Joint Land Use Study (JLUS)

Emerald Isle secures funding for property

October 01, 2017

 

EMERALD ISLE — All the funding pieces have come together for a land purchase by the Town of Emerald Isle that will help preserve a buffer between military training in the area and future community uses.

Town officials are finalizing closing on the $3 million property following approval of several documents by the Board of Commissioners at their Sept. 12 board meeting.

The 29.7-acre tract is the last remaining large vacant tract of land within the Town of Emerald Isle and the plan is the preserve 20 acres in its natural state and reserve the remaining 9.7 acres for future recreational uses by the town, such as ballfields.

A critical piece of the purchase plan is federal funding available through the military’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program.

The property, known as the Surfside tract, is located in the flight path for Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue and the town has been working with MCAS Cherry Point on securing the funds to purchase the property to prevent further encroachment of development that could interfere with training at Bogue Field.

One of the documents approved by commissioners was a resolution accepting $1.5 million in REPI funding, a final piece of the funding package.

A Sept. 6 letter from C.E. Schule, at the direction of Cherry Point’s commanding officer, confirms that Cherry Point has secured the funding.

“Through various funding sources, the State of North Carolina has played a prominent role in helping the U.S. Marine Corps address encroachment pressures facing Eastern North Carolina,” the letter states. “We are grateful to have partnered with the State of North Carolina on previous projects and look forward to continued cooperation with the Town of Emerald Isle and our encroachment partnering entity, The Conservation Fund, on this project.”

The federal funding is expected to be released in Spring 2018. The Conservation Fund of North Carolina, a nonprofit and authorized grant recipient for REPI funds, will provide the interim financing for the purchase of the property and hold the land until the federal funds are released. The land will then be conveyed to the town.

According to town information, the town will incur administrative, legal and interest expenses as a result of the arrangement with The Conservation Fund of up to $75,000 but the town will have full rights to use of the land as soon as the Conservation Fund has completed to acquisition in the coming weeks.

The use of the REPI funds will require the execution of easement and/or deed restrictions that will restrict any significant buildings on the property. The easement will allow for active recreational uses on the 9.7 acres such as ball fields, tennis courts, dog park, splash park, pickleball courts and associated facilities such as restrooms or small storage building.

The town has not developed any specific plans for the property at this point.

In addition to the $1.5 million in REPI funds, the town has received a $545,000 N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund grant, a $500,000 N.C. Parks and Recreation grant. The town has committed to the balance of $455,000 and will likely finance it over a 10-year period.

With the town board’s approval at the September meeting, the town manager and town attorney are authorized to execute the necessary agreements to finalize the funding package and property acquisition.

Reporter Jannette Pippin can be reached at Jannette.Pippin@JDNews.com or 910-382-2557.

 

Jones, Collins, & Farenthold Introduce Legislation to Protect Military Facilities

January 24, 2017

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) joined Congressmen Chris Collins (NY-27) and Blake Farenthold (TX-27) to introduce legislation that would curb the installation of wind turbines in close proximity to military installations.

Congressmen Jones, Collins, and Farenthold introduced the “Protection of Military Airfields from Wind Turbine Encroachment Act” in an effort to ensure that any new wind turbines built within a 50-mile radius of a military installation will be deemed ineligible for the Wind Production Tax Credit. A companion bill was introduced in the United States Senate by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).

“We must prioritize the safety of our service members and the operational integrity of our military installations,” said Congressman Walter B. Jones. “Taxpayers have made significant investments in our military facilities in order to provide for our national defense. Those investments and that mission must take precedence. I thank my colleagues, Congressmen Chris Collins and Blake Farenthold, for their work on this important issue.”

“I cannot condone any activity which puts the operations of our military installations at risk,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “Massive wind turbines built in such close proximity to military installations, such as the ones being proposed in Western New York, can negatively impact a base’s daily operations and future viability. This legislation introduces a commonsense solution to protect the vital operations of our country’s military installations.”

“Wind turbines can put our service members in unnecessarily dangerous flying environments,” said Congressman Blake Farenthold. “Military aviators need to focus on flying, not worry about radar failing to pick up other planes. Without this legislation, communities could see a negative impact when military bases are no longer able to carry out their missions.” >>READ FULL BILL

 

 

NC Department of Military and Veterans Affairs grant will help Cherry Point region establish Military Influence Overlay Districts; assist in avoiding encroachment

August 01, 2016

 

Havelock, NC – The North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) has awarded a $60,000 grant to Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) to assist planners and policy makers with the establishment and adoption of Military Influence Overlay Districts with local governments. These districts, abbreviated MIODs, will help counties and towns in the Cherry Point region identify land uses or development activities that could encroach on the air station or its outlying landing fields or bombing ranges.

“Any encroachment on the air station or its outlying fields or ranges impedes the ability of our Marine Corps aviators to train,” says ACT president Will Lewis. “That’s why this grant from the DMVA is so important to sustaining and growing the Cherry Point mission.”

