Hampton City Council Resolution

City of Hampton, Virginia

Resolution

Resolution Setting Forth City of Hampton Position on Reuse of Fort Monroe Wherry Quarter

Whereas, the City of Hampton has a long standing appreciation and respect for Fort Monroe’s history, its beauty and proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and the opportunities to enjoy the American Great Outdoors; and

WHEREAS, it is the community’s desire to protect Fort Monroe as a grand historic place and keep it open to the public, establish a large scale open space park and foster economic sustainability; and

WHEREAS, it is critical that Fort Monroe’s history be preserved for future generations of Americans, a rich history that has been interconnected with Hampton for over 400 years; and

WHEREAS, the City of Hampton is fully engaged and committed to the on-going FMA initiated master planning activities associated with Fort Monroe’s future; and

Whereas, the August 2008 reuse plan and the April 2009 programmatic agreement provide specific guidance on land uses that should be consistent with future master plans for development at Fort Monroe; and

WHEREAS, for future planning purposes the area defined as the Wherry Quarter should be consistent with plans that support a significant green-connection between the National Park Service National Monument management areas; and

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Hampton desires to make clear that it is only supportive of development in the Wherry Quarter that is complementary to the National Park Service plans such as that which is limited to tourism, hospitality, recreation and open space concepts and which is of an appropriate scale to the NPS goals and objectives and which does not adversely impact both a significant green-connection and viewshed protection between the two National Park Service National Monument areas; and

Whereas, the City of Hampton is prepared to work closely with all parties interested in ensuring the appropriate concepts for the Wherry Quarter are incorporated into the Fort Monroe master plan. The City of Hampton is fully supportive of all activities in pursuit of ensuring that a significant green-connection and viewshed protection between the two National Park Service National Monument areas with the appropriate tourism, hospitality, recreation and open space concepts between the National Park Service National Monument management areas and the Wherry Quarter area is secured at Fort Monroe.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF HAMPTON, VIRGINIA: That the City of Hampton, Virginia, by its City Council and staff alike, will actively work to encourage federal, state and Fort Monroe Authority officials to realize the vision set forth above for the reuse of the Wherry Quarter area of Fort Monroe.

Adopted at the regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Hampton, Virginia held on August 8, 2012. 

Signed by ____________________________ Date _________________

Molly Joseph Ward, Mayor

Attested by ____________________________ Date _________________

Katherine K. Glass, CMC

Clerk of the Council

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Regarding the resolution on the Hampton Position on Reuse of Fort Monroe Wherry Quarter: [Comments made prior to passing of the resolution] 

If approved, this resolution would be a huge step forward in promoting a grand public place at Fort Monroe, to the long-term cultural and economic benefit of Hampton and the region.

The resolution emphasizes the appeal of Fort Monroe’s natural and recreational resources; it states the community’s desire to “establish a large scale open space park”; as amended this afternoon, it supports “a significant green connection” and “viewshed protection” between the two parts of Fort Monroe National Monument; and it acknowledges the existence and the crucial role of the Monument when it says that any use of Wherry should be “complementary to the National Park Service plans, goals and objectives.”

In all these ways, the resolution supports the public’s clear choice of a green, open-space Wherry.

CFMNP’s ultimate preference would be for an outright declaration that all or most of Wherry should be incorporated into the National Monument; and we will continue to advocate for that outcome. This is the only way Wherry will be protected in perpetuity from development that diminishes Fort Monroe’s appeal to visitors. Even if the Fort Monroe Authority, following the resolution’s guidance, were to limit Wherry development to what is “complementary to the National Park Service plans such as that which is limited to tourism, hospitality, recreation and open space concepts,” some future FMA board might decide to ignore those limitations.

But our goal aside, we certainly recognize the significance of this resolution. It points the FMA in the right direction–that is, toward what the public wants for Fort Monroe, and what is best for Hampton and the region. If it is approved, this will be a proud day for the Hampton City Council.

–Scott Butler, Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park