#11 Story
Bayshore Concrete Reveals Plans to Hire 300-400

Bayshore Concrete Products Treasurer John Chandler addresses Cape Charles Town Council. (Wave photo)

Bayshore Concrete Products Treasurer John Chandler addresses Cape Charles Town Council. (Wave photo)

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(This story was updated September 23 to clarify the number of new jobs expected at Bayshore Concrete. Click here to read the update.)

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Cape Charles Wave

September 22, 2013

Bayshore Concrete Products representatives have announced plans to hire 300-400 new employees at their Cape Charles location, a massive expansion after the current slowdown. The announcement came September 19 at the Cape Charles Town Council meeting.

Recent work at the Cape Charles Bayshore plant has been so light that the company has been transporting local workers to another installation across the Bay.

But now, according to Bayshore treasurer John Chandler, Bayshore Concrete has contracts to build spans for the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York and the Great Egg Harbor Bridge in New Jersey.

Chandler gave a brief history of the Bayshore plant, noting that it opened in 1960 to construct concrete spans for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  More recently the company has felt the effects of the 2008 recession and by competition from other companies. “The competition was catching up with us,” Chandler said. [Read more…]


#12 Story
Dickie Foster, Joan Natali Taken off Bay Creek Board

Bay Creek developer Richard "Dickie" Foster toasts Oral and Mrs. Lamber during happier times in 2008. (Photo: Virginian-Pilot)

Bay Creek developer Richard “Dickie” Foster toasts Oral and Mrs. Lambert during happier times in 2008. (Photo: Virginian-Pilot)


March 16, 2015

Threatened by a palace revolt, Bay Creek South owner Keyser/Sinclair has removed founder Richard “Dickie” Foster as president of the Bay Creek Community Association. Cape Charles Town Council member Joan Natali is also being removed from her position as a voting board member of the Association.

The action was announced March 11 by Bay Creek South LLC President Gary Dorsch at a property owners meeting. Dorsch appointed longtime Foster associate Oral Lambert to replace Foster as president.

Bay Creek neighbors Dr. Paul Strong and Steve and Susan Husak led a threatened legal challenge to Dorsch for his company’s failure to charge monthly dues to Foster for the 75 lots he still owns through his two companies, Bay Creek LLC and Baymark Construction. Operating under the name “Bay Creek Citizen Group,” Strong and the Husaks alerted fellow residents to the fact that while they were being charged $155 a month for each lot they owned, Foster had not been charged anything for the past seven years following his sale of most of Bay Creek to Keyser/Sinclair. More than 200 Bay Creek owners signed on to the Citizen Group’s complaint.

The Citizen Group also charged that Bay Creek South (Keyser/Sinclair) had been unable to substantiate its claimed costs for various improvements used to justify its own exemption from paying property dues. “When residents attempted to exercise their right under both the Declarations and Virginia law to examine the records substantiating these costs, they were told they had been ‘lost,'” the Citizen Group said.

The issue is complicated by the fact that Bay Creek property owners do not have control over their own Community Association. Instead, owner Keyser/Sinclair, known as the “declarant,” controls the Association. The by-laws call for control to pass to the actual property owners not later than 2021. In the meantime Dorsch controls the Community Association in the name of the declarant.

Another wrinkle is that the majority of dues go to pay for grounds maintenance — and the company performing the maintenance is owned by Foster. There is no bidding  — the Association simply pays whatever Foster charges.

[Read more…]


#13 Story
Reverse Angle Parking Off to Shaky Start

(Wave photo)

(Wave photo)

reverse angleCAPE CHARLES WAVE

May 18, 2015

According to the diagram above, Cape Charles’s new “reverse angle parking” on Mason Avenue is supposed to be a three-step process: Signal, Stop, Reverse. But the white Audi station wagon above didn’t get that memo, and made a wide turn to pull in front-ways.

The bicycle with trailer next to the Audi did a better job, smartly facing outward. But since when are bicycles allowed to occupy a full parking space? Since reverse-angle parking came to town, apparently.

Next to the bike we see a golf cart, also properly positioned — although it looks to be crowding the white line. Golf carts rarely travel in reverse, so the driver probably lacked experience. [Read more…]


#14 Story
INTERSECTION: What the . . . ???


May 11, 2015

Resembling ancient symbols in the sand, the array of lines at right depicts a proposed Los Angeles-style reworking of the intersection of Stone Road and Route 13 — Cape Charles’s only traffic light (at the sign of the “S”).

Northampton Supervisor Granville Hogg dubs it “a million-dollar fix for a hundred-dollar problem.”

The red lines show the existing Route 13 including ramps to Stone Road and S. Bayside Road. The yellow lines show a proposed Route 13 relocated to the west with two half-cloverleaf interchanges. The dotted yellow lines signify bridges over Stone Road and the railroad tracks.

VDOT will be in attendance at the Tuesday, May 12, Board of Supervisors meeting, where public input may be voiced at the 7 p.m. session.


