VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- On Tuesday the City of Virginia Beach discussed another large project at the Oceanfront, an 880-footer to be exact.
That's the length of a proposed fishing pier that would replace the existing pier on 15th Street.
However, during the city council meeting, a majority of the public spoke out against the new pier project. They said they aren’t necessarily against the pier itself, but what they are against is the process the city is taking to try and build it.
“Lots of people here tonight and many watching at home have a perception that the project has been railroaded through, accelerated an abbreviated advertisement bid process,” said one resident.
Some Virginia Beach residents questioned the city's ethics. They said the city began working with developer Bruce Thompson and the Virginia Beach Development Authority before anything was finalized.
“Because we are favoring a specific developer for what exactly he wants, giving him an unfair advantage over everyone else,” said another resident.
Council members John Moss and Bobby Dyer called for a review of the bidding process if nothing else to prove transparency to the public, but the review was voted down.
“It’s a very complex project, one that should be articulated well to the public,” said Dyer.
“It adds to the credibility and integrity of what we are doing,” said Moss.
The proposed pier would consist of two levels. The lower level would be for fishing and the upper level for restaurants, shops, and a 200-foot-high ferries wheel. Still, many questioned if it’s all necessary.
“Just keep it simple, we don’t need the Ferris wheel, we don’t need the restaurants if it’s going to take away from other people,” said one resident.
The pier would cost the city about $25 million, while the businesses would be privately owned and operated. Already established shops and eateries in the area are worried they won't survive.
“I’m just worried about the impact it’s going to have,” said the owner and operator of Black Angus at the Oceanfront.
According to the city council, the pier could be officially voted on and approved as early as March.