New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | December 18, 2018

Curtis Security Group withdraws CUP for tactical training facility in Barhamsville

By Andre Jones | July 13, 2018 5:45 pm

A request for a conditional use permit (CUP) for a tactical training facility in New Kent has been withdrawn from consideration.

Curtis Security Group had proposed the facility for Barhamsville. Late Friday afternoon, representatives for the group sent an email to New Kent County Planning Director Kelli Le Duc.

The conditional use permit was scheduled to go to public hearing on Monday (July 16). With an expected turnout that was going to exceed capacity of the normal meeting room in New Kent’s Government and Administration Building, New Kent’s Planning Commission had changed the location of the meeting to New Kent High School’s auditorium.

In May, the original proposal by Curtis Security Group was pitched to commissioners. At that meeting, Kaitlin Curtis and consultant Chip Larkin pitched the facility that would be used to train government agencies, military units, law enforcement officers, and corporate entities. The facility was to attract around 120 people a day and employ 15 to 20 people.

But residents in Barhamsville raised concerns at June’s planning commission meeting. More than 100 people gathered together, wearing orange shirts opposing a combat range in New Kent. The following night after the June meeting, residents gathered at Gauthier Vineyards in Barhamsville, receiving a presentation from Charles Karow that outlined concerns that include noise levels, safety, and hazardous zones. Other citizens in Barhamsville commented about how the facility could impact property value as well as aesthetics.

Representatives from Curtis Security Group took their proposal to New Kent’s Board of Supervisors at the June 27 work session. Sitting in front of county leaders, the organization’s representatives said that misconceptions of the facility had been presented in the public’s eyes and weren’t true. The group went on to layout a safety plan along with how it was addressing residents’ concerns.

But supervisors had questions of their own for the group. Inquiries asked by county leaders included the maximum number of people at the facility at once along with how safety would be addressed.

Meetings continued with opponents of the proposal, ultimately resulting in Curtis Security Group pulling the CUP from the table. The applicants are planning to meet with citizens before considering resubmitting a CUP for the facility.