Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League

July 2005

             Weiner Roast, Ice Cream Social and Bike Rodeo at This Month's Meeting

CIVIC LEAGUE MEETING, Monday, July 11, 2005, 7:00 pm, Stuart Center, 411 Virginia Avenue. Use cafeteria entrance at school parking lot.

NEXT BOARD MEETING will be July 18, 2005, at 7:00 pm.

DEADLINE for the August issue is Tuesday, July 26, 2005.

THIS MONTH'S MEETING AGENDA:   Ice Cream Social - Bike Safety Rodeo - Weiner Roast.

President’s Notes
Andy Wallach

Welcome to summer. Your re-elected Civic League officers are ready to tackle another year. Thanks to all who came to the June meeting, approved the budget, shared concerns, and offered suggestions. Discussion items included infill housing, traffic signs, playground equipment, dressing-up our entranceways, Colonial Place’s 100th anniversary.

Infill housing is the building of houses on empty lots within a developed neighborhood. With the current demand for housing, developers are looking for any property on which to build a house. Therefore, some lots which previously were considered economically not viable for a new house due to their small size, are now being sought out for building. Most of Colonial Place and Riverview is zoned R-8 One-Family District with a minimum buildable lot size of 5,000 square feet. This lot size was enacted in 1950. Previously one could build on smaller lots in Colonial Place/Riverview… and as long as an empty lot remained “independent” since 1950, that is not owned by the same person who owned an adjacent property, it is “grandfathered”…therefore currently buildable, even though it is smaller than 5,000 square feet. Besides lot size, zoning specifies minimum building “set-backs” from the front, sides, and back of the property line. If one desires to build a structure which does not conform to the zoning requirements, one must obtain a variance. The City Council approves variances.

The owner of a property on Maryland Avenue is currently appealing the Zoning Administrator’s decision denying the right to build on a property that is smaller than 5,000 square feet.  The City’s zoning staff determined that the lot has not been independent since 1950, therefore not “grandfathered”, and denied the owner permission to build.  The owner is appealing.  The appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals includes a request for a variance … thus even if the property is determined not to be “grandfathered”, the owner is asking for a variance to build anyway.  The Civic League membership voted to oppose the appeal/variance at the June meeting.  Members concerns included increased traffic/density and architectural compatibility.  Colonial Place was developed during the street-car era.  Families had either no car or one car.  Parking and traffic were not a problem.  Today with most houses having at least two associated cars, parking and traffic are congested.  Member Susan Burnett volunteered to research the locations of vacant lots in Colonial Place/Riverview so that we will be better informed concerning potential requests for zoning variances. 

Zoning also controls building use.  Colonial Place/Riverview is primarily “One-Family District”.  Again, if the use of the structure was non-conforming as of 1950, its use is “grandfathered”.  An owner retains the right to the non-conforming use unless the building is not used as such for a two-year period.  For example, if a non-conforming two-family house in a one-family district is left vacant for two years, the owner loses the right to use it for two families.

Member Sue VanHecke suggested the creation of a pamphlet/booklet to commemorate Colonial Place’s 100th Anniversary.  She also volunteered to take on the project.  The Civic League Board heartily supports this effort, asking her to consider the inclusion of Riverview…which is only a few years older than Colonial Place.

Bring your whole household to the July meeting to enjoy hot dogs and ice cream, meet your neighbors, and to improve bike safety.

Summer Fun
Steve Earnhart

What better to celebrate summer in Colonial Place and Riverview than eating grilled hot dogs, enjoying delicious ice cream and riding bicycles. With that in mind, please bring your family and neighbors to our July 11th civic league meeting for a very special “CPRV Civic League Weiner Roast, Ice Cream Social and Bike Rodeo.” Our activities will kick off at 6:30 p.m. at the entrance to the Stuart School café.

