UPDATE: The City of Virginia Beach is still working to get approval for the $30 million development project, according to Clay Bernick, Environment and Sustainability Director for the City of Virginia Beach.
The eagle's nest must be inactive for 10 days before U.S. Fish and Wildlife will issue a permit allowing the city to cut down the trees/nesting area. The monitoring process is still ongoing. An environmental consultant hired by the contractors for the project are doing the monitoring. Once they believe it has been 10 days, they will issue their reports to U.S. Fish and Wildlife, who will then make a final review.
Once the permit is issued, U.S. Fish and Wildlife will make sure the nest is inactive before the project will move forward.
Tim Curtis, a Virginia Beach resident who has been monitoring the eaglets for the past few months says the nest is still active and the eaglets are still dependent on the adult eagles that have been bringing them food.
Virginia Beach, Va. - A $30 million development has been put on hold in the Kempsville section of Virginia Beach, all because of a family of bald eagles.
"It's just so amazing to see God's work," said Linda Phelps who visits the eagles' nest, located behind the old Kemps Landing School, almost every day.
"At first, we didn't know what it was, and finally, we stopped and said, 'What are y'all looking at,'" said Phelps.
On the corner of busy Lord Dunmore Drive and Oakmears Crescent, you'll find people stopping by, taking out their cameras and binoculars, all to get a glimpse of the big beautiful eagles soaring through the sky to feed and protect their young.
"It makes it easier for the public to see these bald eagles up close, and I think that's pretty cool," said Tim Curtis, who comes by the site every day to look at the eagles.
On any given day, the area can have a lot of people around it. In fact, there are so many people that the city recently put up no trespassing signs in order to protect the birds.
Two bald eagles and three eaglets call the nest home, at least for now. The multi-million dollar residential and commercial development that would bring the nest down has been put on hold because of the birds. In fact, the City of Virginia Beach is working with fish and wildlife officials to get permits to build at the site after the baby eagles can fly and leave the nest.
"I don't think that they're going to make a little Williamsburg out of great old Kempsville," said Phelps. "People are not going to patronize it. They don't patronize the small shops all the way around. They're empty shops. So I think it's great that they have to be on hold for a while."
The City of Virginia Beach hopes to have the permits to build sometime this summer. But until then, the eagles have the nest and that area to call home.