Study: Soundproofing New Homes & Schools, Limited Growth Critical to Quantico Sustainability
– December 23, 2013 1:52 pm
QUANTICO, Va. – Military officials want local governments to require better sound protection in homes and other structures built around Quantico Marine Corps Base.
In a new Joint Land Use Study, or JLUS, released today by Quantico and Stafford County, base officials cite creating new sound attenuation standards as one of eight critical needs facing operations at the crossroads of the Marine Corps, as well as future development around the military installation.
The new guidelines would need to be put in place for new homes, churches, and other public buildings. The study specifically cites putting guidelines in place for a new Moncure Elementary School to be built in North Stafford near the base’s boundary line.
Noise from demolition ranges on the base the frequently produce loud booms that rattle windows, and that been known to shake whole houses, which often lead to complaints from area residents.
Quantico also wants more input and review authority when it comes to approving new development around the base. For that, the study recommends a Military Influence Area overlay district where base officials can review development plans for construction both on and off the base. The district would include Stafford County’s heavily-populated Garrisonville Road corridor, as well as sliver of land in Prince William County near where the county’s school division headquarters are located. An implementation of such a district could limit the density of neighborhoods, building height, as well as cell phone towers, so structures don’t interfere with military aircraft.
If the military impact plan would be placed in effect in the rural area along Va. 610 west of Joshua Road in Stafford County, buildings like hospitals, assisted living facilities, day cares, commercial or industrial areas, medium to high density residential develop, as well as sports centers or outdoor amphitheaters would not be permitted.
According to the study, soundproofing existing homes near the base could cost as much as $10,000 per home but the cost is only slightly higher when soundproofing new home construction. The JLUS also discusses the option of a mandatory written real estate disclosure where the seller of any property in the Military Influence Area would warn residents of the high noise potential from the base.
Transportation improvements at Quatnico’s Fuller Gate, which provides access to the base near the intersections of Russell Road and U.S. 1, and sits east of Interstate 95, are also identified as critical in the short term. The base wants to work with local governments to acquire additional rights of way to widen Russell Road and existing ramps that carry traffic from the 2-lane facility to the 4-lane U.S. 1 that bridges the gap between Prince William and Stafford counties, according to JLUS findings.
Russell Road is also the gateway to the 719,000, $323 million Russell-Knox Building sitting west of I-95. The building is now home to some 6,000 federal workers whose jobs were moved to Qauntico following a 2005 Base Realignment and Closure action.
The study was completed by Quantico and Stafford County, along with Fauquier and Prince William counties. New growth in these areas could bring increased noise complaints to the military, and could “compromise the overall mission viability” for the base.
Quantico injects $5.9 billion into the local economy and is linked to 46,490 jobs, according to the study.