Like the good neighbors they are, Ms. Kathy Kretz and Ms. Anne Leigh Austin of the local State Farm insurance company will present a Bike Rodeo, a fun and exciting way for young people to learn about bike safety. In addition to the Bike Rodeo, our CPRV neighbor Mr. Gary Chiaverotti who volunteers with the Lynn Fund of the Brain Injury Association of America (and the Virginia chapter) will be giving away multi-use sports helmets that actually look like human brains. How cool is that!? About as cool as the ice cream you can enjoy after you have tasty hot dog (we will have traditional and vegetarian franks while supplies last). Can it get any better? Yes, it can. You may have seen those oval-shaped CPRV stickers on cars around the neighborhood. According to CPRV Webmaster Jeanne Ullian, civic league members (current or new) who participate in the evening activities (either by biking or eating or both) are eligible for a free CPRV sticker, though you must agree to display your sticker on your car or bicycle. So mark your calendars, get those tires inflated and bring your family out for our CPRV Ice Cream Social/Weiner Roast/Bike Rodeo.

Interested in volunteering? Anne Leigh and I am currently looking for adults to help run some of the bike rodeo stations. I am also still looking for someone who would like to serve as “Grillmeister” for the evening. Please contact me via email:

City of Norfolk

Beginning this summer, the City will provide the public with a GIS application entitled the “Interactive Zoning Mapper”. This new software application will allow the general public to access zoning information over the internet, related to a specific site within the City. Access will include base zoning, overlays, conditional zoning, and the Chesapeake Bay buffer area. In addition, the public will be able to view aerial photography either with or without zoning shown. This application also includes software descriptions of the zoning districts as well as information about properties that are conditionally zoned. GIS software is used to view, analyze and link data such as: people to addresses; buildings to parcels; or streets within a network. Placing data in layers using GIS software allows for better understanding of how data interrelates.

E-mail archives
Jeanne Ullian

The e-mail list archives are back! Thanks to David Francis at DCF.NET, who hosts our site at no cost to the civic league, members of the CPRV email list can now access the list archives. If you are looking for recommendations on plumbers, roofers, etc. check the archives first for past advice. Once you do some searching you will realize the value of using a good descriptive phrase in the subject line of anything sent to to the list.

Jeanne Ullian

Jeremy Bailey, a member of CPRV, has volunteered to shoot some new community photos to document more of the sights and activities of Colonial Place and Riverview. Don't miss his new photos--"The Porches of Colonial Place"--recently loaded to the web site. Visit: If you live on New York Avenue, Colonial Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue, or Newport Avenue your house might be in pictures! Watch for Jeremy and his camera at the CPRV July ice cream social/bike rodeo on Monday, July 11th. We plan to put up a special page on this event--so SMILE when you see the camera pointing at you.

Up From The Soil
Jim Hoffmaster, Tanner’s Creek Garden Center

Ahhh, July. Picnics, fireworks, reunions, sand between the toes and deadheading. Deadheading? What’s that? A reunion of Greatful Dead fans? Nope. Just another type of maintenance that needs to be done to keep the garden bright and colorful. To keep your flowering annuals looking their best and to get the most bloom for your buck, “deadhead” the old blooms that have already finished their show. It is best to do this just after the bloom has finished and before the bloom starts to produce seed. It takes a lot of energy for a plant to produce seed AND to produce flowers. So as a survival tactic, the plant will put most of its energy into producing seed for the next season instead of making new flowers. In their native habitat, the seeds will sprout and flower the next season. Unfortunately, our Hampton Roads winters are too cold to allow the seeds to come back next season.

Removing the spent flowers by cutting them off at the base of the old bud allows the plant to put all of its energy into making new blooms instead of making seeds. The chore is not as daunting as it sounds. I usually do mine once a week in the morning till the first frost, and that is usually enough to keep things in bloom and colorful. This practice should also be done for your annual foliage plants such as coleus, persian shield and most herbs. Just keep in mind that if a plant is allowed to go to seed, it will not produce as many flowers or nice foliage as you would want. And that is what you spent all that money on your annuals for, right?

And finally, please don’t forget to water, water, water in July, especially your container plants. This time of year, watering should be done every day for clay pots and every other day for glazed or plastic pots.

Just a little maintenance and care this time of year goes a long way to keep you smelling nice in the blooms till the first sign of cold. Happy Gardening! If you have any questions, feel free to come up to the Garden Center or drop me an e-mail at:

Jeanne Ullian

The famous black and white oval CPRV stickers will be available at the July meeting. Get one for each of the vehicles in your household--cars, bikes, trikes, and even wagons. Your entire donation of $2.50 per sticker goes into the CPRV treasury to help fund all the wonderful league activities throughout the year. If you can't make the meeting order your stickers by mail. Better yet, get together and send in a group order with your neighbors. All you need to do is send a check, made payable to CPRV. Mail to: Jeanne Ullian, 4400 Mayflower Road, Norfolk, VA 23508.

