Tuesday, April 23, 2024

What’s up with that giant pile of concrete off Witchduck Road?

The pile of concrete off Southern Boulevard is visible from I-264 near the Witchduct exit (Joshua Weinstein/Southside Daily)
The pile of concrete off Southern Boulevard is visible from I-264 near the Witchduck Road exit (Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Commuters on Interstate 264 may have noticed a large pile of rubble poking out of the industrial area to the north of the interstate.

The pile isn’t just tall at this point — it’s too tall. The pile of concrete exceeds height restrictions in violation of the conditional use permit for the site, said Kevin Hershberger, zoning inspector supervisor for the city.

The city attorney’s office is handling the violation, Hershberger said, and the property owner has not been cited.

However, Hershberger said the city will eventually “put the property owners on notice” and give them a certain amount of time to correct the issues. Fines can reach up to $1,000 for violations of conditional use permits, but they rarely go to court.

“Most people just say ‘oh, you’re right, let me go get this cleaned up,’ ya know,” Hershberger said.

With the permits so particularly worded with conditions, there is usually not a lot of ambiguity worth exploring in court when a violation occurs, he said.

The pile of broken concrete is a staging ground for Dunn Demolition, which is transporting and recycling concrete debris from the I-64 and I-264 interchange improvements at Newtown Road, among other projects. Dunn’s website lists 122 Mac St., the location of the concrete pile, as their company’s “sister location.”

According to the conditional use permit, recyclable materials in the open-aired courtyard are not to exceed 8 feet. Although the city’s zoning office does not know the precise height of the pile of concrete, Hershberger said it is clearly more than 8 feet, and could be up to 30-feet.

The rubble sits in an open-aired “unimproved courtyard” surrounded by a U-shaped building on Southern Boulevard, according to the 2001 conditional use permit for the heavy industrial site.

The property includes a rock climbing gym and a recycling center. The open-aired courtyard was once home to the scrapyard of Witchduck Used Auto Parts. The site is owned by Witchduck Real Property, according to the permit documents.

A dump truck, right, climbs the concrete rubble pile that's been growing off Witchduct Road in Virginia Beach, as another truck in the foreground waits its turn (Joshua Weinstein/Southside Daily)
A dump truck, right, climbs the rubble pile that’s been growing off Witchduck Road in Virginia Beach, as another truck in the foreground waits its turn (Southside Daily)

“There’s really no good way to measure” a pile of concrete rubble, Hershberger said. “But if I had to get really technical, I would have our survey department go out and do an actual survey to take the height on it.”

The property owners have yet to be cited for violating the height restriction, Hershberger said, as the city attorney’s office is doing its due diligence. Until then, commuters on I-264 will continue to “enjoy” the concrete view.

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