Town Crier Articles

Posted on July 1, 2021 6:58 AM by Town Crier Staff
Bygone Bylaws: the Basics
Stuart Dopp
 
Now that we have all, I’m sure, studied the primary Declaration for New Town and the Supplementals, we can peruse the Bylaws in our big fat notebooks or e-document. 
 
Our Bylaws delineate the roles, powers, and duties of the Board and establish the guidelines for conducting business. They also cover varied obligations such as insurance, address the role of the managing agent, and mandate some committees (e.g., Architectural Review) while allowing for others (e.g., Neighborhood Advisory Committees). 
 
The caveat, of course, is that these existing Bylaws were written by or for the Developers, New Town Associates, LLC. Although the original Bylaws made some provisions for the day when New Town would be turned over to the homeowners, they are clearly no longer pertinent to our position as an independent Homeowners Association. 
 
Many parts are just simply irrelevant now. Some examples:  A great deal is said about Mortgagees since the lenders were of primary importance to the Developers in the early days of New Town’s development. Section 4.2 allows the (Developers) Board “from time to time elect to have the Association treated as a ‘homeowners association’” to satisfy IRS regulations. The list goes on…
 
Other parts of the Bylaws are in conflict with best practices: Section 4.3, for instance, says that “The Developer or or an affiliate of the Developer may be employed as Managing Agent.” It thus allowed the Developer to hire Town Management even though there was a family relationship between the President and one of the Developers. Importantly, real practices are sometimes different than what is stated in our current Bylaws. They call for the Annual Assessments of our individual properties to be established in accordance with “the Declaration and these Bylaws,” yet they are currently not calculated in the manner prescribed. 
 
Clearly, all of our governing documents, including the Bylaws, must be redone to reflect our new self-governance. The NTRA Board is working (with an attorney) on the re-write, so stay updated. You will need to vote when this work is complete!
 
Pool Pizza Party July 9 - RSVP here
Activities Committee
 
Activities committee will be hosting a Pizza Party at the pool on July 9 5:30 - 7:00
Your RSVP is helpful so that we will have enough pizza, but minimize waste
 
 
BOARD BUZZ – July 2021 
Mary Cheston, Director
 
“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”                   CS Lewis
 
This quote brings to mind two of the major challenges facing our Association: 1) revising our governing documents to reflect the operation of a homeowner-controlled HOA, and 2) a likely rezoning fight over adding additional property to the NTRA.
 
Governing Documents Revision
In June the Board of Directors finished its initial review of new draft documents written by our Association attorney. Our comments will now be reviewed and the documents revised to incorporate the many changes the Board feels will improve these texts. By September we hope to have a satisfactory version of the drafts to share publicly with homeowners. Our current governing documents are the “wrong road” and the only way we can progress as a community is to start over on the “right road” with a stronger and more appropriate Master Declaration, Supplemental Declaration, Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation.
 
Eastern State Hospital Surplus Property to Become Mixed Use Land
Meanwhile, a “tsunami” arrived on our doorstep on June 12th in the form of proposed revisions to the James City County Comprehensive Master Plan, Our County, Our Shared Future. These revisions include a redesignation of Eastern State Hospital surplus land for Mixed Use so that 324 acres of this federal land can be developed over the next 20 years. The State of Virginia is anxious to sell the property, and ABVA Development LPhas a contingency contract to develop the two parcels of land immediately adjacent to Charlotte Park (C-1 and C-2). Their land use proposal (LU-20-0002) envisions building up to 235 homes (both detached and townhomes) on this land. 
 
The “wrong road” in this case is that these 81 acres have been labeled as “Mixed Use – New Town” based on ABVA’s land use application and its proximity to New Town. The application states that “The Property would be subjected to the New Town covenants and restrictions, owners would be members of the applicable New Town owner’s association and all development would be subject to the New Town Design Guidelines.” Based on this presumption, County staff titled these parcels “Mixed Use-New Town” and throughout the Plan incorporated language such as “any portion of the Eastern State Hospital property to be brought into the New Town development.” 
 
All of this has been done without any consultation with the Board of Directors or knowledge of NTRA owners.
 
To be clear, no land can be annexed or lots added to the New Town Residential Association without the consent of the Association. The parcels being sold are not included in the New Town Master Plan or covered in our Master Declaration. So, although there may be a desire by the developer to market this area as New Town and although the new Comprehensive Plan will certainly add to confusion and misleading assumptions in the future, the property is not in New Town.
 
Not yet at least.
 
In my opinion most grievous part of the ABVA application is the intention to access the new development by extending Olive Drive. That’s despite the fact that VDOT and County specialists have advised that neither Olive nor Rollison Drive can sustain the heavy traffic and stormwater impacts of this development without reinforcement. Where will the land come from to widen these streets? 
 
Think about the increased traffic and the effect construction cut-through will have on the community character of Charlotte Park – including our pool complex, the Federal Townhomes and Roper Park. A second site access point is Discovery Park Boulevard and while wider, its increased traffic would create an issue affecting thoroughfares like Casey Boulevard and the vibrancy of Chelsea Green.  With new office complexes and 235 additional homes, this 
 
In just 10 days, my Charlotte Park neighbors garnered written objections of 114 NTRA owners – 20 % of the Association - to this land use application to bring to the June 24th Planning Commission hearing. ABVA representatives personally lobbied some owners, saying they want to do the right thing for New Town, that they may remove the Olive Drive cut-through and work on buffers. But they’ve also threatened/warned that if they do not prevail, a large developer will snatch up the land and be even worse. 
 
Nonetheless, as of today, ABVA has not amended their June 2020 JCC application or adjusted its drawings. The Planning Commission approved it and is recommending the Board of Supervisors also approve it as submitted.
 
This storm was set in motion years ago. A 2008 study about the future of Eastern State Hospital has driven this planned expansion. In 2013, the County platted and reserved all of Olive Drive as a right of way “with the intent of being extended and continued in order to provide ingress and egress to and from future subdivisions of the remaining parcel and to and from adjacent parcels…” Rollison Drive Lot CA-6A was never developed and is still owned by ABVA, although this plat, incorporated into our Supplemental Declarations, says that “All Common Areas (C.A.) shall be dedicated to” the Association.
 
Can the NTRA prevail in the future? The stakes are high and affect all of us.
 
