MONDAY 4/28: Planning Commission Working on Comprehensive Plan

Cape Charles Planning Commission will meet 6 p.m. Monday, April 28, at Town Hall to consider updates to the Comprehensive Plan. The meeting is open to the public. CLICK to view a 15-page portion of draft updates to the Comprehensive Plan.

SUNDAY 5/4: Eastern Shore Orchestra at Hungars Church

The Orchestra of the Eastern Shore will end its 2013-14 season with “Bookends—Bach to Britten,” at Hungars Episcopal Church on Bayside Road in Bridgetown (Machipongo) on Sunday, May 4, at 4 p.m. [Read more…]

FRIDAY 5/2: Cold Fusion Seminar at ESCC

“Cold Fusion: Oddity or Odyssey?” is the subject of a free 90-minute seminar 12:30 p.m. Friday, May 2, in the Eastern Shore Community College Lecture Hall, 29300 Lankford Hwy., Melfa, sponsored by Science and Philosophy Seminar of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. [Read more…]

EXTRA! Mayor Denies Council Knowledge of ‘Hand-Gate’





Cape Charles Wave

April 26, 2014

In an emotional statement April 24 to Town Council, Mayor Dora Sullivan refuted claims that three Council members had known for more than six months that developer Patrick Hand intended to buy property on Mason Avenue resulting in the loss of 160 parking places that for years have been used by the public with the permission of the owner.

The mayor’s statement came in response to an April 24 Wave commentary by Councilman Frank Wendell, who is running for mayor in the May 6 town elections. “At the April 7 Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, Mr. Hand explained that he had been working with the mayor, three members of Town Council, and some members of the Art Walk committee for six or seven months on his downtown project,” Wendell wrote.

Mayor Sullivan said that after reading Wendell’s commentary she called Hand, who told her, “I did not have a plan six months ago. Therefore I could not have spoken to Council.” She emphasized that Hand had said, “I never met with you or a single Council person, singularly or in a group, six months ago.”

The mayor also said that she had the minutes of the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, but not the recording. “There’s nothing on there,” she said. When Wendell told her she should listen to the tape, she replied, “I don’t need to — I talked to him.”

Sullivan also said that “what bothers me the most is that the citizens of this town are not capable or care enough to come and say, ‘Is that true, did you really say that?’  We are full-grown adults. Instead, we read what we read, and we believe it.”

Regarding the Wave, Sullivan said, “What if I never read the Wave? I’m dead in the water, because I’m being eaten alive, and I have no idea I’m being eaten alive.”

A transcript of Mayor Sullivan’s April 24 statement appears below, along with an audio file. Following that is a transcript of relevant remarks at the April 7 Board of Zoning Appeals meeting and an audio file, enabling readers to both see and hear the words of Patrick Hand, who states: “This project started with me going to a couple, three different members of Town Council.” When asked how long ago he started his project, he states “seven months, eight months.” [Read more…]


Public Hearing Thursday on 23% Lodging Tax Increase


April 24, 2014

Cape Charles Town Council will hold a public hearing tonight on increasing the town lodging tax by 23 percent. Council then intends to pass the tax increase at its regular meeting immediately following the public hearing.

The public hearing is 6 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at St. Charles Parish Hall, followed by the regular Town Council meeting.

Town staff has rewritten Town Code to remove references to the annexation agreement between the Town and Northampton County and all related State statutes. Under the annexation agreement the town allowed the county to charge a 2 percent lodging tax.

Council members Steve Bennett and Frank Wendell oppose the tax increase, while all other members are in favor.

CLICK to read the proposed lodging tax ordinance.


Why Is Downtown Losing 160 Parking Spaces?


April 24, 2014

At the conclusion of the March Town Council meeting, the Council held an executive session to discuss possible land acquisitions. It was explained that a developer, Patrick Hand, intended to buy the old Be-Lo grocery store property and the two adjacent parking lots. If he were to buy the property he would be willing to sell the town two 40’ x 105’ lots for public parking at the east end of the property and also property for a pedestrian mall in line with Strawberry Street in between two proposed buildings. But the town and Mr. Hand were unable to agree on a price. And even if the town did buy the two lots for parking, that would only supply 40 parking spaces, with a resulting loss of approximately 120 parking spaces. This would be a tremendous setback to all the merchants who have experienced a downtown resurgence of the past two years.

Mr. Hand is to be commended for his willingness to further invest in Cape Charles and for his shrewd business skills. The Town of Cape Charles, on the other hand, once again has a lot of unexplained missteps as to how we suddenly will be without the use of over 160 off-street parking spaces in the middle of our downtown/commercial district. And what do we do going forward to compensate for the lost use and at what cost?

At the April 7 Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, Mr. Hand explained that he had been working with the mayor, three members of Town Council, and some members of the Art Walk committee for six or seven months on his downtown project. So while the mayor and three Council members had been privy to the developer’s plans for six or seven months, three other members of Council had not.

I asked Mr. Hand who the three Council members were that he had been working with. He replied that he would rather not say.

Mr. Hand was seeking variances from the town on setbacks for construction, balconies, open space requirements, and most notably reduction of off-street parking requirements. The following Monday the Board of Zoning Appeals granted all four requests.

I have a few questions to ask at tonight’s (April 24) Town Council meeting: [Read more…]


FRIDAY 4/25: Blessing of the Fleet Schedule of Events

The 7th Annual Blessing of the Fleet begins 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 25, at Cape Charles Town Harbor.  That morning a Navy yard patrol craft is scheduled to arrive at 9 a.m. and will offer public tours from noon until 4 p.m.

The 5:30 p.m. ceremony begins with the National Anthem sung by Emily Guemple.

Master of Ceremonies is U.S. Representative Scott Rigell.

Coast Guard Station Cape Charles will provide the Color Guard.

U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen will conduct the Throwing of the Wreath.

Live Music by HM Johnson will follow from 6-9 p.m.

Seafood dinners will be sold by the Cape Charles Volunteer Fire Department.

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County Supervisor Granville Hogg to Hold
Town Meeting Wednesday at Cape Charles Museum

County Supervisor Hogg (Wave photo)

County Supervisor Hogg (Wave photo)

April 21, 2014

Northampton County Supervisor Granville Hogg will hold a Town Hall Meeting for constituents 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, at the Cape Charles Museum and Welcome Center, 814 Randolph Avenue.

Topics will include:

  • Northampton County’s proposed zoning code changes,
  • Emergency medical services,
  • County budget, and
  • Public Service Authority (PSA).

“I am inviting you to a Town Hall Meeting to listen to your concerns,” said Hogg. “Please identify your concerns and let me know what you are in favor of, or in opposition to.”

The event will be in the traditional town hall meeting style — an informal public gathering that provides citizens a chance to voice their opinions and ask questions of elected officials.

Hogg will also hold a town meeting 7 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at Kiptopeke Elementary School.