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Va. Beach fighting FAA over Oceanfront height limits


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I thought this deserved its own special thread so that we can monitor the progress of this thing. My hope is that we can get the limit raised to about 400ft. That would allow us a more visually impressive oceanfront while at the same time not interfere with navy flight paths.


City officials are trying again to get Federal Aviation Administration approval for a high-rise hotel next to the Convention Center, despite last year's notice that it posed a potential national security risk.

Reynolds and city officials are also discussing replacing the radar, likely a multimillion-dollar expense, if the FAA puts too strict a limit on building heights at the Oceanfront.

The radar facility, which looks like a giant golf ball, is at Oceana Naval Air Station. It's one of a handful of long-range radars. It helps monitor the airspace and track civilian and military aircraft some 200 miles from the shore.

City officials took little note of it until last year, when the FAA raised concerns over a proposed 207-foot-high convention center hotel. Because of the radar, the building could not be built higher than 110 feet, the agency said.

To get the same number of rooms in a 10-story building as an 18- or 20-story one, a developer would have to almost double the building's footprint. That requires more open land, which isn't readily available at the Oceanfront, Uhrin said.

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"The oceanfront development should be a top priority! Tourism is one of the highest forms of revenue for the city, and with the highest muliplier effect on local jobs. If the city wants to compete with Myrtle Beach then we will have to raise the height limit on new construction."

This was my comment on the pilot article. One of only 2 positive ones last I checked. I really hope they lift the height limits!

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