The Cape Charles Government is off the chain and is using brutal tactics to hammer away at locals. The Mirror reported last week how the Town moved in to shut down the Lemon Tree’s Friday Night Street Party. On the Mirror Facebook page, the town responded by saying, “Hate to say it but your sources are wrong here…
The town did not restrict all of their street parties it was this specific one because in short 1.they did not get their ABC license extension in time after being told numerous times by ABC what they needed and 2. After doing their events indoors the last two weeks and leaving the town and ABC under the impression their next event outside would be late July they notified all parties Wednesday of their plans and with that notice especially on ABCs end was the reason their ONE event was denied.
It did not go unnoticed that Lemon Tree decided to ignore the fact they neglected to get what was needed and allowed their street party to somewhat continue as planned. The unfortunate part is the town does not have any say over ABC laws and procedure and I worry the complete disregard may affect others that want to obtain ABC licenses for Town events in the future.”
Whatever, but isn’t this between the Lemon Tree and the VA ABC? Why is the Town getting involved?
The Lemon Tree called them out and fired back, “…do not have her facts correct.
LemonTree has complied with VDOT, Town, and ABC requirements and has been working with all agencies cooperatively to produce the Friday Night parties for the past two years. The LemonTree has never been above the law nor would they try to be. The Town restricted the closing of Strawberry Street this past Friday night because of the holiday and that over-ruled any of the approved applications. The message was delivered at the last minute which resulted in the confusion. Lemon Tree expects to continue with the popular Friday night street parties and will sit down with Town officials this week to confirm all details going forward.”
The abuse of Locals did not stop there. This summer, a group of locals wanted to set up a volleyball net the same they have been doing for years, the same way almost every beach in the Northern Hemisphere does it. Every beach needs to have beach volleyball…it’s a thing (these guys have been playing Vball on the beach every Tuesday and Thursday since the early 2000s) . The Town heavy-handedly rejected the volleyball court idea and basically told them to go pack sand.
One of the ballers told the Mirror, “I did purchase the nets and poles years ago with my own money as an unofficial donation to the town (about $750 for each of the two courts for a nice stainless steel system that could easily be raised/lowered for men, women, kids as well as nice nets that have lasted for years), but the town was nice enough to finally pay me back in full last year. So all of the gear fully belongs to them now. In years past, I would reach out to the rec coordinator, and then Public Works would drop the poles off at the beach and then we dig the holes, carry the poles to the right spot, and set them up ourselves. I usually spearhead that effort, but this year I did not return to Cape Charles as early as usual and simultaneously we have a new person who does not seem to value beach volleyball as much as our previous rec coordinator. So nobody got the ball rolling as early as usual. Other vball players did reach out multiple times but never heard back. When I finally made contact with the rec coordinator in mid-June, she said that she did not want to task Public Works with the effort of dropping the poles off for us when they were already so busy prepping for the 4th and other summer plans. When I offered that we could come pick them up ourselves this time, they still declined, also saying they were worried about space on the beach. She said they would not allow us to set up until after July 4th. In my opinion, the interim rec coordinator in concert with Public Works should be setting up the volleyball courts themselves well before Memorial Day because it is an asset for the town just as valuable and pertinent as a fishing pier, tennis court, playground, etc. We have been happy to set them up ourselves just because we are familiar with the equipment and can ensure that it is set up well. Waiting until after July 4th makes no sense as half of the summer is gone by then. People crowd the shoreline in CC, but even on the busiest days, there is always still space for more umbrellas in the back. The volleyball courts are in an undesirable space that is the last place anyone would go with a beach umbrella. Volleyball players should count as beachgoers too. We have a large group of local residents that play, and tourists always come and use our courts as well. The nice thing about a beach volleyball court compared to a gazebo or a playground or a tennis court or a fishing pier is that it is still just sand. If the beach is ever really that crowded, people can set up their umbrellas right on the court. But that simplicity and easy transience of the beach volleyball courts has sadly led the town to not value them as much as the other facilities that are maintained and supported at much greater cost with much greater effort from Public Works. This is a beach town – beach volleyball should be at the top of recreational facilities this town provides, not at the bottom, or worse, not on the list at all.”
As Locals, we have come to accept the new Cape Charles for what it is. Most of us like the tourists (this writer still spends a lot of time at the beach and talks to many of our visitors…most are really nice and are here to relax and have fun), but it cannot be denied that tourism has changed us, and has put a lot of pressure on our community.
As a Local, many of us feel we have lost our town, and kind of just stay away until the tourist season slows down. Rather than beating us down, the Town could at least let us have our street parties and a simple volleyball net at the beach.
Is that fair?