Sand dunes causing big mess for Ocean View residents

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by Philip Townsend, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 23 at 6:24 PM

NORFOLK -- A group of families in one section of Ocean View say high dunes are taking over their homes.

Members of an environmental group against a plan that would make those homeowners happy, argue it would cause an even bigger problem for everyone else.

Vic Yurkovic and close to two dozen other homeowners in the Cottage Line neighborhood asked the city for a permit to lower dunes in their backyard.

"The sand is covering the deck and it's coming in the back door. Sand is coming in people's houses."

The permit process was approved by the city, but it was appealed by Wetlands Watch, a Norfolk based environmental group.

They argue lowering the dunes would open up the entire community to flooding, at a time when Norfolk is already in the middle of a sea-level crisis. 

Yurkovic says the dunes have become impractical. He even met with researchers from Old Dominion University who pointed out that Cottage Line is one of the highest points in the city.

"I have a basement that has never flooded, and I don't require flood insurance," Yurkovic said. "You tell me if I need higher dunes."

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission will hear the appeal in September.

Meanwhile, neighbors are asking the city to be proactive, requesting they put together a sand management plan.

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