Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville comprises 6,910 total acres. The Department of Defense owns 3,243 acres, 23 acres are located within the City of Kingsville, and the remainder are within Kleberg County. The primary mission of the base and two assigned squadrons is advanced pilot training for future aircraft carrier aviators. VT-21 and VT-22 fly the T-45 "Goshawk", a single engine tandem seat training jet. Total flight sorties for 2005 were 183,295, and operations are expected to increase to more than 220,000 in the coming years, which will increase average day/night noise levels. In addition, urban growth is moving northward from the City of Kingsville towards NAS Kingsville.
Joint Land Use Study Planning Process
The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Facilities) nominated NAS Kingsville for a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) in October 2005 in response to the growing urban expansion from the City of Kingsville. In response, the City of Kingsville Mayor and the Kleberg County Judge signed a good faith resolution in February 2006, agreeing to conduct a JLUS and implement the recommendations. City and county officials were interested in exploring compatible land use strategies to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens while ensuring the viability of NAS Kingsville's mission.
The City of Kingsville, as the JLUS project sponsor, established a JLUS Policy Committee and JLUS Technical Committee—with representation from the installation—to undertake the JLUS planning process. The planning process began in fall 2006 with the city holding multiple public meetings to ensure all compatibility issues were identified and addressed. Both the JLUS Policy Committee and Kingsville City Council adopted 24 recommendations and implemented almost all of them. Of the 24 JULS recommendations made, 12 were assigned high priority, 8 received moderate priority, and 4 were selected low priority. The primary compatible use challenges included: 1) new urban development moving toward the base; 2) Kleberg County's limited ability to regulate land use; 3) bird strike hazard; 4) infrastructure; and 5) alternative energy development, specifically wind energy.
In March 2009, the City of Kingsville addressed all the JLUS recommendations through a comprehensive implementation program completed in September 2010.
The following are some of the initiatives included in the implementation program:
- Military Influence Areas (MIA);
- Bird/Animal Strike Hazard Program;
- Regional Capital Improvement Program;
- Joint Land Use Study Implementation Board;
- Public Education Materials;
- Incorporating the JLUS Implementation Pan into the City's Master Plan;
- Full Real Estate Disclosure; and
- Joint Airport Zoning Board to Regulate Development in Unincorporated Kleberg County.