VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A 200-unit apartment complex is one step closer to making its way to the Ocean Park community in Virginia Beach, despite outcry from residents who oppose it.
The Ocean Park community is an area near the CBBT and the Chic's Beach area in Virginia Beach.
The Virginia Beach Planning Commission voted 7-3 Wednesday in favor of rezoning land in Ocean Park currently zoned for duplexes or single-family homes.
Developers are looking to build the apartment complex at the corner of Shore Drive and Marlin Bay. It would be three stories tall with a fourth-story parking garage.
Many residents voiced concerns to the planning commission, saying they felt the added traffic and congestion will decrease the quality of life and put a strain on the Pleasure House Point preserved wetlands.
Ocean Park Civic League President Danny Murphy says he’s not surprised by the vote, but this won’t be the end of the fight for him.
"It’s a quiet neighborhood. It’s mostly residential duplexes. We think it’s going to have a detrimental effect. Just the amount of traffic, the amount of people coming in and out - it’s certainly going to increase the volume of just activity around," Murphy said.
Some who supported the measure say it would help fill a gap in available housing.
Murphy is just one of many outspoken residents who worried that their quiet community could be in for a shake-up.
“City council is beholden to the citizens, and I think that’s where our voice will speak louder,” Murphy said. “It isn’t a platform for the developers. It’s where the citizens of Virginia Beach can decide whether it’s overdevelopment or not and relay that to the council members and have them vote on it.”
Virginia Beach City Council will take the issue up at the October 19 meeting, and they will have the final say on whether re-zoning is approved.