New Kent, VA – On Monday, August 20, 2018, over a dozen Barhamsville residents attended the joint Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors meeting clad in orange shirts. Joe Davis, John Lockwood and Charles Karow spoke during the citizen comment period.
Joe indicated that there is still considerable fear of the possibility of a renewed application for a combat training facility in New Kent County with the adverse economic and environmental impact that could bring. He emphasized that the community is unwavering in its resolve to oppose any such proposal. He declared that, “Our community has stood firm and we do remain vigilant.” He went on to describe the prohibition he proposed at the previous week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, and the immediate positive impact that would have on property values and their residents’ lives. He closed with an assurance that the community is not requesting any change or prohibition on recreational or hunting use of firearms in the county.
John presented his views on the need and urgency for adding tactical combat training facilities as number 11 on the county’s existing list of prohibited uses in the zoning laws. He described the process as it had been explained to us, and laid out the possibility of having an extra reason to be thankful at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. He reaffirmed our desire to work with the county officials, who are our friends and neighbors, and to follow the established legal procedures.
Charles re-iterated that the prohibited uses in the zoning laws are designed to weed out proposals that are incompatible, can not be made acceptable and stand no chance of being approved. He reminded the commissioners that he has previously shown them that the danger zone for a combat shooting range extends for 2-1/2 miles, and indicated that there is no place in New Kent County to safely locate such a facility. He went on to describe his economic analysis that shows conclusively that a combat training facility would actually cost the county at least $200,000 dollars every year in tax revenue, no matter the location. And he talked about how the noise from military firearms and simulated explosions can be heard for a distance of 10 miles, regardless of how high they build earth berms, so no location in the county would prevent a disruption to the peaceful rural character of our homes. He concluded by calling for “prompt action [on the prohibition] in order to reassure the citizens and stabilize property values.”