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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

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Letter: The ARP and Ashville Park

Dear Editor: In 2011, I put a “for sale” sign in my yard in Courthouse Estates, and my husband and I began looking for a place with a bit more space around us. We took long drives out to the Virginia… Continue Reading

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Read the Virginia Beach city manager’s memorandum about ending the city’s farmland preservation program

Ed. — The following includes most of the letter Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen wrote to Mayor Will Sessoms and members of the Virginia Beach City Council on Friday, March 23. It has been edited for style and clarity,… Continue Reading

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Letter: There is no excuse for ending the agricultural reserve program

Dear Editor: I grew up in Pungo at Vaughan Farms, and I now live in Massachusetts. It baffles me that here in Massachusetts, where people think “city,” municipalities actively seek to purchase open land and green space from citizens to… Continue Reading

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Henley: Virginia Beach must save the agricultural reserve program due to, not despite, concern about flooding

BY BARBARA HENLEY VIRGINIA BEACH — We’ve come to take our agricultural reserve program for granted. Time has passed and there has been a lot of turnover of people, so the value of it is not fully understood. Our ARP was… Continue Reading