Group wants to limit development in Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – A group in Chesapeake wants to put the brakes on new development in the southern section of the city.

The Chesapeake Citizens Coalition filed a petition today to get a referendum in front of voters next year.

“We want to make sure with all of that area is preserved and that our heritage and those in southern Chesapeake is maintained,” said Gene Waters, with the Chesapeake Citizens Coalition. His group and the Stop Development in Southern Chesapeake group wants to limit development to 3-acre lots. They also want city council to divert money to existing issues.

“We have 13 schools over 100% capacity, our roads, our bypasses those concerns are not being dealt with,” Waters told 10 On Your Side.

Waters has until February to gather about 30,000 signatures needed to a two-part, non-binding referendum question on the ballot in May.

The exact wording of the questions would read: “Should Chesapeake City Council refocus on Our City’s existing communities by committing resources to revitalization, school improvements, roads, public safety, and water/sewer/drainage AND protect Southern Chesapeake’s rural heritage by adhering to a minimum of 3 acre lots for residential development, investing in the promotion of farming and related rural enterprises, and aggressively pursuing open space and agricultural preservation?”

“Let’s focus our attention on the needs and infrastructure requirements with schools, roads, water and sewer, and public safety needs for our existing parts of our city,” said Waters.

Waters feels the Chesapeake City Council does not have its pulse on the concerns of the people, in part citing a lower than 12 percent voter turnout in last May’s election. He hopes holding informational meetings and going door-to-door to educate voters will get more people at the polls in May of 2018 to sound off on the advisory referendum.