As communities develop and expand in response to growth and market demands, land use decisions can push urban development closer to military installations and operation areas, creating negative impacts on community safety, economic development, and the sustainment of military activities and readiness. This threat to military readiness activities is one of the military’s greatest concerns. As a result of these concerns, Matrix Design Group, Inc. was contracted by the City of Kingsville to develop a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for the operational area surrounding NAS Kingsville.

The primary mission of NAS Kingsville is training tactical jet pilots for the Navy and Marine Corps. This mission is supported by Training Air Wing Two and its two Advanced Jet Training Squadrons (VT-21 and VT-22). As the first squadron to receive the new “Goshawk” T-45 Training System, VT-21 conducts advanced pilot training for carrier jet aviators. Also utilizing the T-45 platform, VT-22 conducts strike jet training for student naval aviators. Maintenance personnel to service these units are also co-located at the installation. In addition, NAS Kingsville hosts other organizations such as the US Border Patrol and other installation support services.

Although primarily surrounded by agriculture and protected by ordinance, there are several aspects of this project that posed a challenge. These included:

  • Determining the potential mission expansions for NAS Kingsville. With the failure of local entitiesnear NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach to address encroachment concerns, the DoD is considering closing or moving part of that installation’s operations to another location. NAS Kingsville is considered a prime site for the relocation of these assets due to its large volume of unencumbered airspace, the availability of landing fields, and excellent weather. If successful, the installation could receive approximately 40 additional jets, 1,200 to 1,300 people, and present a positive economic impact to the area of about $1-1.2 billion over a 10-year period.
  • Determining growth pressures. Although the area has witnessed stagnant population growth recently, multiple commercial and industrial openings and expansions have created overwhelming job growth in Kleberg County – up 30 percent from 2001.
  • Lack of new residential development. One of the factors contributing to the declining population growth is the lack of new residential development within the City of Kingsville and Kleberg County. In order to spur new development, the City approved the Residential Development Incentive Agreement in 2004. Successes from this agreement include the development of three new subdivisions.

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