Preserve Communities to Honor Authentic Cape Charles Coastal Living at Bay Creek 350 Acres of the Community to be Placed into Permanent Conservation
CAPE CHARLES, V.A.– (February 18, 2020) – Preserve Communities has designated 350-acres from inside the Bay Creek community to serve as a permanent Nature Preserve. To honor the authentic coastal living Bay Creek is known for, the land set aside in the Nature Preserve will be dedicated toward exploration and preservation and remain protected against future development.
The Nature Preserve will encompass peaceful woodlands, traversed by clear running creeks and tranquil ponds, naturally populated with hundreds of species of wildlife. Natural coves along the shoreline will
provide residents private access to outdoor health and wellness activities such as morning yoga and sunset gatherings.
A thoughtfully developed ‘BaseCamp’ will be introduced to act as the epicenter of the Nature Preserve.
Members will be able to enjoy a host of multi-generational activities, from camping and fishing to kayaking and paddleboarding on the scenic Old Plantation Creek. The BaseCamp will also be home to Bay Creek’s community garden.
“Virginia’s Cape offers a wonderful balance between the sprawling waterfront and pristine nature and wildlife, something which is unique to our location on the East Coast,” says Matt Hagler, Vice President Preserve Clubs & Resorts. “At Preserve Communities, we believe in thoughtful development, and by designating several hundreds of acres here in Bay Creek to conservation, we’re practicing just that.”
Bay Creek is also developing a partnership with Avid Trails, one of America’s top trail system design companies. Avid Trails is set to design and implement walking and biking trails, along with activity stations throughout the newly designated preserve areas – all with the intent of providing a smooth, natural connection from the front door to the outdoors.
Jonny Stevenson says
Well, that sounds nice.
Well, it sounds nice, and it hopefully is. They certainly have someone with a polished marketing tongue creating their press releases. They do paint quite the bucolic picture, do they not ? As they should. We should expect slick sales techniques from these folks. This may very well be one.
I wonder what the exact process is for creating this conservation easement. Does the County or The Town of Cape Charles have anything to say about how this designation is actually implemented ? Go ahead, call me a skeptic, but it sounds like the area will be minimally developed for the private use of their patrons and they will escape local taxes on the property at the same time. If it is to be abandoned as their tax responsibility for a park like use, are they going to be allowed to make it very difficult for others to enjoy the area ? OR should they have to create access for others to get to this area ? Are they creating a land locked “park” to escape taxes and improve enjoyment only for their own ? Hey, I understand my not being allowed to use the facility if I am not a member. That’s fine. On the other side, are they creating a private park to avoid taxes ? Should that be allowed ? A “Nature Preserve” is a very special designation for land, and is quite permanent.
Fed Up! says
Sure it will be open to the public. You just have to buy a property in Bay Creek, pay a $10,000 non refundable deposit and as of now $105 fee a month to enter.
Bay Creek / Preserve Communities will get their tax brake.
It really sounds like a win win for Preserve Communities / Bay Creek just not the local tax payer!
Margot Gorske says
Dear MJM: great questions.
One suggestion if you are able, please Google “Nature Preserves on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. In just 2 seconds I saw 10 of those from Cape Charles to Onancock, 11 if you add Parksley VA. There could be a lot more. Personally I think any addition to this for the Eastern Shore is wonderful for humans and wildlife…
David Boyd says
Right on KK
Eastern Shore: “You’ll love our nature”
Please don’t misunderstand me KK. My first comment was that this new preserve sounds nice and hopefully it is. I meant it. I have zero problem with conservation areas for folks to enjoy. I enjoy them myself. That is the point. The areas you mention have access for the public. My question is based in earlier comments made in here by others from other stories and comments about this property that say access is not granted to all in this private property area. IF that becomes the case, then your statement of this nature preserve being good for humans would not be accurate. If that is the case then this Preserve status should not be granted, in my opinion. I am simply asking is somebody in a town or County capacity watching and making sure all can have access ? Please don’t let a new developer pull the wool over our eyes. if that happened AND it dropped out of the tax base, it would be insulting to all.
The Preserve System: The Virginia Natural Area Preserves System was established in the late 1980’s to protect some of the most significant natural areas in the Commonwealth. A site becomes a component of the preserve system once it is dedicated as a natural area preserve by the Director of the Department of Conservation & Recreation. Natural area dedication works in much the same way as a conservation easement by placing legally binding restrictions on future activities on a property. The Natural Area Preserve System includes examples of some of the rarest natural communities and rare species habitats in Virginia. This system now includes sixty three dedicated natural areas totaling 57,656 acres.
Ownership: Most of the preserves are owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, but some are lands owned by local governments, universities, private citizens and The Nature Conservancy (a private conservation organization).
Public Access: Each natural area preserve is managed primarily for the benefit of the rare plants, animals and natural communities found there. Many preserves feature low-intensity public access facilities such as trails and parking. These are open year-round during daylight hours but may be subject to temporary closure to protect sensitive species or during some management activities, such as prescribed burning. Access to other preserves is restricted but generally may be arranged by contacting the site owner or manager. Read and/or download a brochure about Virginia’s Natural Area Preserves with public access (PDF). Find out about research opportunities on Natural Area Preserves .
Yes Bay Creek is private property, just think of it as a large farm is private property.
Okay. I will look at it as a farm. It’s real simple to me. This tract becomes a conservation area. WONDERFUL. If this Large Farm is paying taxes and allowing all citizens the same amount of access, fine. If it becomes a land locked preserve/farm where only Bay Creek residents may go, I don’t think that’s a good idea at all. It’s just a dodge to avoid taxes and create a private park on the county’s dime. That’s not clear ?
