- Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:23
- Published on Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:23
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O’Gara Training and Services, LLC bought the first 330.0-acre block of land from Bryan Chandler on July 28 and recorded the deed associated with its $2.5 million real estate transaction two days later in Westmoreland Circuit Court.
By the morning of July 31a Williamsburg contractor’s land disturbing equipment had arrived on the former Chandler land and crews were busy moving land where access roads would be installed. A county government land disturbance permit was issued and posted on site before the county government concluded its business that Friday afternoon.
During the week that followed the county government’s land use office unpacked the shipment of cardboard boxes it received from a Williamsburg engineering firm. The boxes contained the O’Gara project’s two-part site plan. By the end of the week the site plan materials had become available for county residents to review.
Westmoreland Zoning Administrator Bob Fink and other members of the jurisdiction’s Land Use staff spent the intervening weeks reviewing the O’Gara project site plan. At 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 24 the Westmoreland County Land Use Office issued its final approval of O’Gara Group’s Phase 1 A site plan materials.
The Phase 1A site plan component governs development of the tactical training facility’s “classroom and office buildings for the instruction in solutions to support homeland security, counter-terrorism, and low-intensity conflict,” the site plan states.
“The site will also include associated restrooms, parking area, walkways, flagpole, security pole light, and gravel access road. It is anticipated that the one-story classroom and office buildings will be similar in construction to modular public school classrooms.”
In recent weeks the county residents have watched with interest as trucks delivered the modular unit components to the site. It’s anticipated that Westmoreland’s Land Use Office will issue O’Gara’s building permit(s) as quickly as August 25.
No building permits could be issued until the site plan was approved. Modular unit components were delivered to the site because O’Gara had no other place to store them. The initial site plan was amended to reflect actual dimensions of the modular units available for sale.
20-year purchase option on 340 more acres
More action on the O’Gara front has surfaced. On July 30 a document was recorded in Westmoreland Circuit Court that gives O’Gara a 20-year purchase option on an adjacent Chandler property.
O’Gara Group now has the right of first refusal on the approximately 340- acre Meadow Farm that is currently owned by car dealer Bryan Chandler and his brother, Ferdie Fax. A 99.5-acre section of Meadow Farm that is immediately adjacent to O’Gara’s current holdings includes a section of Pierce Creek waterfront.
That section of property is located in the southwestern corner of Meadow Farm. The easement was needed due to those 99.5 acres’ close proximity to the shooting ranges O’Gara expects to develop when its Phase 1B site plan materials are approved by Westmoreland’s Land Use Office employees.
“Phase 1B of the training facility and academy will be three firearm ranges and Phase 2 will be a driving course,” O’Gara revealed in its site plan narrative. Phase 1B site plan materials indicate that shooting activities on firing ranges can occur no later than 11:59 p.m.
In addition to the Phase 1A project’s 14,323 square feet of impervious cover associated with previously referenced buildings and 38,814 square feet of total impervious cover, Phase 1B will consist of 3 shooting ranges.
A 100-yard range will be used for rifle instruction. A second rifle range will be 350 meters long. The third range will be 50 yards in length and will be used for handgun instruction. Ranges will be sited in partially excavated areas. 25-foot berms will be installed at the end of each range for safety purposes.
- Betsy Ficklin