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Plans for Harvest Farms development near Pungo changing following concern from public, advisory bodies

Ed. — A version of this story originally appeared in print in August. BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Harvest Farms, a mixed-use development proposed for two properties in the heart of Pungo, faces opposition regarding the amount of housing and commercial… Continue Reading

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Public gets look at development that may change the face of Pungo; advisory group that sought changes poised to oppose project

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH – Members of the public met in recent weeks with developers of Harvest Farms, a mixed-use subdivision that could significantly change the Pungo area by bringing new housing and commerce to areas near the rural… Continue Reading

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Without naming donors, some nonprofits can spend to influence voters in ballot initiatives under Virginia election law; it adds up

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — A nonprofit organization that is not required to identify its backers raised more than a half-million dollars last year and spent much of that money to influence voters to support extending light rail to Town Center… Continue Reading

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There’s a plan to ease flooding in Ashville Park, but uncertainty remains about possible development nearby

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — The city staff has recommended an approach toward addressing flooding problems in the Ashville Park neighborhood near Pungo that would begin to correct problems in the drainage system there and lead to continued development of… Continue Reading

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Virginia Beach’s transition area intended to be a buffer between suburban and rural development

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS COURTHOUSE — The transition area is a section of the city below the “green line” between urban and suburban development and the southern rural areas of the city, according to the city’s comprehensive plan. It is, in… Continue Reading

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An ‘agrihood’ may come to Pungo, but some Virginia Beach officials are unsure whether it fits transition area

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE PUNGO — Developers including Bill DeSteph, a state senator and former member of the city council, have plans for land on either side of Princess Anne Road near the Pungo stoplight that could bring more than 100… Continue Reading

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Editorial: After secrecy in light rail fight, greater transparency is needed in Virginia’s campaign finance law

POSITION: A bill to end an exemption for some nonprofits seeking to influence referenda could mean our public policy and spending choices will be made by better-informed citizens. It deserves support in Richmond. Every Virginian should know who is paying to influence… Continue Reading

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DeSteph bill would end exemption for nonprofit advocacy that kept voters in the dark during light rail referendum

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH – State Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-8th District, has introduced a bill to change language in Virginia law that can let some nonprofit groups shield the identities of financial backers and the extent of their spending to… Continue Reading

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Light rail, dark money: A conflict between election law and guidance is part of bigger transparency issues

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — It may be months before Virginia Beach citizens have any sense how much money light rail advocates spent to influence their votes on Election Day – and the sources of that money may never be… Continue Reading

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DeSteph wants attorney general to review nonprofit advocacy in light rail referendum that revealed conflict in election law, state guidance

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH – State Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-8th District, wants the state attorney general to determine whether it is appropriate for a nonprofit to advocate a position in the Nov. 8 light rail referendum without forming a… Continue Reading