Petition Asks Citizens for Central Park to Rethink Bathrooms

Click above to sign the petition.

Cape Charles Wave

January 17, 2013

Cape Charles resident Don Riley is going to the mat over the proposed bathrooms in Central Park.

Riley has appealed to Mayor Dora Sullivan, Town Manager Heather Arcos, Citizens for Central Park President Bob Panek, and several members of the Historic District Review Board.

He also made a formal appeal to Town Council, and says he will go as far as to take his case to Northampton County Circuit Court.

Riley has multiple problems with the proposed bathroom: The building was designed to resemble the adjoining sewage pump station; the site is beside a drainage pond; it’s too close to the park pergola; and it blocks neighbors’ views of the park.

“The [first] pump station was a mistake,” Riley told Town Council last week. “Why do we want to bookend it?


But Town Council rejected Riley’s appeal. So now he is taking his appeal to the public in the form of an online petition.

Originally, Riley set out with a yellow legal pad, gathering signatures from nearby residents.

Now he has taken a page from Hotel Cape Charles developer David Gammino, who used an online petition to gather several hundred signatures in support of the hotel design.

Both Hotel Cape Charles and Central Park are located in the Historic District of Cape Charles. According to Town ordinance, remodeling or new construction must be approved by the Historic District Review Board.

The Board rejected the glass balconies at the hotel as not in keeping with the historic design of the surrounding area.

But in the case of the Park bathroom, the same Board approved plans to copy the c.1980s sewage pump station.

A recording of the Board’s deliberation reveals that they failed to consider whether the design of the proposed bathroom was in keeping with surrounding historic buildings.

Instead, the recording reveals the Board laughingly agreeing with Town Planner Bonadeo that the bathroom “is probably not the prettiest thing out there — but it’s a lot prettier than the green porta-potty.”

Citizens for Central Park is meeting 1 p.m. Saturday, January 19, at Sea Gate Bed and Breakfast, the home of Vice Mayor Chris Bannon, and Riley plans to present his petition to the group.

Bannon told the Wave yesterday that the public is welcome to attend the meeting, so long as his house was not overly crowded.

Riley’s petition reads:


PREAMBLE: Citizens for Central Park has received a $20,000 grant and an additional $15,000 contribution from the taxpayers of the Town of Cape Charles. CCP plans to build a bathroom near the Park pergola designed to resemble a nearby sewage pump station. The location is in one of the lowest areas of the park, next to a drainage pond. The bathroom floor has to be raised 2 to 3 feet and plans call for a 60-foot curving ramp for access. Citizens for Central Park should rethink the bathroom plan.

PETITION: We, the undersigned, request Citizens for Central Park to rethink the Park bathroom plan. The bathroom should not look like a sewage pump station, it should not be built in a lake, and it should not detract from the pergola.

Readers who wish to electronically sign the bathroom petition may access it at



10 Responses to “Petition Asks Citizens for Central Park to Rethink Bathrooms”

  1. Bruce Lindeman on January 17th, 2013 7:15 am

    I like the idea of a bathroom at the park. Not sure of the design. Haven’t seen it yet. But, we have little kids and it will be convenient to have it there when we’re down at the park flying our kites, playing ball, or riding bikes.

    I do like the size/design of the bathroom down at the pier. If this bathroom were close in design to that, I think it’d fit in nicely.

    As I think about this holistically however, I think that there are so many other things that detract from the historic viewscape of our pretty little town to get more torqued up about. We have far too many homes in the district that need love, that look abandon, that have renovations half-started and left as-is, that have yards strewn with trash and overgrown landscaping, signs that needs replacing/painting, fences that need mending, not to mention the delapitaded storefronts on Mason Avenue — I could go on.

    But, adding a replacement to a porta potty at the park is not high on my list of things that upset me. That said, I applaud Mr. Riley for stepping up and doing something about an issue for which he cares deeply. This is the thing I’ve been talking about: get involved and do something! Interested in seeing how this plays out…

  2. Mike Kuzma, Jr on January 17th, 2013 10:33 am

    Mr. Lindeman, as to the storefronts on Mason, as long as the Town Government is denying the Hotel an occupancy permit, do you really think that small investors are going to risk their futures in a place that seems to NOT want their money? As for the homes that need love, maybe instead of chasing after the Hotel, the Town can send some inspectors to cite them for failure to maintain.

    Actions have consequences.

    As for the park bathrooms, this “come here” looks at the entire situation and thinks — “Isn’t that for all intents and purposes Echelon’s park now?”

  3. Bruce Lindeman on January 17th, 2013 3:54 pm

    Mike — Storefronts, agreed. Homes, agreed. As for the park now belonging to Echelon, I disagree. They are just one property owner out of hundreds in this town. I own that park as do you. We all do. That will not change.

