Community Meeting 2 on June 8, 2018

Good morning Everyone,

This email provides results of the community meeting held 8 June to develop a course of action against The Curtis Security Consulting/The Curtis Group’s Conditional Use Permit (CUP-02-18) request to build the para-military Curtis Readiness Training Center in Barhamsville, in New Kent County, Virginia.  This is our second community meeting.

To recap, as proposed, The Curtis Group facility would train government, military, and law enforcement in Counterterrorism/Force Protection Operations, Evasive Driver Skills and Firearm Skills, and include two “Simunitions” areas, a ballistic shoot house, five firearm firing ranges, armory storage areas, overnight housing units, messing facilities and miles of hard surface, unimproved and off-road driver raceways. Up to 120 students would train daily during daylight and in darkness.  The Curtis facility would operate 6 days per week, up to 16 hours per day.   The Curtis facility is not open to the general public.  In other words, this would be a combat training range, operated by civilians, located in New Kent County, in Barhamsville.

A copy of Curtis Security Consulting/The Curtis Group Condition Use Permit (CUP-02-18) is attached to this email for your review.

The Curtis combat range would forever change the character, beauty, tranquility, safety and value of our entire community, county and surrounding areas.

Over 30 residents attended the 8 June meeting. Overwhelming opposition to CUP-02-18, energy and resolve were on full display by all.

Results follow:

We decided on a catchphrase for our united efforts.  It will be:

NO COMBAT RANGES IN NEW KENT”.  This was chosen for two reasons:

  • First – New Kent County Code, Article XIX, Section 98, specifically states: “ No combat-type ranges shall be permitted.”  The code was enacted 9 April 2018, with most current version dated 3 May 2018.  The code is available online at: https://library.municode.com/va/new_kent_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIILADECO_CH98ZO_ARTXIXCOUS
  • Second – we must ensure the entire county is aware of The Curtis Group’s proposal. For if our county government can ignore its own code and devastate the Barhamsville hamlet by approving CUP-02-18, those same government officials and representatives can just as easily harm other areas of the county.

We handed out petitions and asked folks to talk with neighbors at their homes, at our churches, at work, at any place they can ask our citizenry to sign the petitions.  At our next meeting (Monday, 11 June at Gauthier Vineyard, 5000 Farmer’s Drive, Barhamsville), we will review our progress and hand out additional petitions.  If you are interested in participating in this initiative, let us know.  We will formally present these signed petitions to the Planning Commission at the Curtis CUP-02-18 hearing on 16 July 2018.

Four general areas of immediate concern were identified for thorough research and documentation.  They are:

  • Noise
  • Use of Property and Application – Zoning and Land Ordinances
  • Environment Impacts
  • Businesses and Neighbor Impacts

Groups of volunteers were formed for each area of concern and those groups will report back on their research and findings at our next meeting (Monday, 11 June).

Also, yesterday the New Kent County Sheriff was provided copies of the Federal Range Safety Regulations which The Curtis Group proposal (CUP-02-18) does not and cannot meet.

There have already been generous offers of money to assist in our opposition efforts.  At this time, we are still in the formation – and fact gathering phase – but sincerely appreciate the offers and may get back to you soon.  It is our intention to have a united and forceful response so that our county officials know we are serious about opposing Curtis CUP-02-18.

Keep in mind New Kent County’s own code, regarding conditional use permits, states:

  • The proposed use shall not be prejudicial to the character of the neighborhood.
  • The proposed use shall not adversely affect the general plans for the physical development of the county as embodied in the comprehensive plan.
  • The proposed use shall not be detrimental to the use or development of adjacent properties or the general neighborhood nor impair the value of buildings or property in surrounding areas.

The Curtis Proposal (CUP-02-18) undeniably destroys our neighborhoods, adversely affects development, and devastates property values in surrounding New Kent and James City county areas.  We will be factual in our opposition to CUP-02-18 and we will be very vocal.

Please share this email with friends and family, particularly with those who do not regularly use or have email access.  And ask everyone who wants to receive future electronic updates on our meetings – and strategies for opposing The Curtis Proposal — to send me their email address so I can add them to distribution.

We will set up a Facebook page soonest to specifically address our opposition to The Curtis Proposal.  Next item is to create a website where all documentation will be available.  And we are designing yard signs and perhaps billboards to help spread our message.  Social media will be an excellent friend!

Remember our mantra:  NO COMBAT RANGES IN NEW KENT

Next meeting is Monday, 11 June, at 5 pm at Gauthier Vineyard, 5000 Farmers Drive, Barhamsville, VA.  This meeting is open to the public – please join us.  All your ideas are appreciated and welcome.

Respectfully,

Sandi Gauthier