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Public speaks on A. P. Hill study
Residents weigh in on Fort A.P. Hill joint land use study

Date published: 1/24/2013

By RUSTY DENNEN

Area residents are weighing in this week on a study aimed at helping the Army continue its training activities at Fort A.P. Hill, while working with surrounding jurisdictions on noise and vibration issues and keeping incompatible development at bay.

The last of three initial public information meetings on the joint land-use study is tonight at 6 o'clock at Lee Hill Community Center in Spotsylvania County. Other information sessions were held Tuesday at the post's Army Reserve Center, and Wednesday at the Caroline County Community Services Center.

About 100 people turned out for Tuesday's session, which included an open house, a presentation by consultants working on the plan, and a question-and-answer period.

Joyce Phipps and her husband, Ralph, who live in Woodford, were among those in the audience.

"We just want to know what's going on" in Caroline County, Joyce Phipps said. "We don't hear a lot [of noise] in Woodford. You hear planes once in a while. But the base has been here a long time. If you've got to have places for them to train, you live with it."

Noise and vibration from firing ranges, demolition training and low-flying aircraft have been a source of complaints from neighbors over the years.

That's one of the issues included in the study, along with examining growth trends, existing land uses, post operations and future development.

"Noise is a concern, and it is a priority for the fort, and the Army overall," said Andrea Sweigart of AECOM, a consultant with offices in Alexandria. Travesky & Associates in Fairfax is also assisting with the Army-funded study.

"Let me say up front that noise is complicated. There are many different ways to measure noise, depending on the type of noise. All decibels are not created equal," Sweigart said.

The study notes that noise sources include air operations, live-fire ranges and explosives.

One resident of Portobago Bay, which is near the post boundary along U.S. 17, wanted assurances that the 500-acre subdivision would be given the same consideration in the planning process as nearby towns.


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COMMENT ONLINE

The comment form is available on the web at: visitcaroline.com/fortaphilljlus.html. Download the form and email it to: fortaphilljlus@aecom.com

Comments pertaining to the meetings will be accepted until Feb. 22. However, other comments on the study can be sent to: fortaphilljlus@aecom.com at anytime.