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Ignoring farmers, City Council approves event venue on land zoned for agriculture in rural city

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE OCEANFRONT — Moments after a stunning reversal by the Planning Commission, the City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 25, voted to approve a conditional use permit so an event business can operate on land zoned for agriculture in… Continue Reading

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Editorial: Virginia Beach City Council betrayed farmers and its own land use ideals — for tourism

Ed. — From the Sunday, Sept. 6, print edition. THE INDEPENDENT NEWS BACK BAY — False steps large and small by Virginia Beach’s government and people who advise it led to the City Council decision this past month to permit Wolfe… Continue Reading

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Planning Commission recommends denial of proposed event venue on farmland in rural Virginia Beach

Ed. — This story originally appeared in the Sunday, July 5, print edition. It has been updated to include the date upon which the City Council is scheduled to consider the proposal. Additionally, it now appears unlikely the City Council will… Continue Reading

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In Memoriam: Pungo’s Roy David Flanagan Jr., farmer and family man

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE PUNGO — Farmer Roy David Flanagan Jr., who died on Tuesday, April 7, in his Pungo home after a long illness, will be remembered for the turkeys, sweet potatoes and crops he raised – and for his devotion… Continue Reading

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Ag commission has questions about new venue sought on farmland in rural Virginia Beach

Ed. — This archived story appeared in the Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, print edition. BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE –  Members of the Virginia Beach Agriculture Advisory Commission have concerns about a proposal to build an event venue on a horse farm… Continue Reading

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Cautiously, advisory group weighs weddings for land in Virginia Beach’s agricultural reserve program

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH – The Virginia Beach Agriculture Advisory Commission is still discussing the possibility of adjusting allowed uses on properties enrolled in the city’s farmland preservation program to permit assemblies such as weddings — though no recommendation… Continue Reading

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Farmer Barnes to join Virginia Beach Planning Commission for Princess Anne District

Ed. — This story was archived online on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. It originally ran in the Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, print edition. BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Farmer Steve Barnes in January will replace Dr. Karen Beardslee Kwasny as the… Continue Reading

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After election, Barnes to join Virginia Beach Planning Commission for Princess Anne District

Ed. — This originally ran in print on Dec. 7, 2018. BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Farmer Steve Barnes in January will replace Dr. Karen Beardslee Kwasny as the Princess Anne District representative to the Virginia Beach Planning Commission. The City… Continue Reading

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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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Agriculture: Recent soggy weather can have a cost for Virginia Beach farmers

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE PUNGO — This year’s growing season got off to a soggy start with heavy rains that damaged the strawberry crops and delayed planting for both grain and produce farmers. May’s hot, rainy weather damaged some strawberries,… Continue Reading