“Virginia Beach is committed to keeping Oceana and preserving the quality of life for all residents in the city.”
August 2005. Oceana Naval Air Station for the first time is included in the federal government’s Base Realignment and Closure evaluations. The BRAC Commission’s review of military installation recommendations resulted in new rules for land use surrounding both Oceana and nearby Fentress Air Field. The BRAC order detailed directions to the City of Virginia Beach to implement new rules to halt development in certain areas around NAS Oceana, known as Accident Potential Zone 1 (or APZ-1), that the Navy has deemed to be incompatible with flight operations.
Virginia Beach is committed to keeping Oceana and preserving the quality of life for all residents in the city. Part of the Navy family for nearly 60 years, the city has always served in partnership with the Navy.
In true democratic fashion, the city’s leadership and citizens together reached an agreement regarding land use around the base.
The good news is that the city acted quickly to address the six key mandates of the BRAC order. Five of the six were quickly accommodated by the city in December of 2005.
The one issue that remained a challenge was the order to roll back encroachment by incompatible uses in APZ-1.
The BRAC order states that the city is to “purchase and condemn” incompatible use property in the APZ-1 areas around Oceana for the purpose of preventing further encroachment.
Virginia Beach has met the challenge of ensuring that new incompatible development around Oceana is stopped and that innovative measures are taken to roll back encroaching development in a manner that is fair, balanced and based on sound planning and land use principles.
Unfortunately, many people have become distracted by the phrase “purchase and condemn.” It has fostered a view held by some that unless the city purchases and condemns nearly 3,400 homes in the APZ-1 areas at the rate of $15 million per year, we will not meet the terms of the order.