Chesapeake House – A Success Story

By MAP Environmental Inc. | March 29, 2024

In May 2023, MAP Environmental Inc was engaged by Mr. Steve Schoonover – a representative of Chesapeake House Condominiums – to assess the subject project and its alleged structural problems along the bayfront portion of its parking garage.  These problems were caused by beach nourishment activities along Ocean Park Beach area and its adjacent dune system.  As a result, sand from the enhanced dune system encroached into the parking garage, reducing the integrity of the affected garage walls and displacing several parking spaces. Thus, Chesapeake House proposed to replace and/or repair three (3) walls to/for the parking garage and seawall.

To address these deficiencies, Chesapeake House and its engineers formulated a plan to move or remove a minimum amount of sand from the adjoining dune complex.  The affected area is approximately 60 feet long (adjacent to the three 20 feet long walls), 5 feet wide, and a height that varies between about 10 and 15 feet above sea level.  The proposed plan would involve sand removal and stabilization of the disturbed dune area, and installation of native dune vegetation and appropriate fencing.  As expected, these activities required authorization from the City of Virginia Beach Wetlands Board and Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

In June 2023, MAP Environmental Inc prepared and submitted the required Joint Permit Application to the regulatory agencies.  Three months later, in September 2023, the Virginia Beach Wetlands Board unanimously approved the proposed plan and City permits were issued to Chesapeake House and its Contractor.   The permit included several conditions, including the requirement for Chesapeake House to establish a Right of Entry Agreement with the City of Virginia Beach.  This Agreement, consummated in late January 2024, required Chesapeake House and its Contractor to access the project area through the Albemarle Avenue access (just to the west of the project).

Following a pre- construction on January 24, 2024, the Chesapeake House dispatched its project team – the Contractor, MAP Environmental Inc, WPL and Emerald Forest -to begin the project.  Starting in mid- March, the project team initiated the sand removal and stabilization of the disturbed dune, planted 1,500 species of native dune vegetation (American beach grass) and installed 150 linear feet of sand fence (see below).

The work was substantially complete by March 22nd and later approved by Chesapeake House.  Success was achieved !