The 3rd community meeting, organized to resist and defeat The Curtis Group/CSC Conditional Use Permit (CUP-02-18) for a Combat Training Facility in New Kent, was held last night, 11 June, at Gauthier Vineyard. 66 folks left their homes and families, in heavy rain on a work night, to attend. We thank all who came – and we thank all of you for your support. This is our third meeting in five days. More will be held. We GROW in numbers, understanding, and awareness with each gathering. We will need your enthusiasm and participation to get this job done. It is most assuredly a fight worth fighting! This is our county and community’s very own “9-11”.
This message is long – please read all the way to the end.
If there is any confusion about the intended purpose of the Combat Training Facility, you can read the entire application which is attached to this email. To recap, per CUP-02-18, the Curtis facility operates 6 days per week, up to 16 hours per day with up to 120 students. Tactical Sound Infusion Exercises at night would require the Sheriff’s Department be notified in advance — because the level of noise will be horrendous – up to 48 of these noise infusion exercises late at night (until 11pm) during darkness would be allowed yearly. Additionally, up to 12 Tactical Sound Infusion episodes could occur per hour each day during normal ops (7am-7pm) which equates to 144 very loud episodes of noise each day. The range would include 4 driver tactical driving courses, with 18 drivers using each course daily – that’s 72 people practicing evasive maneuver driver training daily. The 5 proposed outdoor firing ranges would host 15 students each day – that’s 75 folks shooting at any time, all day long. The combat facility conducts “Simunitions” training, operates a Ballistic Shoot House, and signs contracts to train military, government, law enforcement, “Private Concerns”, etc. Contracts are not limited only to USA military. The facility is not open to the public. Messing and berthing is provided on site for the Counterterrorism trainees. Curtis’ CUP-02018 states that part of the facility could be rented by a client and ADD TO THAT NUMBER, in other words, the number of daily trainees could far exceed the 120. Purpose of the facility – Counterterrorism/Force Protection Ops; Driver Skills; Firearm Skills Training.
To summarize what happened at last night’s community meeting:
Folks were encouraged to sign the NO COMBAT RANGE IN NEW KENT petitions. Many already have – many folks are circulating petitions within their neighborhoods, churches, businesses. We handed out all the blank petitions we had left and will print more (30 petitions, each with three pages for signatures, have thus far been circulated – Great Work by ALL but we need to press hard for all we can get!). In the meantime, a blank petition is attached to this email. If you are able, please print it out yourself and get to work gathering additional signatures. We will present all petitions to the Planning Commission.
We obtained email addresses for new folks and will include them in future mailings – like this one. If you know of others who would like to be added, please send in their names/addresses. If you have friends/neighbors who do not have email access, please share the contents of our messages with them.
It is the firm belief of all in attendance at last night’s meeting that a Combat Training Facility, as proposed in the Curtis CUP-02-18, does not fit anywhere in New Kent County – not in Barhamsville, not anywhere in our county or surrounding areas. Our combined efforts must stop it here and now. We speak unequivocally. There will be NO COMBAT RANGE IN NEW KENT.
The New Kent Planning Commission rescheduled the public hearing for Curtis CUP-02-18 to Monday, 16 July. At that public hearing, we will speak collectively and individually. Our plan is to have several topics covered, factually, for the commissioners to digest. Areas that are being thoroughly researched for presentation are:
New Kent County’s Comprehensive Plan — a Combat Training Facility does not fit the plan
New Kent Zoning and Ordinances — addressing CUP-02-18 inability to comply
Economic Impact to the Community, County and Surrounding Areas — the Combat Training Facility will not add to county revenues, in fact, revenues will plummet because of it.
Noise —- Curtis CUP-02-18 states there will be no noise impact on the community. Our research will provide indisputable measurements to prove otherwise.
Environmental Impact — No professional Environmental Impact study has been performed on the impacts this massive building project would have on our community. We will insist the Planning Commission require one be done by an outside firm. This property is within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Lead, from spent bullets (and there will be millions of them) is a driver. The 22,000 gallon water holding facility they propose to build on site and daily water usage must be addressed. How will this affect the many wells our community uses? There are NO county water or sewer lines in the entire region. We will not accept a blanket statement from Curtis that we need not be concerned about environmentals.
Range Design and Safety — The numerous deficiencies of Curtis CUP-02-18 will be addressed.
The Poor Clares — Presentation by The Poor Clares of Bethlehem Monastery in Barhamsville — for those who may not know, The Poor Clares Monastery is located on Holly Folk Road, well within the Surface Danger Zone of the firing range proposed in Curtis CUP-02-18. This is outrageous. Learn more about the Poor Clares at http://www.poor-clares.org/ This is a cloistered monastic community of contemplative nuns.
Additionally, at the public hearing on Monday, 16 July, three (3) minutes is allowed per person FOR ANYONE who wants to address the Planning Commission. You sign up right before the meeting starts and make any statement you wish to make. We STRONGLY encourage everyone who can to do so. We need to let New Kent representatives of our local government know we DO NOT SUPPORT CUP-02-18. Not in Barhamsville – and not anywhere in this county and surrounding communities.
So, what can you do in the meantime?
*** CALL, MAIL AND WRITE YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES and tell them you do NOT support having a Combat Training Facility, run by civilians, conducting Counterterrorism Operations in our peaceful neighborhood and community;
*** SIGN the petitions – and get your friends and neighbors to sign them, too – then get those petitions back to us so we can submit them, in total, to the planning commission;
*** ATTEND OUR NEXT COMMUNITY MEETING;
*** Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard.
Next community meeting is Tuesday, 19 June, at 6:30 pm at Gauthier Vineyard located 5000 Farmers Drive, Barhamsville. We will take that occasion to discuss formally contacting the media. See you there!
Remember : NO COMBAT RANGES IN NEW KENT