Funds from the grant will allow regional planners to work with consultants to create a process by which Cherry Point is notified when any activities are proposed within five miles of the station or training ranges. Activities could include proposed changes to zoning maps, potential subdivision plats or proposed siting of tall structures like telecommunications towers or wind energy turbines.

Carteret County Planning Director Gene Foxworth says MIODs will enhance communication between the base and its neighboring communities. “This grant will enable our communities to make smart planning decisions that will benefit our citizens and the base. It’s a win-win situation,” Foxworth says. The DMVA grant supports one of the implementation goals of the recently completed Cherry Point Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), which was led by Carteret County and funded by a planning grant from the federal Office of Economic Adjustment.

The state grant program is a new initiative of the Military and Veterans Affairs Department to support projects in military host communities around North Carolina that will help the state protect and grow its military missions and assets. DMVA Secretary Cornell Wilson applauds ACT and the Cherry Point region for its work. “Our grant to ACT not only builds on the work done in the Cherry Point JLUS, it also supports the state’s goal to preserve North Carolina’s military training areas. These are national defense assets, serving not only the Marine Corps but the Navy and Air Force as well,” says Secretary Wilson.

The MIOD work is expected to be completed within a year of hiring a consulting firm. ACT and Carteret County, which will administer the grant funds, will provide the Department and the NC Military Affairs Commission with regular progress reports. ACT hopes this MIOD process can become a model for other military installations and their host communities across the state. For more information about the ACT grant or about the DMVA grant program you can access www.alliesforcherrypoint.com or www.milvets.nc.gov .

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ACT Board Members tour MCAS Cherry Point

July 01, 2016

 

Wednesday, June 29th the board members of Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow had a unique opportunity to tour MCAS Cherry Point with Colonel Trey Pappas. Colonel Pappas is finishing his responsibilities at Cherry Point before moving to Marine Corps Base Quantico in July. A change of command ceremony is scheduled for July 28th.

The tour, which began at 8:30am on Wednesday morning reinforced the importance of our mission, which is to advocate for the existence and success of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Fleet Readiness Center East and its civilian enterprises. We had a chance to go behind the scenes and learn about the valuable asset we have in our area. After a brief presentation by Colonel Pappas, groups were led to the control tower, radar room and weather station. Special presentations were given by several military personnel, so we got a much better understanding of the level of training each area endures to ensure the highest level of technology, expertise, security and safety.

Although many of us understand the economic importance of the base to our community, it is of equal importance to understand how keyed in our base is to national security. MCAS Cherry Point is expected to receive the largest number of F35 Joint Strike Fighters in the country, so it is critical that we prepare the infrastructure to accommodate this new state of the art equipment. While MCAS Cherry Point has some of the latest technology available, it also has many buildings dating back to the 1940’s. These buildings must be removed, utilities need to be updated and new buildings must be built in a timely manner as we prepare for the new fleet of F35’s. LtGen Jon M. Davis said at his last visit to Cherry Point in May 2016 that the F35 fleet can start coming as soon as the hangars and supporting infrastructure are completed. Construction is scheduled to start in 2019, with fleets coming in 2022.

We also learned about the importance of protecting outlying land to better support training missions. Expansion would be ideal if a budget would allow for that, but with limited funds, we have to do everything we can to protect what is already ours, both on land and in the water. We will continue to work closely with surrounding cities and counties, state and federal agencies and other stakeholders who are working on Joint Land Use Studies (JLUS). These partnerships are critical for the growth of the base and the safety of the community.

The tour finished with a look at the VMU-2 squadrons to see some of the latest UAVs that will be deployed overseas within the next few weeks. This is a fascinating operation to see as the “cockpit” for over 45 units is stationed on the ground. It was an honor to hear first-hand what these missions entail and the success they have already had. More information about this squadron can be found here.

We are so grateful for the opportunity to tour MCAS Cherry Point and look forward to working closely with the new Colonel later this month. We continue to work with local and state legislators, will work to educate our community about the importance of MCAS Cherry Point to not only our economy, but to our national defense. As citizens of Eastern North Carolina, it is truly a privilege to have these fine men and women leading the efforts in protecting our freedom and fighting for our safety.

IMG_4532 IMG_4538 IMG_4578 ACT Group UAV demo

 

JLUS recommendations to NCMAC

May 26, 2016

 
The purpose of the Regional Joint Land Use Study is twofold:
– to promote military mission via land coordination
– to provide a military mission de-confliction tool for planning
Recent recommendations to NCMAC include:
1. Provide sustainable ongoing communication between State and military
2. Establish State and military secure data and information exchange procedures
3. Adopt State compatible land use planning goals for local use
4. Establish alternative energy development de-confliction with military missions
5. Establish permanent funding sources for local military compatibility planning
6. Leverage Federal investment for education and awareness
7. Protect Dare County Range/Assets/Airspace
The JLUS has developed a Compatible Use Map, which is a tool to identify areas within NC where military op occur so they can be protected or monitored to reduce current and future development of incompatible uses. >>READ MORE