Touching Bases

Potential military base closings are hanging like a sword of Damocles over Virginia. In the Daily Press, John Bull reviews contingency development plans for Ft. Monroe, an obvious target, and hints that a Federal agency might be interested in taking over another base in the Hampton Roads area, should one become “available.”

Turning closed military bases over to local authorities for development offers great opportunities for “smart growth,” as well as opportunities for rapacious profit-making. The battle to save bases can lead to battles over utilization of the losers.


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  1. Ray Hyde Avatar
    Ray Hyde

    Traditionally, military bases were placed in the boonies, for obvious reasons. Aside from the problems of environmental cleanup, how does developing such places constitute Smart Growth, necessarily?

    I sure wouldn’t point to the situation at Vint Hill as either successful economic development or Smart Growth, yet, as I understand it, that situation is entirely under the control of local officials.

    As for considering land use and traffic demand, the intersection of Route 15 and Vint Hill Rd. has got to be one of the worst left turn situations in the state (left turn in front of a blind hill onto a divided highway).

    The proposed planning goals there have effectively precluded any valuable use. They might have been better off to bulldoze the entire place and start over, but they wanted to keep such infrastructure as was already in place, even if it was a limitation rather than a benefit.

    Now the area is under consideration for a new school effectively eliminating any further economic development and reducing the land available for such use.

    When this fiasco comes to a head, local government won’t even have “rapacious developers” to blame.

    Go figure.

  2. Will – what’s the difference between Smart Growth and rapacious profit-making? Usually go hand in hand.

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