#8 Story
Bay Creek Lots, Lighthouse Go for Pennies on the Dollar

map annotated

Bay Creek lighthouse cost $1 million when built 10 years ago but sold at auction for $137,500.

Cape Charles Wave

June 2, 2014

The iconic Bay Creek lighthouse, a full-scale replica of the historic Old Plantation Flats lighthouse, sold at auction Saturday for $137,500 to the sole bidder, John Waller of Virginia Beach. Waller said he did not attend the auction with the purpose of buying the lighthouse, but when no one else bid, he did so on a whim. He and his family will use it as a “getaway.”

An additional 22 lots in Bay Creek Marina Village East owned by Paul and Robert Galloway also sold at auction for prices ranging from $2,750 to $37,076, for a total of about $200,000 for all 22 lots. At the height of the market eight years ago a single lot sold for more than that.

Built by Bay Creek developer Richard “Dickie” Foster as a museum in 2004, the lighthouse was never intended to be sold. Instead, it was a visual feature of Bayside Village and the Arnold Palmer golf course. But Foster gave up the lighthouse as part of a December 2013 settlement with his former business partner Paul Galloway. [Read more…]


#9 Story
An Outsider’s Inside View of Bay Creek’s Beach Club

Forget the beach -- the new Bay Creek facility is really a large, impressive gym. (Wave photos)

Forget the beach — the new Bay Creek facility is really a large, impressive gym (Wave photos)

Cape Charles Wave

January 27, 2014

When I moved to the Town of Cape Charles four years ago, I didn’t realize that the majority of the Town would be off-limits to me. Sure, I knew that Bay Creek was a gated community, but I didn’t think I would be banned from riding my bicycle over there.

That’s because, as a college student in the 1970s, I worked construction one summer on Hilton Head Island, where Sea Pines Plantation looks like it must have been the prototype for Bay Creek. Cars entering Sea Pines had to have a pass, but bikers and pedestrians could waltz right through. That was before 9/11, of course – maybe things have changed now.

Nevertheless I was shocked to learn of the “unneighborliness” of Bay Creek. German guests at our vacation rental rode bikes over to the gate and naively said they just wanted to “look around.” They were turned away, of course, not knowing the magic words “Coach House Restaurant.” Even my new weekender neighbors, a doctor and his professional wife, also on bikes, were turned away. [Read more…]


#10 Story



June 29, 2015

In last Monday’s edition (which broke all readership records – over 7,000 page views in one day) the Wave had the sad task of leading the page with news of another drowning off Cape Charles Beach – a tragic death that competent town leadership could have avoided.

Anyone could have seen that drowning coming, and of course many did. The former “safe” beach has become a death trap now that newly pumped spoil has brought the beach close to the once-distant Cherrystone channel and its sudden drop-off and swift tidal currents.

Three months ago the Wave drew attention to the town’s failure to acknowledge the dangerous beach when we wrote: “A ‘special edition’ of the Cape Charles Gazette purports to tell everything you ever wanted to know about the harbor dredging/beach improvement. We learn what color the sand will turn, and whether it’s safe to walk on the beach. What isn’t mentioned is whether it’s safe to go in the water — specifically, are there dangerous drop-offs now that the beach extends so close to the channel? The town isn’t telling. (April 1, 2015)”

That same Gazette mentions that the town annually budgets $20,000 for beach sand replacement, but with the free spoil, that cost will now be saved. Yet last Saturday’s Eastern Shore News quotes town officials as saying that hiring lifeguards would be too expensive and too complicated. [Read more…]


#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…]