Suburban Acres Civic League

Minutes for General Meeting Held on: May 14, 2018

Prepared by:  Peter Beznoska

Meeting called to order by Louis Gabriel, President, at 6:32 PM, followed by Pledge of Allegiance.

New Neighbor Report: No new neighbors.

Community Resource Officer Report: Given by Officer William Old, Norfolk PD

Incidents to report:

-Robbery at Walgreens in Wards Corner - Suspect arrested 1 week after incident.

-Some license plates have been stolen from vehicles in the area recently.  Officer Old recommended neighbors buy special kits for $5-6 that act as a deterrent.

-A few incidents of shoplifting and concealment at Harris Teeter.

-An individual was charged in a 3rd offense of attempting to shoplift at the ABC store.  

-Multiple vehicle larcenies at Archer’s Green housing complex.  Officer Old is scheduled to go out to the complex and talk with management.  More patrols will be ordered for the area.

Guest Speaker: Tom Hauser, Sr. Horticulturalist, Norfolk Botanical Gardens

Mr. Hauser ran through an interesting presentation of “Beneficial Garden Creatures” with a particular focus on insects that help a garden to thrive.  

Garden friends: Ladybugs, lacewings, Soldier Beetles, Lightning Bugs, Syrphid Flies, Tachinid Flies, Aphid Midge, Ground Beetles, Dragonflies, Assassin Bugs, Wasps, Spiders, Spider Wasps, Toads, Frogs, Bats.

Other notes from presentation:

-Native plants are best for garden health.  

-Try to have a diversity of plant material.  

-Oftentimes, less turf and more garden bed space breeds a healthier environment.  

-A lot of garden creatures/insects like to overwinter in leaf litter, so bringing excess yard waste to the curb too often eliminates healthy insect populations.  

-Try to have some undisturbed areas on your properties where insects can overwinter.  

-Too much mulch close to foundations can lead to termite issues.

-Yard Waste = Yard Wasted.  

-Mosquito companies should be spraying around dusk to reduce impact to beneficial creatures.  -If they are spraying during the day, they most likely will be harming beneficial insects.  

-Try to keep grass as high as possible to keep lawn healthy.

Upcoming events at Norfolk Botanical Gardens:


-LanternAsia extended into June

-Butterfly Festival on July 14

-Honeybee Festival on August 18

-Suds and Buds coming up soon


-Still need volunteers to bring refreshments for August, September and November general meetings.

Committee Reports:

Membership: 1 Family Renewal

Treasurer: Account balance = $2,409.83

EARNN: The City of Norfolk is discontinuing the EARNN program.  Recycling Perks program continues and will remain as a spot in the Newsletter.  Adopt-a-spot for Suburban Acres Civic League is separate from EARNN and will continue.

Neighborhood Watch: nothing to report.

Wards Corner Task Force: Karen Mayne attended the May 10th meeting of the Wards Corner Task Force where they went through the Wards Corner Revitalization Study being done by the City.  Transportation through the area is the major issue and one of the potential solutions for the area includes redeveloping the 30 acres of the Kroger and Farm Fresh properties and rerouting Admiral Taussig Boulevard.  The vision for the area from the study would be a town center feel with retail and mixed-use development with wide sidewalks. Some of the potential issues in pursuing these types of plans include whether the Farm Fresh property could be acquired to make the plan work in near future, since Kroger is set to redevelop the old Farm Fresh building.  The Kotarides Development Company owns the parcel on which the old Kroger and Norfolk Workforce Development Center currently are located and seems to support the concept of a “town center.”

Old Business:

-Louie Gabriel will send a note to one of the neighbors (Mr. Jacobs) that expressed concern about the left turn onto Thole Street from Virginian by the Tinee Giant.  

-Saint Pius Catholic Church is having a Carnival May 25-26

-Greek Fest is this weekend

-Continuing to look for volunteers for all the activities involved with the 4th of July Parade.  See Louis Gabriel if interested in volunteering.

-Honda of Norfolk accepts and recycles motor oil, electronics and other materials.  Ask for Dave Hunter

-Neighbors encouraged to sign up for for updates from the Civic League and the City.

-Next Meeting is June 11th and the Guest Speaker will be City Council Person from our Superward, Andria McClellan.


Louis Gabriel, President, made a motion to approve the minutes of the general meeting on April 9, 2018.  Motion seconded.  MOTION APPROVED and the minutes accepted by the membership.

New Business:

-Appeal to members to get involved in Wards Corner Redevelopment Study by attending the next community meeting on June 20, 2018, 6:00 pm at the Workforce Development Center.

-The city is proceeding with design studies and public meetings for a bike lane on Granby Street from Bayview Avenue to Ocean View.  Bike lanes not slated to come to the Granby Street Bridge  to Bayview Avenue until 2022.  The City recognizes that the section around Wards Corner will have safety issues and they plan to engage the public during the design phase.

-Louis Gabriel will be attending a meeting of the Roland Park Civic League to show support for a traffic and safety study of Tidewater Drive between Cromwell Drive and Thole Street, with a particular focus on the Roland Park Overpass area.  The Roland Park Civic League has written a letter to Mayor Alexander.

-Neighbor Pete Bastinelli ran the membership through the proposed tax increase in the most recent city budget proposal.  Citizens can still weigh in on the proposal and express concerns to the city.  Appeal to members to insist that money allocated to schools actually goes to schools.  Louis Gabriel introduced the concept of a sunset of the tax increase after a period of time or a lockbox system to ensure money goes to the areas proposed, like schools.  The council is voting on May 22nd.