Ocean View council tackles water, impact fees and history

At Tuesday’s Ocean View Town Council meeting, the council was able to address numerous items. Some of the highlights include the town’s water system progress, the update of building impact fees, and the potential declaration of the town as a historical district.

Water system progress

Town Manager Conway Gregory addressed the current status of the Ocean View water system progress, acknowledging that approximately 30 percent of the project has been completed.

“Our easements are coming along rather well,” he said. “We have 108 easements that need to be obtained, and 79 have been obtained, for a total of 73 percent. Things are moving along rather smoothly in this area.” Another 26 easements are in the process of being obtained, and three will be condemned due to noncompliance from the residents.

The progress has also seen some delays through other parties involved in the installation. “We’re waiting to receive a written approval for the water service agreement,” said Gregory. Tidewater Utilities has agreed to sign the service agreement once it is obtained, as well as the MOU (memorandum of understanding). Contractors with A.P. Croll have signed the MOU, which, once complied with the water service agreement, allows early water connection for certain communities as they come online.

Progress with construction is expected to quickly continue upon the retrieval of the signed approval, with hookups beginning as early as July. “We want this all to work out,” said Councilman Roy Thomas. “People just need to realize that you can’t get B until you get A.”

Crews will be working on water mains along Mitchell and Betts avenues, services along Hickman Avenue, and swale restoration in areas north of Hudson Avenue and west of Woodland Avenue, starting June 6. The latest water construction progress meeting was held Thursday, June 7, at 1 p.m. at the town hall.

New building impact fees

The town held the second reading on June 5 of an ordinance to amend the code of Ocean View by adding a new section, providing an impact fee upon annexed territory and new residential, commercial, business and industrial construction within the town.

Council passed the ordinance that declared an impact fee of $1,436 per dwelling unit to include capital expenditures and improvements to provide for public works projects, police, administrative and code enforcement services, would be collected at the issuance of a new building permit.

Furthermore, an impact fee of $500 per dwelling unit is to be collected for the benefit of volunteer fire service and other organized providers of emergency protection. This fee is also to be collected at the issuance of a building permit. The ordinance applies to single lots built upon within two years of the date which the property was transferred to the applicant, to condominium units at any time, and to any lot or condominium unit brought within the town limits through annexation. This was the third revision to the ordinance since its original submittal in February of this year.

Historical committee

Unknown to most, there are 133 buildings in the Town of Ocean View that could potentially be classified as historical structures. Councilman Richard Nippes at Tuesday’s council meeting shared his ideas of restoring historic Ocean View by recognizing these buildings to educate and inform others.

“We have some pretty old buildings in the area,” Nippes said. “Jean Athan [a member of the town’s Historic District Preservation Committee] will be making a formal presentation to the state historical society to seek approval. Once they give approval, houses and buildings, as far as the state is concerned, are considered to be historical.”

Athan also plans to conduct a formal presentation to identify Ocean View as a historical preservation district. Many of the buildings that could qualify for this historical district lie along Central Avenue. Nippes added that he would like to find a way to present this area to the public.

“The architecture is very representative of different time periods,” he said, “and it’s really incredible to see these timeless buildings. Already we’ve lost a lot of our historical [integrity.]”

Truck traffic and the lack of sidewalks could make the proposed historical area less inviting to residents and visitors, though.

“It’s something that the council and town will have to look into, if we label that part of the town a historical district.”

The formal presentation of the idea is scheduled sometime this fall, most likely in September.