The City of Virginia Beach on Tuesday purchased a 516-acre farm near the Municipal Center to protect Naval Air Station Oceana from encroaching development. With this purchase, the city now owns a majority of the undeveloped land within the Interfacility Traffic Area – the flight path between Oceana and the Fentress landing field in Chesapeake.
“This is one big step in our long campaign to protect Oceana and to keep our promise to the Base Closure and Realignment Commission,” Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. said. “In 2005, we promised to spend $15 million a year to stop new development and roll back existing development around Oceana. We take that promise very seriously.”
The city paid $7.84 million to buy the former Brown Farm from Kempsville Presbyterian Church.
The city will seek reimbursement from the state for half of the purchase price under the 2011 BRAC Response grant from the commonwealth. In addition, the city is working with the Navy to sell an encroachment partnering easement over the property, which could return $3.9 million to the city and state ($1.96 million each).
The farm is located behind the Virginia Beach National golf course. Parts of it front on North Landing Road, west of City Hall. Three major future road extensions cross through the farm: Nimmo Parkway, West Neck Parkway and Salem Road.
The city will hold the land for future development consistent with the Interfacility Traffic Area and Vicinity Master Plan adopted by the City Council in January.
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