Barhamsville residents raise concerns for tactical facility
Concerns over a proposed tactical training facility in Barhamsville has sparked a battle between the developer and residents of the area.
After more than 100 residents from the area located in eastern New Kent appeared before the county’s planning commission Monday night, the group reconvened Tuesday night at Gauthier Vineyards. The message was clear: “No combat ranges in New Kent.”
With a group of opponents wearing bright orange shirts at the meeting, the issue of a proposed tactical training facility by the Curtis Security Group appeared before commissioners last month. Barhamsville residents responded, sounding off through social media and at the planning commission’s meeting.
Tuesday night’s gathering by residents allowed them to express their concerns about the issue through letters and a peaceful protest. Citizens questioned if the facility was allowed under current county code, while others asked about the issuing of a conditional use permit (CUP) and if the proposed facility fails.
Charles Karow, an architect and engineer who presented at both the commissioner’s meeting and at Tuesday night’s meeting, outlined his presentation and tried to present facts about the real concerns, including safety, when it came to the tactical facility. His presentation indicated that the facility could be a danger to residents that extends well past property bounds and create hazardous zones. According to Karow’s presentation, there is no mitigation that can reduce the danger zone.
Most of the Barhamsville residents concerns revolved around the impact of property in the area financially, visually, and physically. Residents had no idea if the property value would decline due to the possible noise in the area. Others commented that the area of the facility may impact children and businesses.
While the process and the collection of additional data continues to be in the early stages, residents are hopeful to gain more knowledge of the impact.
It is expected that both proponents and opponents of the tactical facility will speak at the July 16 planning commission meeting.