Governor McDonnel Pledges Support of a National Park in Fort Monroe
Written by Daniel Curran,
2:55 p.m. EST, May 19, 2011
UPDATED: A resolution of agreement was passed today to limit number of apartments to be built on Fort Monroe until the Fort Monroe Authority agrees upon a master plan.
Read the agreement.
The agreement was proposed by Hampton Mayor Molly Joseph Ward, and was passed.
Proposed Fort Monroe Apartment Motion
I move that, pending board adoption of a master plan specifically establishing the full extent and nature of permitted land uses and related densities on the Fort, staff is authorized to pursue development of no more than 150 additional short term lease apartments for residential purposes over the current number of such units.
When Mayor Ward was asked how long it may be until a Master Plan could be agreed upon she replied, "The City and the Fort Monroe Authority are working to develop a Mater Plan. I would think in about six months we may have one. In the meantime, development proposals are pending. We are trying to facilitate their ability to negotiate."
In other Fort Monroe news, today the Fort Monroe Authority Board released a letter written to them by Governor Robert F. McDonnell pledging his support to pursue a unit of the National Park System in areas of Fort Monroe.
Read the Governor's letter here...
Fort Monroe Authority Board
Old Quarters # 1
151 Bernard Road
Fort Monroe, Virginia 23651
Dear Board Members:
Office of the Governor
May 11, 2011
I write today to express my strong support of the action taken by the Fort Monroe Authority (FMA) Board, on March 24, 2011 , to pursue certain areas of Fort Monroe becoming a unit of the National Park System. I support the effort of the FMA to accomplish this through either Presidential authorities or federal legislative actions and ] applaud the active engagement by Virginia' s congressional delegation toward this end.
Fort Monroe, located in Hampton, Virginia on Old Point Comfort, has played a significant role in American history. Fortifications were first established at Old Point Comfort in 1609 and the star fort was completed in 1834. In 1619, the first African Americans to arrive in the New World landed at Old Point Comfort. For the period 1861 - 1865, Fort Monroe remained in Union hands, and became notable as a historic and symbolic site of early freedom for former slaves under the provisions of contraband policies of war, and later the Emancipation Proclamation.
Fort Monroe was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The Fort along with the surrounding buildings, structures and landscapes make up this 570¬∑acre National Historic Landmark District.
In September 2011, Fort Monroe is scheduled for closure pursuant to the Base Realignment and Closure Process. The American people have long entrusted the nation's historical landmarks to the National Park Service for preserving local and national history and celebrating local and national heritage. It is therefore in the public interest to preserve Fort Monroe and its surrounding lands and buildings following its closure through a partnership between Virginia and the National Park Service. In addition to Commonwealth support, establishing Fort Monroe as a unit of the National Park Service has received support from members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation, the City of Hampton and the surrounding Commonwealth counties and cities who appreciate the importance of Fort Monroe to our history.
As Governor of Virginia I commit to working closely with the President and the United States Congress to accomplish this important milestone in the ongoing historical significance of this national treasure.
Robert F. McDonnell