1994 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@igc.org>
Date: Tue, 08 Nov 1994 11:28:16 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: Base Closure

 In April, the Department of Defense proposed a rule to
govern the transfer of military property to local bodies for the
purpose of creating jobs - called Economic Development
Conveyances. The rule, implementing the "Pryor Amendments" to
the Fiscal Year 1994 Defense Authorization Act, sparked criticism
from many communities attempting to convert closing military bases.
As a result, the Defense Department proposed an amended rule in the
October 26 Federal Register (pp. 53735 ff.)

 Under the rule, the Defense Department may transfer property
to a Local Redevelopment Authority at or below fair market value for
the purposes of economic development, as well as other uses already
provided by law - housing for the homeless, parks, education,
airports, etc. - based upon locally developed reuse plans. A Local
Redevelopment Authority is the only body eligible for an Economic
Development Conveyance. To qualify, it must have a broad-based
membership, including, but not limited to representatives from
jurisdictions with zoning authority over the property.

 Unfortunately, the rule does not offer more detailed
membership criteria. For example, local Redevelopment Authorities
at closing military bases should provide representation for workers
from the closing bases, but at some installations - such as the
Charleston (South Carolina) Navy Base - they have been excluded.

 The new version of the rule deletes the requirement for an up-
front "Market Test" Host communities considered this proposal
unrealistic, saying that private developers would not invest resources
until a community redevelopment plan was approved. DOD agreed:
"...the Department of Defense has been persuaded that such
solicitation is unlikely to be fruitful unless and until the local
community provides the necessary investment and infrastructure for
development: zoning, public utilities, etc."

 Instead, the amended rules defines a detailed application for
Economic Development Conveyances, including criteria by which
each proposal will be evaluated.

 In addition, the amended rule is designed to discourage
"cherry-picking" - that is, the sale of choice parcels to private
developers while communities are stuck with less desirable sections.
It says, "The Economic Development Conveyance should be used by
Local Redevelopment Authorities to obtain large parcels of the base
rather than merely individual buildings. The income received from
some of the higher value property should be used to offset the
maintenance and marketing costs of the less desirable parcels."

 Finally, the October 26 posting includes nothing about those
portions of the Pryor Amendments designed to provide new
mechanisms for organizing cleanup.

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