Development buffer sought at [Fort] Hood


(Note: This is property rights under siege under the Language Deception guise of "buffer zones" and "voluntary" "land-use agreements." Property owners are referred to as "landowners," which is not the same thing, and is, in fact, far less than calling them what they are: property owners with property rights. The astute reader is asked to consider the many military installations nationwide that are "partnering" with The Nature Conservancy and using "voluntary" "land-use" "agreements," "conservation easements," and other means of taking property rights from property owners, but still leaving the property owners with the "blessing" of paying property taxes on land they can no longer fully utilize or develop.)


October 21, 2005

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The Associated Press

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Gatesville, Texas - The Army is seeking voluntary land-use agreements in an attempt to keep development at bay near Fort Hood.

Post officials told landowners at a meeting in Gatesville this week that they were asking surrounding counties to accept a proposal for an Army-compatible [use] buffer [ACUB] of up to 2.5 million acres.

The buffer would include parts of Bell, Coryell, Bosque, Hamilton, McLennan and Lampasas counties.

The acreage being sought would encompass more than 3,900 square miles, which is more than twice the size of Rhode Island.

Lt. Col. James Hutton III, Corps spokesman, said the buffer would allow full use of the post’s training capabilities.

“Our goal with (the buffer) is to ensure that we are able to fully use the land we have for training within our existing boundaries,” Hutton said in an e-mail, the Killeen Daily Herald reported in its Friday editions. Hutton said the buffer would prohibit acquisition.

Major General James E. Simmons told a crowd of more than 300 residents at the meeting that the voluntary land-use agreements are being sought to prevent development along the post’s borders and to protect the natural habitat.

“We have probably not done a very good job in communicating with the stakeholders,” Simmons said. “We have nothing to hide, and we're not trying to buy or gain control of your land.”

He said residents would be given incentives for maintaining rural ranching and farming operations, the newspaper reported.

Fort Hood’s ability to handle joint training with the Army and Air Force has been discussed for some years, but Fort Hood officials told the landowners there were no plans to increase an Air Force presence at the post, the newspaper reported.

Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, post and III Corps commander, obtained an agreement with the Killeen City Council in July to halt development in an area along State Highway 201 to allow the possibility of a second runway at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport.

“The way we are going to reorganize, a huge formation would be located at Fort Hood, and the U.S. Air Force would be the carrier to move them,” Metz said then.

Copyright 2005, Army Times.