all of us in terms of safety, cost, and environmental quality.  The exact design, location, appearance, and timing of the project are subject to more study and input from interested parties.  HRSD currently has directed its consulting engineers to study the feasibility of several different options all intended to mitigate any negative project impact.  It is my understanding that they are trying to understand both the technical feasibility and the pros and cons of the various options from the standpoint of community impact.  Once they are convinced that they have some options that will work, they have committed to scheduling a community meeting to share their concept options and listen to ideas and concerns from neighbors.  The purpose of the initial meeting is to allow all interested parties to hear and see the same information and to brainstorm other ideas.  No decision will be sought at this initial meeting.  What happens after that will depend on how we react to their options and how HRSD reacts to any additional suggestions.  I have asked that once HRSD is ready to schedule a meeting, that I be contacted so that I can share with all of you the time, date, and location.  I will also keep my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors informed so that we can anticipate a future course of action.


f. Legacy of Poquoson – Land disturbance is now underway for this 600-unit residential development next to City Hall in Poquoson.  The first phase of the project will include the four-story apartment buildings along Victory Boulevard.  Build out of the development is expected to take approximately five years and cover much of the area behind the homes along Carys Chapel Road.  The subdivision will not connect through any of the properties to Carys Chapel Road. 


4.  Summary of Board of Supervisors Actions:


a.  Approved Resolution 21-4 to authorize a beauty salon as a home occupation with customers located at 608 Clements Mill Trace.  Comment:  This is one of many home occupations authorized though the special use permit process.


b.  Approved Resolution 21-5 to authorize a machine shop at 451 Merrimac Trail.  Comment:  Even though the property is zoned General Business a Special Use Permit is required because of the potential noise.


c. Disapprove Ord. No. 21-3 that would rezone of 376 acres along Barlow Road in the upper county from rural residential and limited business to planned development residential.  Comment:  The proposed project was called Fenton Mill.  The developer’s plan was to create a neighborhood with 599 homes (495 single-family detached homes and 104 townhouses). The Supervisors denied the application because it ran significantly counter to the County’s Comprehensive Plan, which is a guide for how we, the citizens of York County, wish to see our County develop over time.  Currently, the owner/developer has submitted a new Preliminary Plan for a by-right development of 295 single family detached homes on the same property.  The by-right development will not come before the Supervisors for approval.


d.  Approved Resolution 21-45 requesting that VDOT include the improved portion of Potomac Run, in the Running Man Subdivision, into the Secondary System of the State Highways.  Comment:  This contract work on the connection between the Running Man and Wythe Creek Farms subdivision was completed over the past year. 


e.  Approved Resolution 21-46 to accept $113,400 in funds from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to purchase and award a contract for the installation of propane conversion kits for eight County vehicles.


f.  Approved Resolution 21-54 to authorize firearms sales and gunsmithing as a home occupation with on-premises customer contact.  Comment:  This home occupation is located at 211 Henry Lee Lane in District 4.  There was neighborhood support for the application.


g.  Approved Resolutions (R21-30, R21-31, R21-32, and R21-33) recognizing York County Outstanding Youth.  Each recipient was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.  The winners are Jasmine Barbour-Bassett for Community Service, Julie Stonier for Compassion, Kalyn Lowe for Courage, and Chris Williams for Overall Achievement. 


h.  Approved Ord. No. 21-5, which set the tax rates for calendar year 2021.  The real estate tax rate remains $0.795 per $100 of assessed value.  Personal property tax remains at $4.00 per $100 of assessed value.  The complete list of approved tax rates can be found on the County’s webpage at


i.  Approved Resolution 21-51 for the funding of York County Schools in fiscal year 2022.  School revenues consist of roughly $17.2 million from the Federal Government, $81.6 million from the State, and $56.8 million from the County.  The total York County School Division budget is about $157.9 million.  The County’s General Fund budget is $152 million. 


j.  Approved Ord. No. 21-6 to levy $0.02 tax per cigarette or $0.40 tax per pack on cigarettes.  This is a new tax authorized by the State for use by the counties to help with diversification of the tax base.


k.  Approved Resolution 21-57 to endorse a traffic calming plan for Ella Taylor Road and to request that VDOT implement the plan.  Comment:  After conducting an engineering review, speed study, and traffic count, it was determined that the installation of two speed tables (speed bumps) was warranted.


l.  Denied Application No. ZM-190-21 to rezone 2.6 acres along Hampton Highway (Rte. 134) from Residential to General Business.  Comment:  This was a proposed site for a Dollar General Store.  The rezoning request ran counter to the County’s Comprehensive Plan.


m.  Approved Ordinance No. 21-10 to establish salaries for the Board of Supervisors.  Comment:  The annual salary is $9,000.  The Chair and Vice Chair receive addition amounts of $1,800 and $1,200, respectively.


n.  Approved R21-74 to authorize the County to execute a contract to rehabilitate the Hollywood Sewer Pump Station.  Comment:  This station has been in continuous use for 43 years.  The rehabilitation will cost just under $700,000.  Sewer systems are very expensive.


* 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.