Norfolk City Council plans to expand beach access to part of Ocean View neighborhood

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(Brian Hill, News 3)

NORFOLK, Va. - Changes are underway in part of a Ocean View neighborhood that some people said has seen its share of crime.

On Tuesday night, the Norfolk City Council voted to purchase the Beach Pub restaurant and the apartments beside it. An ordinance states they are buying the properties for added open space, beach access, and increased safety purposes.

Some people living in the neighborhood in the 1000 block of East Ocean View Avenue told us they've seen a lot over the years.

“I’ve come out to walk my dog and I’ve seen people in the parking lot doing drugs, lots of other things I don’t want to mention,” said Vicki Forehand, who lives on the next block.

Ken Paulson, the president of the Cottage Line Civic League, said because of crime, several civic league presidents reached out the city about redevelopment two years ago.

“Sometimes change is necessary in order to have a brighter future,” Paulson said.

The co-owner of Oceanview Diner said they also purchased the building she's renting earlier this year.

“We’re going to need some sort of assistance," Elizabeth Cajiao explained. "We’ve sunk a lot of money into this business right now.”'

She said they don't want to move but are now looking at other places.

“I think redevelopment is a good thing, but we cannot just get rid of viable businesses," Cajiao told us.

Some folks living in the neighborhood disagree with the city’s idea of turning this into a beach park with parking.

“I think the fact that they are going to make it a parking lot, per se, is gonna make more riff-raff, more incident for crime,” Forehand said.

Though there is some opposition, Paulson believes this is the best to grow this community.

“More people will come because they will have more parking. We’re trying to attract people to the 'hidden gem,' as it’s called, and get people here to enjoy their vacations,” he said.

City leaders told us there is no date for when the demolition will start yet.

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