So, what could the “right road” look like at this point? 
  • ABVA could revise or voluntarily withdraw its application to allow more time for the consultations and input it says it wants. 
  • The Board of Supervisors could reject or delay approval of LU-20-0002 to provide for its revision. The Board could also revise descriptive text in the plan to clearly separate New Town and protect the Charlotte Park neighborhood. (Since the Planning Commission recommended approval of the draft Comprehensive Plan, the final adoption of the plan moves to the James City County Board of Supervisors. That public hearing is scheduled for July 13th.)
To those who say ‘it’s only a plan”, “the real changes have to go through rezoning” where there can be negotiations over density, access, etc., I would reply that our community has endured 15 years of construction. We are already behind in this process of defending our small-town community and lifestyle and have lost some ability to influence the outcome. The Comprehensive Plan is considered “rigid guidelines for development.” Since ABVA has a purchase contract with the State, formal rezoning of the property is likely to begin within a year – Not 20. Our Association will be negotiating and likely fighting and spending legal fees for months to come. 
 
Yes, mixed use at Eastern State was probably inevitable. But New Town is already a model, complete mixed-use community in James City County. How can we make this new land use change the progress we want?  
 
You have two opportunities to learn more - both at Legacy Hall:
  • July 6, 7PM - an NTRA Owners Town Hall with a presentation by ABVA Development LP
  • July 7, 7 PM James City County Supervisor Jim Icenhour will hold a listening session with New Town residents so that you may learn more about the County's land use redesignation process and share your concerns. 
Look for emails with more details on these meetings.
_______________________________
1 ABVA's builder Atlantic Homes has been New Town’s primary developer.
 
NTRA Committees Need Volunteers
Max Pfannebecker; Chair, Communications Committee
 
All Committees are currently seeking resident members / volunteers / contributors. Please contact us NTRAwebsitecommittee@gmail.com to express your interest in one of the following:
 
COMMUNICATIONS - help keep your neighbors informed. Contribute with the crier, social media presencem and/or website maintenance
ACTIVITIES - help plan fun activities for residents
ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW - establish & enforce guidelines & standards
ASSET MAINTENANCE - maintain function and aesthetics of community properties
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS - coordinate communications with local emergency services, provide direction to relief in event of emergency
FINANCE COMMITTEE - advise Board of Directors on NTRA financials and funding
LANDSCAPE ADVISORY - keep New Town beautiful, govern landscaping operation, planning, maintenance, and changes by property owners
POOL COMMITTEE - create and maintain standards and policies for our community pool
 
NT Dave's Deals
Jim Ducibella
 
Which deal do you prefer? Why not try both!
 
The Holtgrieves, Dave and Paulette of Charlotte Park, are bargain shoppers and they take delight in finding a new deal. It could be food, or fun or furniture. They know how to do it, and they do it well.
 
Lunches are a special passion of theirs. Better prices, smaller portions, fewer people to jockey with for a table.
 
In this occasional series (when they find something they like, they’ll let us know), we focus on two New Town staples – Buffalo Wild Wings and Which Wich and a couple of special midweek enticements that are offered on a regular basis.
 
On Tuesdays at Buffalo Wild Wings, you can place an order for bone-in wings and get a second order free of charge. Small, medium or large. Doesn’t matter.
 
On Thursdays, the same offer at BWW applies for boneless wings. You get to choose from the same array of sauces, and they’ll put them on the side in case you wish to take leftovers home.
 
In between days, there’s $5 Wicked Wednesdays at Which Wich. A sandwich of turkey, roast beef, pepperoni, bacon, with cheddar, provolone, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and mayo is just $5.
 
That’s hard to believe – and no coupon is necessary.
 
Know Your Rules: Signs – Spreading the Joy? Maybe Not
Mary Cheston, Board of Directors
 
What do these photos have in common? They all represent illegal signs posted by residents of New Town.
 
Yes, I used the term “illegal” because the Rules of the New Town Residential Association (NTRA) prohibit the display of most common signs. Truth be told, we’d love to celebrate the arrival of your new baby or your child’s graduation with you. If the Covid pandemic has taught the world anything, it is the value of connections and community.  But our Rules (2005) do not account for any of these signs.
 
Article 7.1(o) of the Master Declaration of Protective Covenants and Restrictions states that except for signs posted by the Developer or the Association and standard “for sale” signs, “no signs of any character shall be erected, posted or displayed” in a visible location. Per the Master Declaration any other permitted signs must be identified in the NTRA Rules.
 
So what exactly do the Rules permit?  
  • For sale/rent signs in the special New Town format (available from Town Management) 
  • Builder advertising signs
  • Political candidate signs during election periods
  • Homeowner event signs from the NTRA
 
That’s it – no security system signs, no gardening signs, no personal signs of any kind. And signs are proliferating – there are at least 11 different varieties of security systems signs throughout our neighborhoods.
 
So we have a situation of widespread noncompliance with the rules. In this case, the Board of Directors is not proposing to confiscate your signs or fine you – for now. We will add “signs” to the long list of issues that need to be revised in our new Governing Documents. 
 
Please don’t shoot the messengers. Board Members live here too and our purpose in sharing these facts is to make you aware of why change is needed in our Governing Documents. 16 years is a long time to go without refreshing the information that serves as the foundation for our homeowner association – or any organization. 
 
We are seeking your support and your ideas – how should we control signs in our community?
 
Quick Getaways -- Jamestown-Yorktown Freebie
Jim Ducibella
 
Gas prices being what they are, this might be a good time to look for activities even a little closer to home than the usual fare offered here. The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation has the perfect answer for those living in a wide variety of zip codes, including 23188.
 
Free admission.
 
That’s right, the Foundation recently announced that to show appreciation to the local community, free admission is available to residents of James City County, York County, City of Williamsburg, William & Mary students and active military.
 
That’s not an inconsequential savings. General admission to Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is a combined $28.90 for adults, $14.45 for ages 6-12.
 
All each guest needs to do is show proof of residency, whether that be a valid Virginia driver’s license or digital copies of a utility bill. William & Mary students need to show a current student ID card.
 
The offer includes general admission to Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, including daytime special events and special exhibitions. Attendees can enjoy museum gallery exhibits and films, shopping in the museum gift shops and dining in the café.
 
According to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation website among the exhibits available between now and March of 2022 is titled “Focused: A Century of Virginia Indian Resilience.” 
 
It’s principally a photographic exhibition in collaboration with Virginia Indian tribal communities that is drawn from collections held by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, as well as images from anthropologist Frank Speck (1910-1930s). Also featured is the work of Baltimore Sun photographer A. Aubrey Bodine from the 1940s and 1950s.
 
As the title suggests, the exhibit focuses on the resilience of Virginia’s Indian population, from the passage of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 to the contemporary efforts of 11 Virginia tribes to receive state and federal recognition.
 