Let’s look at the other side. Let’s say it doesn’t become this “conservation area”. This “large farm”. Bay Creek, as I said before, minimally improves it for recreation purposes, kayaking etc. and only for their residents. The area receives the same amount of limited use. No outsiders are allowed in, and the area receives the same amount of use with protection of the flora and fauna. Why does it need “conservation area” status ? It’s protected by The Bay Creek Entrance Gate. The only difference ? The tax base remains the same for the town and county.
It’s your standard business deal. If they want to buy conservation area status, they need to allow THE SAME public access for all. Just like other conservation areas do.
I don’t know how I can clarify this in any greater detail. I love conservation areas for all. I think someone who takes part of their private property and is allowed to basically declare it a park, then access should be created and allowed for all. That’s what parks do. If Bay Creek does not create that access and allow that, then they are simply dodging taxes that Cape Charles and Northampton County need, and every other farmer and private property owner pays.
How about this question ? What would stop every other land owner from declaring their property a preserve and then pay less taxes ? All I’m saying is I think the town/county needs to look at this proposal. The greater good may be in play here. I am not an expert on these matters.. I am simply raising what could be a valid question.
Well I am confused, did you read the part about Public Access ?
” Many preserves feature low-intensity public access facilities such as trails and parking. These are open year-round during daylight hours but may be subject to temporary closure to protect sensitive species or during some management activities, such as prescribed burning. Access to other preserves is restricted but generally may be arranged by contacting the site owner or manager. ”
The way that reads to me is that not all preserves are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
Then you think of Bay Creek in it entirety, we have private roads that we must pay for maintenance and replacement out of our monthly $156 association fee for all 873 lot owners. The town will never have to pay to maintain them. We also are charged to pay for all our own infrastructure eg lighting sidewalks lakes etc. We all also pay full Real Estate Taxes to the Town of Cape Charles and to Northampton County. I hope this answers some or your questions. By the way Bay Creek was formally Hollywood Farm, all private property and still is private property.
Dear Mr. Creed:
Please let me know your time frame for allowing my rebuttal to MJM as I wrote it midday on Feb 24th the current time is now 6 hours later. I am new to your comment section. Best regards, KK
Note: KK, thank you for your comment. I generally try to get to comments as soon as I can, but it can take several hours sometimes.
Dear Mr. Creed:
Please let me know your time frame for allowing my rebuttal to MJM as I wrote it mid day on Feb 24th the current time is now 6 hours later.. I am new to your comment section. Best regards, KK
William Barton says
I would like a representative of Bay Creak to address these issues. If non-members aren’t allowed to use this area fine but just let us know so the rest of us don’t see this as something that would benefit us.
I had left a comment a while back when the privatization of Bay Creek first came out and I was guessing that the golf course would still be open to the public. We bought our property in CC back in 2008 and have always patronized the golf course when we are down. I called this past weekend and spoke with the pro shop and was told that the course has indeed gone completely private and will not be open to the public going forward. I was both sad and pissed off at the same time. This model has failed in most places where this approach has been used. I’m guessing the new owners are smart enough to know this fact. While talking to the pro shop I was told I could get on with a member but would be limited to 6 rounds per year. Didn’t feel very friendly. My fear is the real path they are taking is to let the courses fail and then abandon them to create more building lots for development. I wonder what Jack and Arnie would think about that if it happened?
Stuart Bell says
Oh how good and pleasant it would be, before God and Man, if Bay Creek was just another greedy developer’s wet dream…
Well yeah KK I see the part of your response about public access. Thank You for helping me make my point, and pointing out the exact potential for a problem that I see. You seem to be on the other side, and that is your right. You seem to believe it is okay for this private entity to create a preserve and remove that 350 acres from the tax base, and restrict access for the general public.
I do not think it matters that Bay Creek used to be a farm. To me the entire Eastern Shore is a preserve it contains so much wonderful flora and fauna, and I treat it that way without such a designation.
I am wondering what is so rare in those 350 acres inside of Bay Creek that should alert us to the fact this conservation designation is needed. I am rather surprised that the rare flora or fauna is not the first item mentioned to bolster the need or this designation.
I am not giving anyone a hard time. I looked at Bay Creek as a farm. Do me a favor. Look at me as the person at the DMV that greets you behind the counter. You want to register your car ? Okay. Sure I will be glad to help you. Can I please see your i.d. so I know you can do this ?
Trust people to be allowed to do what they wish with good will. But Verify.
That’s all I am saying. Apparently Bay Creek, as I have seen in here, has a recent history of changing access and/or renegotiating deals. No ? Again. That is fine. They have that right. I simply maintain local code creators and tax assessors should be taking a good look at this sort of decision. Is it in the best interest of the town and county ?
I also again repeat that I don’t believe in parks for a few. I believe them to be for all. Limit the volume of visitors is fine, but they should be for all.
I am also not sure what Bay Creek Assoc. fees have to do with any of this discussion. They are the business of members. I am not one. I have no plans to become one.
So did anyone see the subsequent article from Bay Creek in The Post. In that article they do state the “preserve” will be for members only, but there will be a crushed stone path outside of the Bay Creek fence for the rest of us. All sorts of wonderful amenities and a clubhouse for the embers and the rest of The Eastern Shore can eat cake. I don’t understand how a private entity can remove itself from the tax base like this. I would guess the town and the county have to be asleep. Is that accurate ?
We are all about to get screwed out of tax money for a private playpen for Bay Creek use. How does that feel ?