Council Gives Final OK to Turn Old School into Apartments

Developers Edwin Gaskin (left) and J. David McCormack of Echelon Resources, Inc., plan to convert the old school, basketball court, and playground parking area into 17 one-bedroom apartments. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

August 24, 2012

Cape Charles Town Council voted Thursday night to rezone the Town’s old school, basketball court, and playground parking area from Open Space to R-1 Residential, and also to allow a 17-unit apartment building to be built in a single-family residential area.

The vote in each instance was 5-1, with Councilman Frank Wendell dissenting.

Some 100 people turned out for the meeting in the Fire Hall. Mayor Dora Sullivan laid out several ground rules but was unsuccessful in enforcing them. “Be respectful and stay on topic,” she said – no personal attacks or accusations. She informed Wendell that he could speak during the public hearing or during Council discussion, but not both.  However, Wendell insisted that when he was elected a member of Council, he did not lose his rights as a public citizen. Ultimately he was allowed to speak at length.

During the Public Hearing, Town Police removed two of the speakers from the podium, and a member of the Planning Commission threatened to assault a member of the press for photographing him.

Wendell urged Council to heed the advice of former town manager Tim Krawczel to put some conditions in the conditional use permit. That should include heeding the recommendation of the town’s attorney for a buyback option and performance bond to protect the Town’s interest in the property in case the developers were unable to carry out their plans. Wendell also moved that the Town retain the basketball court and playground parking lot, suggesting that Echelon build a parking lot across the street for the apartment house. The motion did not pass. [Read more…]


Public Hearing on School Rezoning and Use as Apartments

Cape Charles Town Council will hold a Public Hearing and Special Meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, August 23, at the Fire Hall.

Following public comment, Town Council will vote on two resolutions.

The first resolution is to rezone the school property adjoining Central Park from Open Space to R-1 Residential.

Because R-1 Residential does not allow an apartment building, Town Council will then vote on a resolution to permit a Conditional Use of the property for a 17-unit apartment building.

The Town’s information packet for the meeting may be accessed here: 20120823 TC Agenda Packet

Earlier, at 5:30 p.m., Town Council will convene a closed session to interview applicants for the Planning Commission, which has three vacancies.