September 28, 2021

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Since the 1960s the Larkspur neighborhood in Virginia Beach, VA has been a close knit community of almost 800 homes with an active civic league and neighborhood pool.

It is within walking distance of Kempsville Greens Golf Course, Mount Trashmore  Park, and the Kempsville Recreation Center. It also brags easy access to I-264 and Virginia Beach’s vibrant “Town Center” downtown district.

The neighborhood features large treed lots, increasing property values, and a desirable school district.

The Civic League Board of Directors and committees is listed under the “Contact” tab.  We offer a warm welcome to the new members, and those returning members as well!!



Our Mission

Our Larkspur Civic League is a registered non-profit voluntary neighborhood organization whose primary goal and interest is maintaining and improving quality of life in the Larkspur neighborhood consisting of 759 homes.

Our Objectives and How We Operate

The civic league allows citizens to have a voice in local government and other external organizations or agencies that could have an impact on our community. We work on behalf of neighborhood residents to address infrastructure activities with city departments. We will regularly advocate with the city on issues such as street pavement, potholes, over-grown trees or bushes on city/commercial property, storm drainage, criminal activity, and other such issues as they may arise. We serve as an advocate with utilities to achieve such objectives as hardening the power grid, underground utilities, and communications. The appropriate committee within our civic league board of trustees will maintain contact information within the different agencies. They will know who to call, who to talk to and who to write letters to in order to achieve our goals. Conversely, the civic league provides city departments and other organizations with a point-of-contact within the neighborhood to work on issues, projects and disseminate information.

Additionally the civic league will organize several community events annually. Typically these will include an annual welcome to summer pool party, and at least one socially themed General Membership meeting. We may assist in other activities such as picnics or cookouts, cleanup days, community yard sales, and Larkspur Swim and Racquet Club (LSRC) neighborhood activities. These events serve as a way for neighbors to meet and enjoy each other’s company. In a time, where many people are increasingly disassociated with their neighbors because of jobs, families and other commitments, civic league organized or supported events provide a neighborhood meeting place for old friends and neighbors to reconnect.

The civic league is a voluntary organization. We are not a home-owners organization (HOA), thus, participation and membership is purely voluntary. In order to successfully perform our advocacy and social roles however, a certain amount of funding is required. As such, we encourage residents to join by paying a very modest annual January to December membership dues. All members of a household are covered under one membership subscription. These dues help cover the costs of organizing social events, paying for neighborhood beautification projects such as our entrance signs on both ends of Edwin Drive, and covering the costs of running a small organization (printing costs, website costs, etc.). The civic league, as a non-profit LLC, has deeded ownership of the Larkspur Swim and Racquet Club property. This is an asset to neighborhood values, which we must periodically maintain.

The members of our civic league elect a Board of Trustees, each for a two year term. These are the individuals who are tasked with the management of the league’s activities, write and maintain the By-Laws, organize meetings, form and staff committees, arrange guest speakers, plan activities, and act as points-of-contact for the various city/other agencies.

We normally hold five to six trustee meetings and three General Membership meetings each year. While generally informal, both trustee and General Membership meetings tend to be well organized, with votes following parliamentary procedures, giving a democratic process to proceedings and decisions. General Membership meetings are open to all residents, and represent an additional opportunity to actively join and support the civic league. A typical General Membership meeting consists of opening remarks, treasurer and other committee reports, presentation/discussion/decision (including votes) of any neighborhood issues/initiatives before the league. Time permitting, we usually invite guest speakers to speak on topics of broad interest to members and the neighborhood.

Good communications are essential to an effective civic league operation.

  • We maintain a Larkspur Civic League website (https://larkspurvb.club/) which serves both as a bulletin board of ongoing events and issues and as a means for residents/members to communicate back to the civic league board of trustees. The site is easy to navigate, and features a “contact us” page to ask questions or raise issues or concerns. We try to respond within one day, two at the latest. With the current Covid-19 protocols, we have conducted surveys, and also parliamentary votes via the website. The website also allows members/new members to join via credit/debit card.
  • While the website allows “pull” information, we also use email as a “push” vehicle to communicate to members for issues/information that is more time driven. While dissemination of email/phone is not required to join the civic league or participate in information, we strongly encourage it. Email/phone lists are not disseminated and we have an “opt out” policy as well.
  • We publish a neighborhood newsletter a minimum of three times each year. To save costs we summarize the newsletter on a postcard to all resident addresses, email a copy as an attachment, and post it on the website. For those residents who have indicated they do not have any electronic communication means, a copy of the newsletter is direct mailed to them.
  • Members of the board of trustees also monitor and contribute to sites such as Next-Door as well.

In summary, our Larkspur Civic League is a voluntary group of neighbors, organized together to work toward improving our neighborhood through advocacy, encouraging neighbors to engage each other through meetings and social events, effective communications, and seeking to improve overall quality of life. Please consider joining and supporting.



Our Charter

  • The Larkspur Civic League Officers, appointed from the Board of Trustees are as follows:

President:

Calls meetings, presides over meetings, keeps meetings on the topic, member of each committee, represents the civic league externally, executes parliamentary procedures for resolution approval.  Signs checks when required by the Treasurer.   President should have access to the civic league bank accounts.

Vice President:

Performs all functions of the president in his absence.  Supports the president in discussion/decision discipline.