At Yorktown, the Yorktown Battlefield Museum, two unique exhibits are temporarily closed due to Covid. The Moore House (site of negotiations between two British officers and two allied officers immediately before Gen. Cornwallis’ surrender) and the Nelson House (home of Thomas Nelson, Jr., commander of the Virginia militia at the siege of Yorktown and a signer of the Declaration of Independence) remain closed. However, that is subject to change as restrictions are relaxed.
 
It would be best to phone the Colonial National Historic Park – Yorktown to hear a recorded message with updates on Yorktown and Jamestown. The phone number is (757) 898-2410.
 
For more information visit these websites https://www.visitwilliamsburg.com/attractions or jyfmuseums.org, or historyisfun.org.
 
"New Urbanism" at Heart of New Town Experience
New Town Commercial Association & Crier Staff
 
They likely won’t use this exact phrase but ask residents of New Town why they live here and most of them will point to the development’s philosophy of “New Urbanism.”
 
In short, New Urbanism refers to a community of homes and businesses that buck traditional design by interspersing homes and businesses among one another. Residents can live above restaurants like Center Street Grill, look over at trendy stores like Trader Joe’s, walk to Regal Cinema, Sola Salon Studios, Barnes & Noble and American Family Fitness. There’s even a small seasonal vegetable stand in the parking lot between Williamsburg institution Paul’s Deli and Ironbound Gym.
 
They can opt for inviting views of wooded areas or the community swimming pool. There’s something for every taste here, enhanced by businesses that front broad, brick-lined sidewalks, wide crosswalks, bike racks, streetlamps and welcoming benches.
 
At the heart of New Town’s public square is a fountain, with jets of water that arc toward the center – a striking feature that traditional development abandoned in the slide toward strip malls geared toward motorists.
 
Yet regardless of how well maintained, how eclectic and how welcoming a community is, the pandemic, supply problems and the nation-wide shortage of workers can have a negative impact anywhere.
 
According to an April article in The Wall Street Journal, roughly 200,000 establishments closed just during the first year of the pandemic. Even as we come out of the pandemic, the Federal Reserve acknowledges that many businesses continue struggling to remain open.
New Town is no exception.
 
Lately, residents say that there is a disturbing number of empty storefronts. National merchants like Pier 1 and Stein Mart have departed; other “mom and pop” businesses have followed suit. Adjacent to the movie theater, there have been at least two candy stores in the same location and two Mexican restaurants. One block or so away, two or three Italian restaurants have shuttered. Main Street seems particularly hard hit.
 
So The Crier wants to hear from you, the residents. We’ve placed a poll on the NTRA Facebook page (link). Tell us what businesses you would like to see come to New Town. Maybe you have a favorite restaurant you frequented when you lived somewhere else. Maybe you can envision a “Cheers”-type hangout doing well here. Perhaps a men’s clothier.
 
Here’s a chance to tell us, and the Commercial Association, what you think.
 
There is much to appreciate about New Town’s design. There are hundreds of homes within walking distance of the community’s 170 or so shops, restaurants, medical offices, personal-service options and entertainment venues. Houses often front greenspace, such as a public park. Homes of numerous styles and price points – freestanding and attached, apartments and live-aboves – welcome a diverse cross-section of residents who have a range of needs.
 
They likely also have a wide range of opinions on how what is already an excellent place to live could be even better. We’re anxious to hear them.
 
Meet Your Lifeguards
Max Pfannebecker
 
Every summer we like to introduce you to our community pool lifeguards...and if you spend as much time at the pool as my family does, they sort of become family. This year both of our lifeguards have traveled here from Jamaica.
 
For Trace Beckford, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica is home. He's a father of two who enjoys soccer and describes himself as cool, humble, and hard working. He enjoys playing soccer in his spare time and says his favorite dish from home is Curried Chicken & White Rice. 
 
Your other lifeguard, Richard White, hails from Setmore, Jamaica. Richard describes himself as quiet and calm and enjoys swimming and working out when he's not life guarding. His favorite traditional dish from home is Aki & Saltfish.
 
Please give these guys a warm welcome and introduce yourselves!
 
NEW TOWN TALK: WE’RE NOT JUST BOOKS
Barry Trott, Special Projects and Technical Services Director, Williamsburg Regional Library/Sarah Carey
 
This June 12th New Town Talk was focused on the digital resources on the Williamsburg Library website (www.wrl.org). The two Apps to use are Overdrive and Libby. Help is always available, either by email, chat, text, phone call or coming into the library. Williamsburg Library in downtown is located at 515 Scotland St, Williamsburg and the James City County branch is located at 7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg.  
 
There are 6 digital collections. 
  1. Ebooks, of which there are 25,000, can be renewed 3 times and return automatically.
  2. There are 13,000 downloadable audiobooks which are a great way to “read” while walking and helpful for the vision impaired.  Once they are downloaded, they are offline.
  3. There is a large digital magazine collection of 3200 issues! 
  4. Streaming and downloadable music can be accessed anywhere, anytime using the FREEGAL App for a total of 3 hours, but during the pandemic it was extended to 24 hours. You can download 3 songs/week and keep them forever.
  5. Streaming video is through the Kanopy App. You can get weekly updates on new videos available. The video is available for 72 hours and can be streamed to a Smart TV.
  6. The last collection is Learning at Home which offers resources for teachers, school age children and librarians. There is also a section on resources which includes such topics as ancestry, life-long learning classes, languages, arts and crafts. 
Spend some time browsing the library website! It’s not just books.
 
New Town Talk: Interesting Virtual Distance & Local Activities in our Community
Sarah Carey
 
Thank you to Karen Durst and Ellen Weidman for researching activities to do virtually or locally in the area during COVID.  Here is a brief recap of their May 10th presentation.
 
On your computer you can visit museums in other cities, such as the Musee d”Orsay in Paris and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Google and Amazon via zoom have free and some for fee activities, such as wine tasting, cooking classes, travel experiences, dance lessons, and the programs are for adults and children. These are accessed via “explore virtual activities”. The Washington Post offers 30 minute free programs every weekday, the common topic usually current events and require registration. A listing of topics is available every Sunday in the WAPO.  Every Friday at 5 pm the Frick Museum, via You Tube, hosts “Cocktails with the Curator”, BYOB and recipes for the cocktail of the time period being highlighted.  The SmithsonianAssociates.org has virtual activities for a fee. Check out the NY Times Sunday At Home. There are daily virtual events such as a visit to Coney Island.
 