Steve Earnhart

Feeling out of the loop? Didn’t know a building was going up on your street? Want to help make this neighborhood better than it already is? Whether you are a homeowner, a renter or a business owner, YOU are the civic league. To quote President Bartlet (of the hit TV drama “West Wing”): “Decisions are made by those who show up.” It is our civic duty to be active and informed citizens – and to “show up.”

Here are ways to get involved with your neighborhood civic league: Come to the next CPRV civic league meeting: the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Stuart School café (411 Virginia Ave, toward the back of the building). Bring your neighbor with you. We also have CPRV Board meetings that are open to the public on the third Monday of the month (our meeting locations change so contact Andy Wallach or myself for the location).

Volunteer to serve on a committee. Call the committee chair (see the phone #’s in the newsletter) and tell them you are interested in helping out. Be a leader: Right now we are seeking chairpersons for the Crime Prevention committee and the ad-hoc Traffic Committee. Contact Andy Wallach if you are interested.

Visit the CPRV website ( and join the community email list or review past archives.

Suggest a guest speaker idea. In the last year, we have heard from poets and politicians, community activists and art advocates, school principals and city council representatives. Who do you want to hear from? Let me know. We need to be stewards of our neighborhood and our civic league. Make a commitment to be more active in the civic league. Getting involved is a win-win: your neighborhood improves, you meet new people, you gain valuable experience and your home value continues to increase. But most of all, you have a say in the future of your community. Thanks for reading.

City of Norfolk

Hardcover versions of recent best sellers, paperback novels, Civil War histories, children’s books, videos and audiobooks can also be found at bargain basement prices. Special offerings will be spotlighted. Proceeds from the sale help the library purchase equipment, sponsor programs, and supplement the materials budget. If this Van Wyck project is a success, the library and the Friends hope to launch ongoing book sales at other NPL locations. Van Wyck Branch Library is located at 1368 DeBree Avenue. Call 441-2844 for more information.


Friday, July 1st, 2005
- Shore Thing and Independence Day Celebration - Ocean View Beach Park
Sunday, July 3rd, 2005
- Cingular Town Point Sundays with Lewis McGehee - Town Point Park
Monday, July 4th, 2005
- 23rd Annual Cingular 4th of July Great American Picnic and Fireworks - Town Point Park
Friday, July 8th, 2005
- Music Entertainment - Ocean View Beach Park
Sunday, July 10th, 2005
- Cingular Town Point Sundays with Lewis McGehee - Town Point Park
Monday, July 11th, 2005
6:30 p.m. - Civic League Meeting - Stuart Center
Thursday, July 14th, 2005
- Bastille Day Party (Earnhart/Barbee House: 628 Pennsylvania Ave.)
Friday, July 15th - 16th, 2005
- 23rd Annual Cingular Norfolk Jazz Festival - Town Point Park
- Music Entertainment - Ocean View Beach Park (Fri.)
Sunday, July 17th, 2005
- Cingular Town Point Sundays with Lewis McGehee - Town Point Park
Friday, July 22nd, 2005
- Music Entertainment - Ocean View Beach Park
Sunday, July 24th, 2005
- Cingular Town Point Sundays with Lewis McGehee - Town Point Park
Monday, July 25th, 2005
6:30 p.m. - Crime Watch Meeting - Stuart Center
Friday, July 29th, 2005
- Music Entertainment - Ocean View Beach Park
Saturday, July 30th, 2005
- 2nd Annual Cingular Bluegrass in the Park Festival - Town Point Park
Sunday, July 31st, 2005
- Cingular Town Point Sundays with Lewis McGehee - Town Point Park

(Dates and Times subject to change without notice)

COMMUNITY NEWS is produced by:

              The Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League
              P.O. Box 6130
              Norfolk, VA 23508

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              WEB PAGE:

Community News Editor:   Joe Rivas, Phone 277-2822
Community News Distribution:   Margaret Bright, Phone 627-2815
Advertising:   Joe Rivas, Phone 277-2822

Please deliver typewritten newsletter items to:

              Joe Rivas
              Phone: 277-2822

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