Friday, May 28, 2010

Marshview Mayhem

You know that gigantic chunk of land near Salt Marsh Point in Virginia Beach?  Right on Rudee Inlet?  Since the 80's it's been the Navy's official "Crash Here if You're Gonna Crash" site for jets - most likely saving it from becoming the dumping ground for 6,000 additional Land's End condos.  You know - these things...


The fact that a jet from Oceana could come crashing down in it at any moment hasn't stopped nearby residents and homeless folks from doing pretty much anything they wanted to do in it - get drunk, smash bottles, ride ATVs, shoot guns, scare people, jog, etc. - but, soon, all that unsupervised, secret fun is about to come to an abrupt halt. 

The City of Virginia Beach just made a real esate deal with the Navy and plans to turn the property into a "low-density" park.  Sounds like pretty good news, huh?  Well, Tidewater Log has obtained the final plans for the park and doesn't see how the term "low-density" applies to a 98 acre parcel of land covered entirely with trails and junk.  Check it out - click on it to see it closer.

I mean...uhhh...WOW.  I don't even know where to start on this wacky plan.  A "Kid's Zone"?  You don't mean a playground, do you?  A "Nature Museum" in the middle of what is currently a healthy, vibrant ecosystem?  A stage?  For what?!  Lewis McGehee concerts?  The "View Tower" might have been interesting - if you would have kept something natural to view down upon.  I simply can't imagine all the trees that are gonna be removed for all this crap.  Get ready for a mass exodus of raccoons and squirrels into the surrounding neighborhoods.  And what about all the construction chaos?  Yeeesh, that's gonna suck.  By the way, who is paying for all of this?  The city?  I thought we were in debt?!  Don't tell me there's gonna be an admission charge.  And a parking fee.  And "trail upkeep tax".  And a mandatory t-shirt purchase.

Of course, there's got to be a gift shop - it wouldn't be right without one.  Right on the small peninsula behind Shadowlawn.  Great idea!  And is that a bridge actually joining the end of Goldsboro Avenue to the park?  Ummmmm, you may wanna talk to some of the residents about that.  I think you'll be rebuilding that bridge a few times a year...unless you make it fireproof.  That can't be cheap.

And, I'm really curious about the trail planning.  Have you noticed that there are several existing trails already back there?  Has anyone from the city been back there?  I've been riding my bike on the property for years and, aside from having to clear some fallen branches or a hobo every now and then, the trails are quite good.  And logical.  Send someone back there.  Someone in a cheap suit with a pith helmet and mosquito netting.

The above, final design was made by someone - or, most likely, a team of overepaid, clueless doofs - with no knowledge of the property, no consideration for the people that live around it, and no common sense of aesthetics or ecology.

Change it.  Now.