  4. Wayne Creed on January 18th, 2013 12:43 pm

    Yes Mike, Echelon not only owns the park, they also own 2 Plum Street. Cite homeowners to maintain? Really? Shouldn’t they have cited themselves for not following the building and maintenance codes regarding the old high school? Oh, and by the way, the school, if we still owned it, has two large, nice restrooms (with showers), so there would be no need to waste taxpayer resources on a structure that will defame the pubic space, as well as radically destroy the vistas (isn’t that the only thing the idiotic waste of a park has going for it?) enjoyed from either end of Monroe Ave. Yes, maybe we should all climb aboard Lindeman’s PollyAnna Express, hug and hold hands — or instead, get up, and stand up for our rights like Bob said.

  5. Bruce Lindeman on January 18th, 2013 1:45 pm

    Wayne, I refuse to take the bait, except to simply say that I choose to live my life positively and cheerfully. If you or others wish to call this pollyannaish, that’s fine by me. I can choose to be bitter and angry — or I can choose to be happy. Happy is my choice. In my 52 years, my outlook on life has served me pretty well.

    That doesn’t mean I agree with the town on these matters. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t believe people should stand up for what they believe in. This is America and I’d want it no other way. Your way is just not my way.

    What I believe is my choice. Not yours.

  6. Mike Kuzma, Jr on January 18th, 2013 3:07 pm

    Wayne, If you had read my previous comments, I made the EXACT same point as you regarding the Old School’s bathroom facilities…..please hold your marxism at bay until you see who is agreeing with you!!

    Secondly, if you’ll note I never said that Echelon owns the park. I said, to an outsider looking at the totality of the actions taken ON BEHALF OF ECHELON, it would appear that they do indeed “own” the park.

    Now, on to my comment regarding “citing homeowners.” I was stating that, as Mr. Lindeman said, there are homes that need love, they should be held to the same standard as the Hotel is. It seems a bit churlish to chase one, but allow others to breach Public Health codes. Not that I was suggesting that it be done, just pointing out the disparity.

    As for Town Council “citing” themselves, that is not their responsibility. It is OURS and at the last election, nationally, we voted to continue cold, dispassionate, crony capitalism and overarching Government, and forgive my ignorance, but was an entire new slate of Town Council members voted in?

    As to your last comment about it being an “idiotic park”, I’ll have you know that that park will always have a special place in my “come-here” heart. It is where I saw my nephew first ride a two-wheeled bike, it will always ring with the laughter of my daughter as she negotiated the jungle gym and tire slide and the sunsets I enjoyed with my bride.

    It is far from an “idiotic park.” It is the geographic and spiritual center of CC, and as such it is why I have always maintained that the OSCC SHOULD be the Municipal Complex AND community Center.

    I urge you to go read the multiplicity of comments I have made this week and I will await your apology. And make you buy the first drink!

    A bientot!

  7. Wayne Creed on January 18th, 2013 4:35 pm

    @Mike: Bitter marxists (who spend more than 20 nights a year sleeping in Cape Charles) never apologize, but I will buy the first drink brother!

    Remember, in a higher phase of communist society… only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be fully left behind and society inscribe on its banners: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

    Don’t fret, ’cause guys like you can just choose: Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a big television, choose washing machines, cars, ipods and Jimmy Buffet blenders. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting in on mind-numbing, spirit-crushing town council meetings, or stuffing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, your last in a miserable home, being nothing more than an embarrassment to the ones you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life … But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons . . .

  8. Dana Lascu on January 18th, 2013 6:09 pm

    Comrade Wayne, there is no higher phase of communism. Socialism is the transition stage to communism. Communism is a classless, moneyless, stateless, cumbaya-like state of joy that is based on common ownership (my-wife-is-your-wife sort of thing). Communism is an inevitable stage of historical development that emerges from an advanced productivity that results in an excess of SHARED material wealth. Based on the fact that you are still singing the blues (see above), you sure ain’t near there yet.

  9. Deborah Bender on January 18th, 2013 7:43 pm

    Echelon might not OWN the park but it sure seems like they OWN the town council (minus Frank Wendell), the town planner, and BOTH town manager and assistant town manager.

  10. Dana Lascu on January 19th, 2013 3:23 am

    With all due respect of the diversity of opinion – bathrooms/no bathrooms, Echelon/no Echelon – it is time now that we chill. Town Council and everyone else worked to make the decisions that they thought were in the best interest of the town, and it is an affront to speculate that anyone owns anyone. We should give everyone their due: the Town for finding a solution that might ultimately make sense, the Wave for informing the dialogue, and the die-hard OSCC for fighting for their beliefs – although the lawsuit does not serve anyone well.