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Orange kills plans for tactical training site
Orange supervisors kill tactical training facility plans

Date published: 9/27/2012


Following an overwhelmingly one-sided public hearing last week, the Orange County Board of Supervisors has quashed plans for a tactical training facility in the county.

All of the 83 people signed up to speak at last week's Planning Commission hearing opposed a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance adding a new land use definition of tactical training facility.

The revised regulation would have allowed such facilities, by special-use permit, on land zoned for agriculture or general industrial use.

A second scheduled public hearing, on a special-use permit request from Shawn Deehan, president of Global Dynamic Security Inc., to operate a tactical training facility on some 301 acres of land previously occupied by the General Shale brickyard in the Somerset area was postponed at Deehan's request.

At the supervisors' meeting Tuesday, Board Vice Chairman Lee Frame complimented residents on their response to the proposal. Frame said that--unlike in the controversy over a Walmart Supercenter, when he received 3,000 to 4,000 form letters--the 70 or so emails he received on the text amendment were all individually written and made good arguments.

"I thought the public did itself well in terms of expressing themselves on that," he said.

Supervisor Jim White also commended the public for their response, in particular several retired military who came forward with technical expertise in the areas involved.

Citing overwhelming opposition to the text amendment, and the Planning Commission's recommendation to reject it,

Supervisor Shannon Abbs moved to deny the proposed changes.

The other supervisors in attendance agreed.

Although it has not been officially canceled, the postponed Planning Commission hearing on Deehan's SUP request is likely now a moot point, since the current zoning ordinance does not allow for tactical training facilities in any zoning district in Orange County.

In other action Tuesday, the supervisors, following a public hearing in which no one spoke, adopted a new building permit fee schedule dealing with tent inspections.

Tents of more than 900 square feet or accommodating more than 50 people require a building permit and inspection.

The fee for a single tent, or the first of multiple tents, will be $100.

Subsequent tents being inspected at the same time and place, and for the same applicant, will now cost $50.

The supervisors also voted 4-0 to make a donation in the amount of $918 to the Orange County Fair Association, the amount paid by them for this year's tent inspection fees.

Dan McFarland:
Email: dmcfarland@freelancestar.com