Local visits can include Colonial Williamsburg events which can be viewed on the CW website. Sign up for their daily emails which give a daily schedule, special events and a ,newsletter. Be sure to purchase a Good Neighbor Pass, good for entry to CW,  at one of the ticket booths or online. There are 3 local farmers markets! Downtown Williamsburg 8-12 Saturday am, Yorktown 8-12 Saturday am and New Town on New Town Boulevard Saturday 10-4, Sunday 10-2. Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Experience Museums are both free to Virginia residents. Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center offers a wide array of classes, not just art classes.
 
There are numerous regional wineries where you may bring a picnic and your dog. Most are located in highly scenic areas. Barboursville overlooks the ruins of Governor Barbours mansion and is owned by an Italian family from Tuscany. They have two tasting options – self serve tasting and the second seated in the wine library, reservation recommended. Keswick Winery has tastings outside only now and it has a fenced dog run. The King family winery in Crozet has tastings and polo matches to watch! 
 
Posted on June 1, 2021 7:00 AM by Town Crier Staff
Categories: Life in New Town
Great photo submitted by New Town resident Sara Benolkin and in a new (almost) post-pandemic era, the Town Crier Staff is THRILLED to share something that reminds us of life before Covid and bridges us to the normalcy its conclusion will bring!
 
Several families in New Town got together for and afternoon of frolic in sun and water-splashing fun! It even looks like it was a great day for freezy pops!
 
Posted on June 1, 2021 7:00 AM by Town Crier Staff
submitted by Ginny Fisher
 
With our community growing, we thought we might benefit by starting another book club. The idea would be to meet from September through June. Also, because some may occasionally be out of town, we’d choose books at the beginning of the year so everyone could plan when they’ll be able to attend and what books they’ll read. 
 
By discussing and planning books upfront, we hope to get a nice mix of high-quality books. We can then mix up autobiographies, fiction/ non fiction and maybe some “ice cream and lollipops” lighter books too. 
 
To start off the year here are a few we’ve chosen: Heartland, Sarah Smarsh (memoir), Three Ordinary Girls by Tom Brady (non-fiction), The Second Mountain by David Brooks (philosophy), Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah (autobiography).  Please bring along your book suggestions so we can discuss them at our first gathering in September. 
 
So, if you’re interested in joining us, please contact Ginny Fisher, ginnyfisher258@gmail.com.  Blanche Scharf and I look forward to hearing from you. Please let us know by August 1. 
Posted on June 1, 2021 7:00 AM by Town Crier Staff
Categories: Life in New Town
Reviving a favorite pre-covid tradition, friends and neighbors in Foundation Square held a gathering in their community Garden in May featuring New Town's own Phil Casey behind the mic. Don't we know that guy from somewhere? hmmmm...
 
    
 
  
 
 
Posted on June 1, 2021 7:00 AM by Activities Committee
We're More Than Books!
 
From ebooks, downloadable music, genealogy, and health research to direct assistance from librarians, you can find what you need through Williamsburg Regional Library’s (WRL) digital collections and services. We will discuss the variety of resources that can be accessed with your library card 24/7 from the WRL website, www.wrl.org. Whether you use a desktop computer, a laptop, or a mobile device there is something for you at WRL.
 
Speaker: Barry Trott is Special Projects and Technical Services Director at the Williamsburg (VA) Regional Library, where he coordinates the library’s communications and marketing, statistical analysis, digital collections, services, and programs, including the library website, and acquisitions and cataloging. Barry is past-president of the American Library Association’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). In 2007, he was awarded both the Public Library Association’s Allie Beth Martin Award and the ALA Reference and User Services Association’s Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award in recognition for his work in readers’ 
Posted on June 1, 2021 7:00 AM by Sarah Carey
Have you visited New Town’s Farmers Market? Hopefully, but just in case you haven’t, here is the story behind how the market came to New Town.  Also known as Christopher’s Produce Market, it was previously located on Richmond Road by IHOP.
 
Christopher Starbuck was and still is providing fresh produce to local restaurants, including Paul’s, here in New Town. George Tsipas, the owner of Paul’s, approached Christopher and asked if he would be interested in setting up a produce stand on New Town Avenue between the restaurant and Iron Bound Gym. Scott Grafton of Iron Bound Gym supported the idea and so it all began! Christopher’s Produce Market is also listed in the Iron Bound Gym newsletter and on Facebook under Williamsburg Eat Local.
 
Hours of operation currently are 10-4 Monday-Friday, 9-5 Saturday. Closed Sunday. The second week of June hours will be extended to 5 pm during the week when Christopher’s son finishes school. There will also be more local produce available.  So walk over to New Town Avenue and support local vendors!
 
Posted on June 1, 2021 7:00 AM by Patti Vaticano
New Town has its share of innovative floor plans on 2, 3, and even 4 story levels.  Style and grace have been our community’s hallmark, but multilevel living presents unique challenges for homeowners. For the elder New Town resident, stairs are an obstacle to easy living but trading off the energy and convenience of “life in town,” for a ranch or carriage home further out in the county may not be a viable option.  For residents with personal elevators in their homes, a complex interior conveyor, while novel, presents a considerable undertaking in time and money to maintain.  
 
Installation of a stair lift—or two—is the chief way for residents to age in place and a great alternative to moving to a more manageable, albeit, less centrally located home. Of course, the first question is cost.  Stair lifts can be costly, but when compared to the cost of a house move or a senior care transition, it’s a downright bargain.  Though not a hard-and-fast rule, some Medicare supplements will pay for a stairlift, in whole or in part, if the need for one is a medical issue and sanctioned by a physician. The homeowner may be able to take advantage of state grants to fund their lifts, as well, or tap into state assistive technology projects that are in place to help the disabled. In general, however, a lift will be an out-of-pocket expense for the homeowner.
 
If your home has a straight staircase with about 12-14 steps, you should budget anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 to purchase a new stair lift. The average cost usually ends up in the middle of this range, between about $3,000 and $4,000. Outdoor steps are more expensive, ranging from $5,000 to $7,000, with outdoor curved lifts reaching as high as $12,000, depending upon the company contracted, of course.  These prices generally include installation as well as a one-year service warranty. It is possible to rent a stairlift if the need of the homeowner is temporary, for a convalescent period or when a short-term visit of a disabled friend or family member is anticipated.  Rentals are not always cost-effective, however, as they can range from as little as $50 to as much as $250 to $500 a month.  In a rental scenario, as well, repair costs thereafter may be necessary to bring your home back to its pre-lift appearance.  Not surprisingly, the higher-end lifts offer a number of design options for the homeowner, from slim-line and/or collapsible designs and curved or customed tracks to color-coordinated fabrics for your home interior.  A standard lift, however, will meet the needs necessary to tackle the dilemma of an aging household in a multi-level home.  
 
