The Cape Charles Town Council rejected an offer to sell .40 acres of harbor property to Shanty owner Jon Dempster. Dempster brought an unsolicited offer of $262,000 for the parcel. Council vote was 3-3, but the sale of real property requires a super-majority of 5-1.
The slash line for the vote was Buchholz, Green
While Mayor Dize could not vote, he did offer an embarrassing and cringe-worthy defense of the sale even as the majority of the “citizens” voiced opposition.
Town Manager Larry DiRe recommended that the town not sell the property:
Staff recommends Town Council not approve the sale of town-owned real property (0.40-acre portion of tax map parcel # 83A3-A-10 as shown in lease agreement “exhibit A”) at this time. Lot 10, in whole and in part, is a critical parcel in the overall harbor district and in relation to the future development of the adjacent forty- acre railroad yard property.
Until a meaningful, and relevant for the current conditions, railroad yard\harbor area sector planning process is completed and implemented through any necessary zoning ordinance amendments, the 0.40-acre pad should remain under town ownership.
In recent months the Town and various stakeholders, including the Canonie Atlantic board, and Northampton County, have discussed the future land uses and development of the railroad yard. More recently private investment in maritime activities and vessel provisioning services have been made in the harbor area.
The Planning Commission, at their regular monthly meeting on March 5, 2019 committed to begin the process of reviewing railroad yard and harbor area planning and zoning and requested this be done as a joint exercise with the Town Council and the Harbor Area Review Board.
Upon completion of that process, the town will have current, integrated information upon which to make land use, land acquisition, and land disposition decisions.