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Fort A.P. Hill, surrounding communities working on joint land-use study
The Army maintains that it is a good neighbor by monitoring and controlling training activities and noise. For example, it has a community council to invite discussion and address such problems. The fort also has noise meters outside the gates, restricts aircraft flight paths, limits the size of explosions and suspends firing when atmospheric conditions intensify the effects.
Since 2006, A.P. Hill has worked to secure conservation easements along its boundaries under the Army's Compatible Use Buffer Program. The program creates buffers by paying nearby landowners not to develop their property. The post works with conservation agencies to purchase development rights.
The Defense Department in 2009 warned that demand for land, airspace and water surrounding the nation's military installations is putting their missions in peril.
"If left unchecked [it] will degrade training and testing activities and thereby inhibit military readiness" the Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative agency concluded.
Manster said preparations for the land-use study began last year. The consultants have assembled the data and come up with preliminary findings. Those will be presented in the upcoming information meetings.
A draft report will be prepared after this month's public meetings, with a final report due in late summer.
A separate policy committee and a working group composed of local officials, businesses and residents have been meeting to further hone the study topics. Manster is co-chair of the working group.
"One of the things we're looking at is developing an ongoing process of increasing communication" between the post and its neighbors, Manster said.
Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431
Information sessions on the A.P. Hill joint land-use study will be held:
Jan. 22, 6-9 p.m. at the U.S. Army Reserve Center Cooke, 26568 Taliaferro Trail, Fort A.P. Hill;
Jan. 23, 6-9 p.m. at the Caroline County Community Services Center, 17202 Richmond Turnpike, Milford;
Jan. 24, 6-9 p.m., Lee Hill Community Center, 1 H.C.C. Drive, in Spotsylvania.
The meetings include an open house, with maps and project staff available. Each meeting will include a formal presentation at 7 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session at 7:30.For more information on the study, firstname.lastname@example.org