Lifts are most often powered by a rechargeable battery which offers unbroken service if a home’s power is ever interrupted.  However, some companies advise that you turn the lift off during an outage to preserve it from sustaining a possible power surge when the power comes back on. It is recommended, to reach maximum battery performance, to use your lift chair regularly, keep it plugged in to its wall outlet, at all times, and park your lift in the down level or up level space, never mid-track.  When out of town, turn off the lift entirely by its power button. The track should be dusted and the seat and back portion sanitized, regularly; and a maintenance check by the professional installer, once a year, is highly advisable.
 
New Town residents with personal elevators have a lengthier maintenance checklist to address.  To ensure a fully functional home elevator, there are specific rules the homeowner needs to follow for both safety and damage-control issues:
  • Pay attention to the elevator’s weight limit — don’t overload it;
  • Keep all contents at least 2 inches away from the cab gate and cab wall;.
  • Always keep the landing doors closed unless you’re getting in or out of your elevator;
  • Don’t operate your elevator if the car gate or landing door locking system seems to be malfunctioning;
  • Never tamper, bypass, disable or remove door locks or any other safety features;
  • Don’t operate your elevator if you hear strange sounds or if the ride seems unusual;
  • Make sure the elevator completely stops before you get out or in and be sure to watch your step;
  • Don’t open the car gate while the elevator is moving or put your hands or feet through the openings in a scissor-style gate; and
  • Schedule regular maintenance checks with the elevator’s professional installer as well as perform self-checks between your services dates.  By way of example, when you step into the elevator, make note of the following:
    • Are all of the buttons working as they should be?
    • Does the door open and close properly?
    • Do you notice any interior damage at a glance?
Stair lifts and personal elevators.  Not inexpensive or maintenance-free, but the best options for New Town residents who love their home and community and choose to age in place.
Posted on June 1, 2021 7:00 AM by Jack Espinal, Chair, Emergency Preparedness Committee
The 2021 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season is projected to be another above average period. As NOAA’s Acting Administrator recently said, “… it only takes one storm to devastate a community.” Have you considered what you would pack if you need to evacuate your home? How organized are you to protect critical documents from damage? Do you have a “go” bag ready for a quick departure?
 
There are several new resources on the NTRA website to help you to prepare for such a family emergency. Look at the “Resources and Kits” information on the website - under Emergency Preparedness Committee guidelines: 
 
Make a plan to keep your family together and safe. Are you ready?
Posted on June 1, 2021 6:59 AM by Town Crier Staff
BOARD BUZZ June 2021
Angela Lesnett, Vice President
 
Dear Neighbors - it’s finally summer, but before we all head to the beach let me recap actions the Board has taken on the important matter that has occupied most of our time and that will require your attention in the coming months: revision of NTRA’s Governing Documents.
 
Earlier this year the Board decided that it is necessary to revise and update the Association’s Governing Documents. At its March meeting, the Board emphasized its goals: understandable documents that provide a transparent assessment methodology and reflect New Town as a community with common areas and amenities shared by all homeowners. Those goals were highlighted in NTRA President Dick Durst’s April 1 “Board Buzz” article. Finally, on May 17 all NTRA owners received a letter from the Board explaining the background of this matter as well as some future actions. (That letter can be viewed on the NTRA website).
 
We are seeking equitable treatment of owners in our revised documents. We must strive for fairness in assessments, while recognizing that our New Town homes are not cookie-cutter units in a high-rise condo. One of several issues that must be resolved is the provision of landscape services in fenced yards. For more information, see the article in the May Town Crier (https://www.ntrawilliamsburg.org/news-articles-1/?view=blog&id=214)
 
Your part in this process will come this Fall. As you know, Member approval is necessary in order to change the Governing Documents. The Board will hold a town hall meeting at which you can ask questions about the revised documents and, later, vote on them. In the meantime, educate yourselves by reading eblasts, Town Crier articles, and website notices to stay informed about the issues. For example, we are already updating the FAQ page on the website
with answers to your questions. 
 
On a different topic, I’d like to remind owners of an existing covenant that is sometimes overlooked - - the requirement to obtain approval from the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) before commencing a project that alters the exterior appearance of your property. 
 
Before starting construction or installation of a patio, deck, fence, generator, or other structure, and before starting any alteration of the exterior (including changing a paint color) of any dwelling, the owner must submit an application to NTRA’s ARC and secure approval. The application form is available on the website. Other improvements that require ARC approval include awnings, changes to exterior lighting, storm doors, window boxes that are to be attached to the house or garage, large yard ornaments, play equipment, satellite dishes, and solar panels. See the ARC Procedural Guidelines for more information. Failure to submit an application and obtain approval before altering property is an NTRA violation and may result in a penalty.  https://www.ntrawilliamsburg.org/editor_upload/File/Policies%20%26%20Guidelines/4.0%20Architectural%20Review%20-%20Changes%20to%20Property/Architectural%20Review_Guidelines%20%282018%20rev%29.pdf
 
Finally, the Activities Committee is planning several fun and family-friendly events this summer. An ice-cream social will be held in mid-June and a pool party will be scheduled for July.  Also, the next New Town Talk (on Zoom) is scheduled for June 12. The title is “Williamsburg Regional Library – We’re Not Just Books” and the speaker will discuss the library’s digital collections that can be accessed with a library card.  Watch for more details on each of these events on eblasts, and Town Crier and Facebook notices.  The events will be posted on NTRA’s website calendar.
 
Membership in the NTRA carries with it both obligations, and benefits. Obligations include knowing and following the rules. Benefits include enjoyment of the Association’s amenities, such as social activities, our beautiful walking trails and, of course, the pool.  I hope to see you out and about this summer!
 
Supplemental Swampland
Stuart Dopp
 
Perhaps you have dragged out the big notebook (or e-document) to study the original Master Declaration governing New Town. Kudos for due diligence! Now, it is time to tackle the swampy morass of the Supplemental Declarations. These are the documents that dictate services, easements, and some aspects of assessment protocols for the individual neighborhoods that constitute New Town. You will find a mess of contradictions and omissions in these Supplementals.
 
Each Supplemental identifies common areas within the neighborhood. Rightly, we should share in the cost for the upkeep of these spaces, as common areas and their beauty are shared by all residents.
 