Correspondence and Recording Secretary(s):

Maintains a record of each meeting board of trustee and General Membership meeting.  Does not need to be an exact verbatim recording but must capture the topics of discussion, important points and objections, and all decisions/resolutions.  Submits the record of the meeting to the board for review and comment within 72 hours of the event.   Makes revisions and then upon the final concurrence of the trustees, places the approved minutes in the correspondence file.

Maintain a file of any hard copy records.  Maintain a soft (electronic) copy in Correspondence Secretary local file and a copy in a shared collaborative space provided by the Communications Committee Lead.

Treasurer:

Receives and disperses civic league funds in a bank account approved by the civic league.  Maintains records of all civic league accounts.   Maintains a complete record of all transactions by date, type, account.  Receives requests for expenditure from committee leads, when approved by the President.  Prepares each year’s budget for approval.  Maintains Cash Flow and Balance Sheet.  Compares expenditures to approved annual budget and identifies deviations.  Identifies expenditures not in the budget that require membership approval.  Presents a written and verbal report at each trustee and General Membership meeting.

  • Standing and Ad Hoc Committees:

    • Programs Committee

Mike Fouts, Mike Anderson

Objective:  Identify and schedule speakers/officials and topics with a relevant neighborhood focus, then broaden out to other areas of interest, or have one of both at each meeting.

Duties:

  • Solicit speakers/topics from the board, general membership

  • Socialize a list of candidate speakers/topics in preferred priority order at next board meeting

  • On agreement, contact & schedule speakers in order of priority

  • Let each speaker know that we will have an av/projection laptop available, and microphone.  Let each speaker know that they can bring a flash drive or email any material to the Program Lead in advance.   Ask each speaker for a bio/introduction material

  • Post speaker/topic information on web announcements

  • Write a speaker/topic info piece for the next (prior to the meeting) newsletter

  • As General Membership Meeting nears, check back/confirm speaker still available

  • Complete the VBCPS School facility rental form at least 2 months in advance and take it to KMES.  Follow up if nothing is heard back in about a week, with the VBCPS Facilities Manager.  Bring a copy to the school, the evening of the meeting.

  • For General Membership Meeting, arrive early, check screen, sound/mic, av projection

  • Post-meeting send a thank you to each guest speaker within 3 workdays of the membership meeting.

    • Prepare an annual budget submission.

  • Membership Committee

Lead: Eric Johnson

Objective: Encourage membership from neighbors by letting them know what their dues help pay for. Recruit members from our 700+ home neighborhood in effective ways.

Duties:

  • Interact with neighbors and encourage membership

  • Compile current membership list from treasurer

  • Keep records of members so we can communicate via email and text as needed

  • Newsletter Committee

Lead: Lindsay Johnson

Objective: Gather pertinent information from the committees to organize and send out to the general membership at least 3 times per year. Recruit and collect advertisers to go into the newsletter each year.

Duties:

  • Gather articles for the newsletter from committee chairs

  • Acquire advertisers and collect payment

  • Create newsletter

  • Send completed newsletter to Communications Committee for dissemination to membership

  • Keep a record of previous newsletters

  • Newsletter to be posted on the website after sent to membership.

  • Hospitality Committee

   Lead:

Objective: To be hospitable at events/meetings and be a welcoming face to members as they arrive.

  • Prepare snacks for general membership meetings (pending COVID-19 protocols)

  • Greet members as they enter meetings

  • Assist with social events

  • Zoning, Code Enforcement, and Deed Restrictions Committee

  • Advocacy Committee

  • Communications Committee

Eric Johnson

Objective:  Maintain effective two-way communications via a civic league web site, contact us, vote site, bulletin boards, email account address list, civic league web-based calendar.

Duties:

  • Maintain an attractive effective web site with up to date relevant content, and monitor/respond to “Contact Us” inputs.

  • Solicit input for the web from the board, general membership

  • Post General Membership Meeting schedule/speakers

  • Post Newsletters

  • Post other articles, photos*, the yard of the month, other as received from the board

*Note – Photos must have a person named as photo credit to post, and permission to post.

  • Post opinion surveys and info for special projects

  • Post summary of most recent General Membership Meeting

  • Review “Contact Us” submissions and forward to a responsible board member for response

  • Maintain larkspurcivicleague@aol.com email for “contact us” and other board business

  • Maintain and periodically clean out “library” of extraneous and out of date material

  • Routinely back up the web site to both to web hosting company server  (CDG) and to Committee Lead local PC

  • Periodically review web analytics and test web

  • Brief status of the web at board meetings

  • Prepare and run a “slide show” of the web to show as background before General Membership Meeting starts

    • Prepare an annual budget submission:

      • Track status of annual domain name renewal $ 24.99 (next due 12/06/19)

      • Track status of annual web hosting fee $34.95 – 500 MB / $53.95 – 1 TB) (next due 06/23/20)

 



Happy 2021!  We just published our January Newsletter for winter 2020/2021.
For the Jan 2021 Newsletter, we have emailed a copy to every email we have on record for the Larkspur Neighborhood.  If you did not receive a it in your email, please let us know via the “Contact Us” feature on this website and we will email you a copy.   If you have a neighbor that doesn’t have email, “contact us” and we’ll get them a copy.
As always you may view or download your copy of the latest newsletter from the “About Us” tab, or from this link  –  Jan 2021 Newsletter.
All prior newsletters are available from the “News” menu.

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For Seniors, or those supporting Seniors – Check out the Seniors Programs Tab under the “News” menuVirginia Beach Programs For Seniors

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See more of our neighborhood in pictures!