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The Virginia Beach Planning Commission unanimously approved the Kempes Village conditional use permit and rezoning.  Several members spoke of the great level of public outreach the applicant engaged in to arrive at the current plan.

Due to neighborhood concerns, density was lowered significantly and the quality of the proposal was maintained.  50% open space and quality architecture, along with the inclusion of public art, were also cited.

The proposal now goes to City Council for approval.

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Our proposal for Kempes Village has always been thought of in terms of mixed use.  We believe in mixed use development that has smart design and is careful in terms of traffic impacts and quality of life.

We have committed to make our best efforts to include non-residential space as a part of Kempes Village.  Today, we informed the City of Virginia Beach that we will commit 5,000 square feet of non-residential space.

Commercial space is market driven, and there is no way to exactly pinpoint what demand for office space may be like even two years away.  Still, we believe in mixed use and have committed to making it happen in Kempes Village.

Since mixed used by definition has a higher traffic impact than residential does, we have to be careful how much mixed use is included.  We intend to make smart decisions and choices, working with the community and the city, to make Kempes Village a proud part of Kempsville.

Unanimous vote of approval

The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Board of the City of Virginia Beach gave a unanimous vote of approval for the Kempes Village plan earlier this week.  Members of the Board commented positively about the plans, calling it a “win-win.”

Members were impresses with the environmental improvements to the land concerning stormwater and the work that will be done to improve the impervious surfaces near the waterline and throughout the property.

In fact, it was said that if someone wanted to propose the way the property is now, it wouldn’t be supportable by the Board.

Kempes Village is a wonderful improvement, and great care has been taken to make sure it is an environmentally-sound one.

Creating Jobs

Kempes Village preserves Kemps Landing School, incorporates sensitive Colonial Architecture and is landscaped and designed to shield cars from view from Princess Anne and Kempsville Roads.

The project also will serve as an economic engine at a time when we badly need it.  Kempes Village will create approximately 474 private sector jobs during construction and over 100 ongoing jobs thereafter.

That means $23.9 million of local wages and taxes paid and $7 million of the same on an ongoing basis.

It will also restore a sensitive ecological area and an historic school at no cost to the taxpayers.

Attached is the current plan, which by no means is a final plan.  We continue to have conversations and exchange ideas with neighbors throughout Kempsville for what can be a win-win for everybody.  But we’ve come a long way, thanks to great suggestions from interested stakeholders.

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