Basic services for New Town lots are enumerated in Article IV, Section I of each Supplemental, including grass maintenance, trimming of trees and shrubs, sidewalk and streetlight repairs. Individual neighborhoods’ property assessments are supposed to stem from the services provided to the residences in that neighborhood. Let’s take Charlotte Park as an example of the swampy suction. Sixty-eight lots (covered by four Supplementals) do not have any services enumerated; twenty have basic services listed but have added responsibility for the maintenance of non-VDOT streets. Roper Park homes have a mishmash of basic services but varying requirements for maintaining easements, wetlands buffers, and non-VDOT streets. Village Walk adds a different dimension, as their assessments include exterior maintenance of housing. 
 
Equally confusing are easements for Neighborhoods. Easement policies for utilities, NTRA-owned pedestrian ways, and drainage are found in Section VIII of the Master, but there is no consistency in what is covered by Neighborhood Supplementals. Abbey Commons and Chelsea Green, for instance, have no mention of utility and pedestrian easements —- only drainage. Some neighborhoods have roadways that are maintained by the Association rather than VDOT, and thus should require easements.
 
These discrepancies need to be addressed, of course. You recently received an e-blast letter from the NTRA Board concerning the need for revisions to all our governing documents, so you know that they are working diligently, with legal guidance, to rectify the issues. There is a process to make this work transparent; you will receive updates and opportunities to comment. What is most important is this fact: you must be part of the vote to adopt the finished product (probably late in 2021). Two-thirds of owners must approve. Lacking that, we will be drowning in a quicksand of illogical policies written almost twenty years ago under a different set of circumstances. That could also place us in murky legal waters. Stay tuned……
 
Hurricane Season Starts Today!
Emergency Preparedness Committee
 
The 2021 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season is projected to be another above average period. As NOAA’s Acting Administrator recently said, “… it only takes one storm to devastate a community.” Have you considered what you would pack if you need to evacuate your home? How organized are you to protect critical documents from damage? Do you have a “go” bag ready for a quick departure?
 
There are several new resources on the NTRA website to help you to prepare for such a family emergency. Look at the “Resources and Kits” information on the website - Emergency Preparedness Committee guidelines: 
 
Make a plan to keep your family together and safe. Are you ready?
 
 
New Book Club Forming
Ginny Fisher
 
With our community growing, we thought we might benefit by starting another book club. The idea would be to meet from September through June. Also, because some may occasionally be out of town, we’d choose books at the beginning of the year so everyone could plan when they’ll be able to attend and what books they’ll read. 
 
By discussing and planning books upfront, we hope to get a nice mix of high-quality books. We can then mix up autobiographies, fiction/ non fiction and maybe some “ice cream and lollipops” lighter books too. 
 
To start off the year here are a few we’ve chosen: Heartland, Sarah Smarsh (memoir), Three Ordinary Girls by Tom Brady (non-fiction), The Second Mountain by David Brooks (philosophy), Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah (autobiography).  Please bring along your book suggestions so we can discuss them at our first gathering in September. 
 
So, if you’re interested in joining us, please contact Ginny Fisher, ginnyfisher258@gmail.com.  Blanche Scharf and I look forward to hearing from you. Please let us know by August 1. 
 
Transitioning Ownership of New Town’s Neighborhoods
Jim Carey
 
Ever wonder how James City County and the New Town Residential Association (NTRA) make sure the streets, alleys, open spaces, and other improvements are constructed properly?  Well, here’s a brief summary. 
First the county must provide its approval that requirements have been met. Since New Town’s development has evolved over 20 years, each section is reviewed as the work is completed. The townhomes and about half the single-family homes in Charlotte Park, and homes in Chelsea Green, Savannah Square and Abby Commons have final approvals. 
Charlotte Park (Section 10), Roper Park townhomes and Village Walk are or will be in the county acceptance/final approval process and the ownership transferred to the NTRA in the next year or so. 
The county acceptance process kicks off when all the homes are completed and ready for occupancy or occupied. At that time the developer’s engineer prepares and submits to the county as-built plans detailing how all the improvements, alleys, parks, walkways, stormwater systems etc. were constructed. The county staff compares these plans and on-site conditions to the plans which the county originally approved. Often the county requires the developer to take remedial actions if the as built plans and/or field conditions do not comply with the original plans and county construction standards. When the county gives final approval, it will release financial guarantees that the developer posted to guarantee its obligation to complete the area in compliance with county requirements. 
The transition of ownership typically follows the county acceptance process. At this time the developer works with the NTRA to transfer ownership of the alleys, walkways, parks, stormwater systems etc. to the NTRA. (Homeowner associations often retain professional assistance in conducting a due diligence review.) Currently the developers are pursuing county acceptance for the remaining area of Charlotte Park and Village Walk. Atlantic Homes, the developer, has not yet initiated any county review for Roper Park. 
James City County conducted its field review of Charlotte Park last August.  The county subsequently issued a number of letters detailing deficiencies for corrective actions. The developer is still working to correct these items. So if you’ve seen plantings and curb/alley work around Christine Court, this is part of Atlantic Homes’s commitment to fix deficiencies. Once the necessary changes are submitted to the county, we will have a professional engineering firm participate in the final inspection on our behalf. 
According to David Carter of Village Walk, James City County inspectors and NTRA representatives have similarly met and identified a variety of issues that Eagle of Virginia, LLC is required to address in Village Walk before the transfer of assets can be completed. Some of these punch list items as well as planned amenities like benches and additional landscaping have already been addressed or are scheduled for completion shortly.
 
Town Talks - Williamsburg Region Library Digital Services - June 12 @ 10am (via ZOOM)
Ellen Weidman, Activities Committee
 
From ebooks, downloadable music, genealogy, and health research to direct assistance from librarians, you can find what you need through Williamsburg Regional Library’s (WRL) digital collections and services. We will discuss the variety of resources that can be accessed with your library card 24/7 from the WRL website, www.wrl.org. Whether you use a desktop computer, a laptop, or a mobile device there is something for you at WRL.
 
Barry Trott is Special Projects and Technical Services Director at the Williamsburg (VA) Regional Library, where he coordinates the library’s communications and marketing, statistical analysis, digital collections, services, and programs, including the library website, and acquisitions and cataloging. Barry is past-president of the American Library Association’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).  In 2007, he was awarded both the Public Library Association’s Allie Beth Martin Award and the ALA Reference and User Services Association’s Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award in recognition for his work in readers’ 
 
Where Are Our Trees?
Dick Durst, NTRA Board President
 
In several of our neighborhoods the Board of Directors approved the removal of street trees that were dying or dead as part of our ongoing effort to keep our community looking its best.  Obviously, this is a two-step process: removing the trees/preparing the site for the new tree and then planting the replacement.  Simple….well, maybe not.
 
