New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | October 16, 2019

New Kent leaders approve definition, prohibited use of tactical training facility

By Robb Johnson | August 13, 2019 5:34 pm

With the support of several citizens from the Barhamsville area of New Kent County, an ordinance that defined what a combat/tactical training facility is along with prohibited uses was passed during Monday night’s New Kent Board of Supervisors meeting.

County leaders approved the definition and prohibited uses 4-1, with Evelyn casting the lone dissenting vote.

In 2018, Curtis Security Group put together a proposal to construct a tactical combat range in Barhamsville. Many residents were strongly opposed against it, including Charles Karow.

“I have heard that there are some people that don’t think we should not have a prohibition with existing zoning laws and regulations with protectives,” he said at Monday night’s meeting. “I respectably disagree with the contention that existing zoning laws are sufficient to protect us from our peaceful way of life.

“The loss of property values and the increase of physical danger would result from a combat tactical facility in New Kent County,” Karow added. “I contend that explicit prohibition is needed and would not only protect us against the use that has no place in the county, but would save the commission, supervisors, and county staff along with citizens considerable time, money, and distress by preventing a repetition of the CUP (conditional use permit) adventure.”

Last July, New Kent’s Planning Commission defined a tactical/combat training facility as “a commercial, open air facility that is designed to train in any combination of anti-terrorism, counter-terrorism, forced protection operation, and any mission simulation using military weapons which includes many items including real or simulated high impact explosive devices and use of mock high impact firearms blasé of simulated rocket-propelled grenades.”

Commissioners said at their meeting that the definition does not apply to approved recreational firearms uses and facilities operated by local, regional, state, or federal government agencies for bonafide law enforcement or safety and proficiency training activities as identified in the county code.

After receiving information and input from the public hearing, the motion passed, receiving applause from Barhamsville residents as well as supporters of the new ordinance.

In other business, an ordinance to allow golf carts in the Chickahominy Shores subdivision passed unanimously.

County leaders approved the matter that allows golf carts on subdivision roads. The issue will be reviewed in September 2021 after what is considered a two-year “trial” period to garner feedback on the approved ordinance.