Citizens oppose Combat Range Proposed in Barhamsville

A citizens group has formed to defeat a proposal by The Curtis Group, Inc. for a conditional use permit to build and operate a for-profit 200 acre+ combat tactics training complex in the heart of the hamlet of Barhamsville, near the James City County line (Stonehouse District). A similar facility, ITI, was located near West Point and generated noise heard over 6 miles away.

This proposal is in direct conflict with the property's current zoning, the New Kent Comprehensive plan and existing adjacent and surrounding land uses. In addition to multiple shooting ranges and "evasive" driving courses, the proposed Barhamsville combat range would include a "ballistic shoot house". Noise would be further increased by 30-40 detonations of simulated rocket-launched grenades and improvised explosive devices (IADs) per day. The facility would host these and other community-disruptive activities 6 days a week, from 7 AM to 7 PM, 359 days a year. Night operations may also occur.

This combat range would damage current and future uses and development of adjacent properties, as well as those for miles around. Values of nearby properties will plummet, as they will no longer be fit, let alone desirable, for their current use or purpose. This will destroy the life-time investments of residents: their homes and farms; as well as their quality of life. Dreamcatchers Therapeutic Riding is about 1 mile from the proposed range. The extreme noise generated from the combat range will endanger children and other special needs individuals who benefit from that facility. Due to the many rounds fired, stray bullets are possible. Also negatively affected will be the cloistered nuns at the Poor Clares Monastery of Barhamsville.

Residents handling large animals (e.g. horse owners, riders, trainers, farriers, veterinarians and others) for miles will be endangered due to the barrage of noise. Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) may be forced to move from the area. Nearby residents will be unable to escape the noise or to sell their property...further amplifying their stress.

The New Kent Planning Commission will entertain this proposal at the New Kent Administration Building on July 16th at 6 PM.

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