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Advisory body may consider beer and wine sales, assembly uses for agricultural land in Virginia Beach

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – The Agriculture Advisory Commission will consider whether activities such as craft beer or wine sales or assembly uses, such as holding weddings, are appropriate on farmland, including properties enrolled in the city’s agricultural reserve program,… Continue Reading

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Elections: Princess Anne seat on the Virginia Beach City Council draws a crowded field of candidates

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — Four candidates are lined up to challenge Virginia Beach City Councilmember Barbara Henley, the incumbent in the Princess Anne District who has represented the city’s southern communities for much of the past four decades. Five… Continue Reading

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Planning commissioner from Ashville Park running in Princess Anne District to join Virginia Beach City Council

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — Dr. Karen Beardslee Kwasny, an educator from Ashville Park who serves as a Virginia Beach planning commissioner, will challenge incumbent City Councilmember Barbara Henley in the Princess Anne District. In Henley, Kwasny will face… Continue Reading

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Letter: The agricultural reserve program is an established planning tool and a net benefit for Virginia Beach

Dear Editor: The agricultural reserve program, or ARP, is Virginia Beach’s best idea. It is a mistake to cast this program aside with so little transparency and discussion by reducing it to dollars and cents within the budget.  The ARP… Continue Reading

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After advisory commission, farmers oppose plan to end farmland preservation program, ‘compromise’ goes to Virginia Beach City Council

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — The Virginia Beach Agriculture Advisory Commission on Friday, April 13, voted to recommend that the City Council maintain the agricultural reserve program while supplying some money for a project to address flooding in Ashville Park… Continue Reading

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Letter: Farmland preservation program should go away and Virginia Beach put tax dollars into flooding neighborhoods

Dear Editor: My opponent in the Princess Anne District, City Councilmember Barbara Henley, helped create and voted for the agriculture reserve program, or ARP, in 1995. Many years later in 2013, as a sitting member of the Virginia Beach City… Continue Reading

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Editorial: Effort to kill a farmland preservation program that helps all of Virginia Beach must be stopped

That ending the agricultural reserve program was proposed at all — then argued with questionable logic — shows a troubling division between Virginia Beach government and the rural communities it takes for granted. THE INDEPENDENT NEWS PUNGO — Two years ago, following his appointment as… Continue Reading

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Agriculture: I am a 12th generation farmer who knows killing the ARP threatens our industry

BY SCOTT MORRIS PLEASANT RIDGE — I am a 12th-generation farmer of land in the Pungo area, and I would like for my son to have the option of being the 13th.   We sat at the Virginia Beach Excellence in Agriculture… Continue Reading

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Letter: Virginia Beach agriculture commissioners oppose proposal to end farmland preservation program

Ed. — Virginia Beach Agriculture Advisory Commission Chairperson Diane Horsley and fellow members of the commission signed the following letter to Mayor Will Sessoms and members of the City Council on Monday, April 9, in opposition to a Friday, March 23,… Continue Reading

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Letter: Ending farmland preservation in rural communities a dishonest idea

Dear Editor: Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen believes that the agricultural reserve program, or ARP, is no longer needed. That statement in itself should set off flares.  Remember that City Councilmember Barbara Henley, who represents the Princess Anne District,… Continue Reading