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Column: City decisions about land use have real consequences for farms and rural communities

BY KAREN BEARDSLEE KWASNY VIRGINIA BEACH — Weather wreaks havoc on farmland?   So, too, do city decisions.   It’s a bit overwhelming — the myriad articles about the way our ever-changing climate affects our farmland.   A quick look at… 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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Column: We must preserve farmland and rural communities

  BY KAREN BEARDSLEE KWASNY VIRGINIA BEACH — In 2002, when my husband and I were looking for a new house, a friend said to me, “You need to live in Pungo, Karen. That place will feel like home to you.” … 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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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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ARP: Ending farmland preservation program inconsistent with Virginia Beach’s Comprehensive Plan

The author, the former Comprehensive Planning Coordinator in Virginia Beach, argues that preserving the Virginia Beach Agricultural Reserve Program within the proposed operating budget and capital improvement plan is consistent with the city’s Comprehensive Plan. BY JERYL ROSE PHILLIPS VIRGINIA… 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