#15 Story
Town Says Pound Net Would ‘Eliminate’ Fun Pier Fishing

Cherrystone Campground Also Affected


June 23, 2014

The Town of Cape Charles has reacted strongly to applications to place pound nets in the Bay near the Town Fun Pier and near Cherrystone Campground. The pound nets “would directly eliminate the supply of fish” to the Cape Charles Fun Pier and to the Cherrystone piers, according to a letter to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission signed by Mayor Dora Sullivan.

The letter names four reasons why the pound net application should be denied:

– Recreational Fishing: Thousands of people visit the Fun Pier annually, and the pound net would “eliminate” the supply of fish to the pier.

— Environment: The pound net would likely use old telephone poles treated with creosote. “We don’t understand why this is allowed,” the letter states.

— Safety and Health: A fishing vessel next to the Federal Channel could hinder safe navigation, and seagulls attracted to the catch could hinder operations at Bayshore Concrete Products.

— Tourism: Issues cited above, as well as additional flies, “could cause the harbor and beach areas to become undesirable to the point that our visitors may not return.”

The letter also complains that the VMRC did not notify the Town of the application. By the time the Town found out, the 30-day comment period had ended.

Applications for pound nets require an advertisement in a local newspaper, followed by a 30-day period for public comment. The advertisement apparently was not noticed by town officials, and no other notice was received. [Read more…]


#16 Story
TOWN COUNCIL: ‘Don’t Answer That Question’

Penny postcard of historic old school -- where is the front of the building?

Penny postcard of historic old school — where is the front of the building?

Cape Charles Wave

October 21, 2013

Cape Charles Town Planner Rob Testerman found himself in a difficult position at last Thursday’s Town Council meeting. Councilman Frank Wendell asked him if he could identify the front of the school in Central Park and if parking is allowed in the front of residential properties in the Historic District.

The issue was an appeal by the Old School Cape Charles civic group of a Certificate of Appropriateness granted to a developer by the Town Planner.  Testerman and Town Manager Heather Arcos had decided to reject the appeal without a hearing by Town Council.

WENDELL: Doesn’t our historic ordinance say you can’t put a parking lot in front of an historic building?

TESTERMAN: I don’t believe there’s anything about that.

WENDELL: Do you agree that they can put a parking lot in the front of the building? Does anybody dispute that the front of the building faces south? Let’s start with Rob: Does the front of the building face south?

MAYOR DORA SULLIVAN: Overruled. There is no discussion . . . it’s not an action item. [Read more…]


#17 Story
Old School Developer Gets Another Lucky Break

bad wall

Town gave Petersburg developer J. David McCormack $41,000 to repair damage to old school wall, but McCormack did the job for an estimated $1,000. (All photos Cape Charles Wave)

Cape Charles Wave

December 15, 2014

J. David McCormack of Petersburg, who is converting the old Cape Charles High School in Central Park into a 17-unit apartment building, has enjoyed one lucky break after another over the past four years.  Most recently, he saved as much as $200,000 in repairs to a crumbling back wall.

It was that same wall that town officials claimed made the old school impossibly expensive to repair for use as a community center. When Northampton County offered to chip in, then-Mayor Dora Sullivan turned the County Board of Supervisors down flat.

“The cost to provide a historic restoration is prohibitive at $2-4 million,” she wrote to then-Supervisor Willie Randall, noting that “one exterior wall collapsed as a result of the earthquake last year and the estimate to repair that wall alone was approximately $200,000.”

The actual estimate was $228,000 and came from FEMA, who was willing to pay to repair the earthquake damage so long as the town retained ownership of the building. FEMA refused, however, to compensate the town unless the money was used to repair the wall.

The FEMA report also contained the question, “Was this site previously damaged?” The answer given was “No.” But the damage had been documented years earlier in the 2006 Shriver Holland report: “The exterior wall along the west side of the east wing has pulled away from the floor framing. . . . Geotechnical investigation should be provided to determine cause of wall movement. Wall may need to be re-anchored and additional foundation support provided,” the report stated. [Read more…]


#18 Story
EXTRA: Town Paying Dickie Foster’s Real Estate Tax

Under agreement between Town of Cape Charles and Bay Creek developer, Foster has saved nearly $20,000 in taxes and lawn care over four years.

Under agreement between Town of Cape Charles and Bay Creek developer, Foster has saved over $30,000 in taxes and lawn care in four years by allowing this sign on one of his lots. (Wave photo)


March 20, 2014

Lease documents supplied to the Wave show that since 2010 the Town of Cape Charles has paid all real estate taxes for seven commercial lots on Randolph Avenue owned by Bay Creek developer Richard “Dickie” Foster.

The annual Northampton County tax bill is $2,355 and the annual Cape Charles tax bill is $935, for a total of $3,290 paid by the town each year.

Under the lease agreement, the town also bears all expense for landscaping, cutting the grass, and “otherwise maintaining the property.”

The lease was signed in June 2010 by Foster and Town Manager Heather Arcos. By June of this year the town will have saved Foster over $13,000 in taxes and at least $17,000 lawn care, for a total of over $30,000. [Read more…]