City Makes Exception for Business Posing Encroachment Threat to NS Norfolk

first_imgThe Norfolk (Va.) City Council last week voted to allow a business located under the takeoff path of a Navy airfield to open despite a city policy intended to limit the use of property in the accident potential zones surrounding military airfields.The site of the banquet hall is about one-and-a-half miles from the east end of the runway at Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field, putting it in Accident Potential Zone 2, reported the Virginian-Pilot.Councilmembers made the exception for the banquet hall because city officials failed to inform the business owner for more than two months after she applied for permits. “If we drop the ball, the citizens shouldn’t be the ones who pay the price,” Vice Mayor Angelia Williams Graves said before voting to approve Elegant Occasions.The council’s approval overcame objections from the mayor and city planning officials.After learning of the application, the Navy voiced its opposition. “We view development at this site as an encroachment upon operations on Naval Station Norfolk,” Capt. Doug Beaver, the base’s commander, wrote in a Jan. 26 letter to the city.The Hampton Roads region of Virginia has grappled with balancing the need to protect military installations from encroachment with economic development for decades. In a 2013 plan, Norfolk agreed not to approve any “increase in intensity of incompatible uses” in accident potential zones, according to the story.“This is a slippery slope you start down once you say, ‘Well, we’ll let this one go,’” said Mayor Paul Fraim. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img

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