New Kent, VA – On Monday, August 6, 2018, Barhamsville residents John Lockwood, Joe Davis and Charles Karow met with New Kent County administrator Rodney Hathaway and Board of Supervisors Chairman Thomas Evelyn to express our continued concern over the proposed Curtis combat training facility. Even though the application for CUP-02-18 was withdrawn, Curtis has indicated that they intended to “to try to come to some kind of consensus with the objecting residents,” in preparation for re-applying, so Barhamsville residents are still under a cloud of uncertainty and property values are falling. Curtis also owns other property in New Kent County, and it is unclear as to whether they might try proposing a similar facility in a different location.
There was a good discussion, with John outlining our concerns and expressing our desire to have tactical combat training facilities added to the existing list of prohibited uses in the county zoning laws. Joe added that the proposed facility was incompatible with the existing laws and should have had no chance of serious consideration. Charles described how property values are already falling in response to just the threat of the proposed facility, and indicated that, if some sense of certainty and stability was not restored soon, a “boatload of people” would be objecting to paying property taxes on property that had lost significant value.
We asked about the process for amending the county laws and were told that the county staff would draft the language and that it had to come before public hearings and be considered by the Planning Commission. The first step is for a member of the board to sponsor a motion to begin the process. We were told that it was too late to get on the agenda for the August Board of Supervisors meeting, so the soonest the process could start would be the September 4 meeting. The issues would then likely be sent to the Planning Commission for consideration at their October Meeting and then come back to the Board of Supervisors for final action in November.
Chairman Evelyn recommended that we present our concerns publicly at the August Board of Supervisors meeting, and reminded us that a person speaking for a group can speak for a longer time.
It seem to be a very positive and productive meeting with a good exchange of ideas and information. The county officials seem to have been receptive to the value of saving the county staff, elected officials and citizens a lot of time, money and anguish by avoiding another round of application and opposition.