The removal of the trees (13 of them) went pretty well.  Then the challenges began….  We contracted with a local company, Colonial Colors, to plant the replacement trees.  We knew that the county identifies the placement of trees on the approved plats, but they also indicate the type of tree (linden, oak, maple, etc.).  If a tree dies, the county statues say you must replace those with the same species, since most of our streets have a consistent type of tree in order to maintain a cohesive “look” to the neighborhood.  The county also requires that street trees be a minimum of 1.5 “calipers” (the diameter of a tree, measured at breast height: 4.5 feet above the soil).  This is to better ensure that the tree will survive, since they are a bit more mature than the typical tree you might buy at your local big box store.  
 
We did not have the original plats, so we worked with JCC to find the original plats, then identify the types of trees, since we began this project in the winter after the trees had lost their leaves.  It took the county several weeks to locate the plats, then identify the trees.  We petitioned the county to reconsider the original linden trees on Town Creek Drive, since the original trees did not do well (we have six to replace, plus two more that will probably not survive this year).  The soil on that street is not just heavy clay, like so much of New Town, but very moist and the lindens do not tolerate that much moisture.  JCC relented and allowed us to plant red maples, which will complement the remaining lindens.
 
By the time we got the information and negotiated with JCC, it was near the ideal time to plant trees to enable them to begin to put down roots before the hot season begins in Williamsburg.  We gave the green light to Colonial Colors to purchase the replacement trees.  Finally, after four months of planning, we were on the way!
 
But wait—Colonial Colors checked with their regional suppliers, then expanded the search -- they have been unable to find ANY trees available anywhere in Virginia, of the type and size we need.   It appears that the COVID pandemic has affected yet another aspect of our society – people stuck at home began to do lots more landscaping and one supplier told us “we have sold three years’ worth of trees in the past nine months.”  So, we’ll just wait for trees to grow and mature a bit to reach the 1.5 caliper size…except trees are at a premium and suppliers aren’t willing to leave their stock just sit in their nurseries patiently growing, when other people, not subject to the JCC rules, are willing to buy them NOW.
 
The Board doesn’t really have a solution for this, yet.  We are hopeful that this run on trees will subside as the pandemic gets somewhat more under control and people resume some sense of normalcy in their lives.  In the meantime, we have two “holes” waiting for oak trees on Rollison, two for maples on Center, two sycamores on Discovery Park Blvd, and seven red maples on Town Creek Drive.  We are concerned about several more trees on Rollison and are waiting a bit to see if they are just late in leafing out.
 
So, be patient with us and thanks for your concerns.
 
Farmers Market Brings Fresh & Local Produce to New Town
Sarah Carey
 
Have you visited New Town’s Farmers Market? Hopefully, but just in case you haven’t, here are the hours of operation and how the market came to New Town.
 
Also known as Christopher’s Produce Market, it was previously located on Richmond Road by IHOP.
Christopher Starbuck was and still is providing fresh produce to local restaurants, including Paul’s, here in New Town. George Tsipas, the owner of Paul’s, approached Christopher and asked if he would be interested in setting up a produce stand on New Town Avenue between the restaurant and Iron Bound Gym. Scott Grafton of Iron Bound Gym supported the idea and so it all began! Christopher’s Produce Market is also listed in the Iron Bound Gym newsletter and on Facebook under Williamsburg Eat Local.
 
Hours of operation currently are 10-4 Monday-Friday, 9-5 Saturday. Closed Sunday. The second week of June hours will be extended to 5 pm during the week when Christopher’s son finishes school. There will also be more local produce available.  So walk over to New Town Avenue and support local vendors!
 
Quick Getaways -- Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Richmond
Jim Ducibella
 
The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond covers more than 50 acres of flowers, plants, trees, shrubs, with a conservatory that is the only one of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic and a host of programs that make this place far more than a walk through an oasis.
 
Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours for special events, June’s calendar seems especially full and enticing. Through August 25, the Ginter is offering what it calls “Alfresco.” It is designed to be a relaxing evening for couples or friends to spend time together while socially distanced from others in Ginter’s magnificent Garden. Food and drink are available for purchase online or in person, though reservations are required.
 
The Ginter’s “Flowers After Five” programs feature food, music for background strolls and dining – and several special occasions. The second and fourth Thursday of the month are also “Fidos After 5 Nights,” when the Garden partners with the Richmond SPCA and leashed dogs are allowed onto the grounds.
 
There’s a Juneteenth celebration that is in partnership with Project Yoga Richmond from 9-11 a.m. on the Garden’s terraced lawn.
 
All areas of the children’s garden are open, except for Water Play. https://www.lewisginter.org/visit/kids-learning/.
 
For those not familiar with Lewis Ginter, he was a prominent businessman, financier, military officer, real estate developer and philanthropist and fierce supporter of Virginia’s capital city. The city’s world-famous Jefferson Hotel was a project of his. Ginter hired renown architects to design the structure, investing between $5 and $10 million.
 
He also commissioned Edward V. Valentine – Richmond’s Valentine Museum is named for him and his brother, Mann S. Valentine – to create the life-size statue of Thomas Jefferson that is the centerpiece of the hotel’s upper lobby.
 
At the time of his death in 1897, Ginter had amassed a vast fortune, some of which went to his niece, Grace Arents. It was Arents who turned Ginter’s Lakeside Wheel Club into, first, a progressive farm known as Bloemendaal, then the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
 
Because of ongoing Covid-19 precautions, and Garden management’s desire to adhere to Virginia standards, admission and all events require advance purchase online, with customers choosing their arrival time.
 
The Garden is located at 1800 Lakeside Avenue in Richmond. The phone number is 804-262-9887. For a complete listing of requirements and events, visit this website https://www.lewisginter.org/.
 
Home Maintenance Series: Stair Lifts & Personal Elevators
Patti Vaticano
 
New Town has its share of innovative floor plans on 2, 3, and even 4 story levels.  Style and grace have been our community’s hallmark, but multilevel living presents unique challenges for homeowners. For the elder New Town resident, stairs are an obstacle to easy living but trading off the energy and convenience of “life in town,” for a ranch or carriage home further out in the county may not be a viable option.  For residents with personal elevators in their homes, a complex interior conveyor, while novel, presents a considerable undertaking in time and money to maintain.  
 
Installation of a stair lift—or two—is the chief way for residents to age in place and a great alternative to moving to a more manageable, albeit, less centrally located home. Of course, the first question is cost.  Stair lifts can be costly, but when compared to the cost of a house move or a senior care transition, it’s a downright bargain.  Though not a hard-and-fast rule, some Medicare supplements will pay for a stair lift, in whole or in part, if the need for one is a medical issue and sanctioned by a physician. The homeowner may be able to take advantage of state grants to fund their lifts, as well, or tap into state assistive technology projects that are in place to help the disabled. In general, however, a lift will be an out-of-pocket expense for the homeowner.
 
