Top stories 2018: Tactical training facility proposal opposition drew community together

Residents of Barhamsville and New Kent banded together in opposition to a tactical training facility proposal this year.

The now-withdrawn proposal from Curtis Security Consulting Inc. included shooting ranges, driving courses and housing facilities for trainees on a 266-acre property in Barhamsville. The company applied for the conditional use permit in May.

Community members formed opposition group No Combat Range New Kent, posted signs, held meetings and wore bright orange T-shirts to Board of Supervisor meetings.

Residents’ concerns included safety for farm animals, children and the elderly, as well as gunfire noise and the effect on businesses and residential areas.

Curtis met with the opposition group and presented its proposal to county supervisors and the Planning Commission.

After the meeting, Sen. Tommy Norment, who represents the county, sent supervisors a letter opposing the proposal, and Curtis followed the letter by withdrawing the proposal in July.

No Combat Range New Kent member John Lockwood said the best thing to come from the situation was the sense of community it created.

“We have found new friends along with the ones we had before,” he said. “It has also made us more aware of the need to be actively involved in the governing process in New Kent. We communicate with each other regularly to make sure someone is attending all of the county meetings.”

The group will remain vigilant in protecting their community and the county, Lockwood said, while enjoying the new friendships they made.

Review archives were used in this story.

Luck can be reached at 757-291-2038, or @ashleyrluck on Twitter

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