If your home has a straight staircase with about 12-14 steps, you should budget anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 to purchase a new stair lift. The average cost usually ends up in the middle of this range, between about $3,000 and $4,000. Outdoor steps are more expensive, ranging from $5,000 to $7,000, with outdoor curved lifts reaching as high as $12,000, depending upon the company contracted, of course.  These prices generally include installation as well as a one-year service warranty. It is possible to rent a stairlift if the need of the homeowner is temporary, for a convalescent period or when a short-term visit of a disabled friend or family member is anticipated.  Rentals are not always cost-effective, however, as they can range from as little as $50 to as much as $250 to $500 a month.  In a rental scenario, as well, repair costs thereafter may be necessary to bring your home back to its pre-lift appearance.  Not surprisingly, the higher-end lifts offer a number of design options for the homeowner, from slim-line and/or collapsible designs and curved or customed tracks to color-coordinated fabrics for your home interior.  A standard lift, however, will meet the needs necessary to tackle the dilemma of an aging household in a multi-level home.  
 
Lifts are most often powered by a rechargeable battery which offers unbroken service if a home’s power is ever interrupted.  However, some companies advise that you turn the lift off during an outage to preserve it from sustaining a possible power surge when the power comes back on. It is recommended, to reach maximum battery performance, to use your lift chair regularly, keep it plugged in to its wall outlet, at all times, and park your lift in the down level or up level space, never mid-track.  When out of town, turn off the lift entirely by its power button. The track should be dusted and the seat and back portion sanitized, regularly; and a maintenance check by the professional installer, once a year, is highly advisable.
 
New Town residents with personal elevators have a lengthier maintenance checklist to address.  To ensure a fully functional home elevator, there are specific rules the homeowner needs to follow for both safety and damage-control issues:
  • Pay attention to the elevator’s weight limit — don’t overload it;
  • Keep all contents at least 2 inches away from the cab gate and cab wall;.
  • Always keep the landing doors closed unless you’re getting in or out of your elevator;
  • Don’t operate your elevator if the car gate or landing door locking system seems to be malfunctioning;
  • Never tamper, bypass, disable or remove door locks or any other safety features;
  • Don’t operate your elevator if you hear strange sounds or if the ride seems unusual;
  • Make sure the elevator completely stops before you get out or in and be sure to watch your step;
  • Don’t open the car gate while the elevator is moving or put your hands or feet through the openings in a scissor-style gate; and
  • Schedule regular maintenance checks with the elevator’s professional installer as well as perform self-checks between your services dates.  By way of example, when you step into the elevator, make note of the following:
    • Are all of the buttons working as they should be?
    • Does the door open and close properly?
    • Do you notice any interior damage at a glance?
 
Stair lifts and personal elevators.  Not inexpensive or maintenance-free, but the best options for New Town residents who love their home and community and choose to age in place.
 
Posted on May 1, 2021 7:00 AM by Town Crier Staff
It was great to get submissions from our local entrepreneurs! Please keep them coming as we will extend our spotlight into New Town's home-based businesses to our June issue CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR BUSINESS
 
Little Foxes - Gina Marquis
My husband and I recently moved to New Town this year and love it so far! Along with us, we’ve also brought my home-based yarn dyeing business: The Little Foxes. ️
I am originally from NJ, but met my husband in college - he grew up in Williamsburg and his family still lives here as well. We’ve lived in northern NJ/ NYC for the past 5 years and recently bought our first home in New Town! I have been dyeing and selling yarn for almost 3 years now, along with designing knit and crochet patterns, sewing project bags, and recently started creating related accessories with resin!
    
Sweet Ellie Photography & Wagging Tails - Nicole Moyer & Michelle Daikos
These two businesses are collaborating as two women-owned small businesses to offer a fun package for a walk/groom/photos. I am a pet photographer (new to the area) and have purchased a townhouse in Pogonia Towns (can't wait for it to be done)! Michelle is a homeowner already living in New Town.
 
Triangle Skateboard Alliance 510(c)(3) - Max Pfannebecker
Triangle Skateboard Alliance (TSA) is a New Town based 501(c)(3) created with the mission to build and improve skate parks in and around Virginia's Historic Triangle and create a culture of service in the skateboarding community. The group is currently building a new skate park in Middlesex County slated to open this June and is working with James City County on a future expansion of the skate park located on Longhill Road at the JCC Rec Center.
 
Additionally, TSA is hosting their first youth skate camp at James City County Rec Park this June 21-15 - signup link HERE
 
   
 
The Bright Solutions - Sarah Bright Yaneza
Sarah Bright operates a consulting firm that provides accounting and financial management support to not for profit organizations. I started this business in the DC area in 2008 and carried it to Williamsburg when we moved here in 2018. 
 
Becky's Basket Shop - Rebecca Butler
Becky’s Baskets Shop is my new ETSY business, started during the pandemic. Before Covid, I had been selling my handmade pine needle baskets at street fairs and teaching classes at the Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center.  All of this came to a halt when the pandemic hit, so I had to reinvent my business for the online world. Based on my experience teaching classes, I developed kits for those who wanted to learn pine needle coiling.  I opened a small shop on ETSY in June 2020 and started selling the kits as well as some of my own completed baskets.  Eventually I added prepared pine needles and exotic wood basket centers for those who wanted to move beyond kits and design their own baskets.  I was surprised by the popularity of my little shop and now think of it as a major part of my home-based business.  I am looking forward to participating in craft fairs again this spring and summer.
 
 
3- Day Bike About, LLC - Deana Sun
My home-based business is 3 Day Bike About, LLC. My business partner, Cynthia Bashton, and I organize small, 3 day bicycle tours in small towns in Virginia to support a local charity and the local economy. The events are limited to 400 participants and take place over a 3 day weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday). Cynthia lives in Richmond so we do a lot of planning remotely.
 
This year’s tour will be here in Williamsburg on June 18-20 at Chickahominy Riverfront Park. On Friday, the riders will take the Virginia Capital towards Richmond. On Saturday they will take the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry to Chippokes Plantation State Park and ride in Surry. On Sunday the routes visit various parks in the area, such as Freedom Park, York River State Park and Waller Mill Park. We offer both short and long routes in order to accommodate all cyclists.
 
10% of all registrations and 50% of all sponsorship money will be donated to The Arc of Greater Williamsburg this year.