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Proposed Golf Course

The Navy has received a proposal from the Naval Academy Golf Association to lease land at Greenbury Point to construct a new U.S. Naval Academy Golf Course onboard Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis. The installation is currently reviewing the proposed concept. As always, the Navy is committed to being a responsible community partner. If the proposed project moves through the review process, transparency, community involvement and input will be critical to meeting the needs of the Navy and the Annapolis community.
 

Q1. How much of the Greenbury Point Trail is currently open/available? The last status update on their Twitter page reminds people not to go around any fencing/closed gates. Does the existing fencing have to do with an upcoming golf course proposal, or were those placed for another reason?

A1. The trail on Greenbury Point is currently open to the general public when the firearm ranges are not operational, or other training events do not preclude public access. The roads that many people use recreationally are within the Surface Danger Zone for the firearms range at NSA Annapolis and will sometimes be closed to ensure the public's safety during range operations.

Additionally, portions of the trail are sometimes closed to do preservation and/or maintenance on the towers or the path. Any closures, signs, markings, restrictions, or otherwise have nothing to do with a recent proposal to build a new golf course.

 

Q2. To clear up the confusion: Is the proposal from the Naval Academy Golf Association for a new and additional golf course or to expand the existing course?

A2. The proposal is only a concept, but our understanding is NAGA proposes to construct a new golf course on Greenbury Point.

 

Q3. I understand that the proposal has been "forwarded for review"- who is reviewing it?

A3. Naval Support Activity Annapolis is currently reviewing the proposed concept. Once the installation review is complete, NSA Annapolis will forward its recommendation to Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Washington (NAVFAC Washington) for further consideration. Once it goes through the Navy's chain of command, it will go to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations, and Environment) for review. This review process requires NAGA to prove their proposed golf course will enhance the mission of NSA Annapolis and USNAIf the proposed concept moves through the review process, the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on any proposed plans for Greenbury Point.

 

Q4. Any additional information that you're able to share on this subject?

A4. The Navy is committed to being a responsible community partner. If the proposed concept moves through the review process, the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on any proposed plans for Greenbury Point. Transparency, community involvement, and input will be critical to ensuring we meet both the needs of the Navy and the Annapolis community.

 

Q5: Can you please share a copy of the Naval Academy Golf Association proposal?

A5. Unfortunately, we are unable to share the NAGA proposal. Any documents regarding the proposal are considered internal and deliberative and unavailable for release. 

 

Q6: When will the public be able to comment on the proposed project?

A6: The proposal is in the earliest stages of review. There is no set date at this time for public comment. If DASN EI&E concurs that the proposal would support and enhance the mission of NSA Annapolis, the Navy will conduct an environmental assessment that will include a time for public comment. With any project of this magnitude, transparency, community involvement, and input will be critical to meeting the needs of the Navy and the Annapolis community.

 

Should the proposal be approved, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) will follow requirements set forth by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires all federal agencies to consider the potential environmental consequences of proposed major federal actions before decisions are made, and actions are taken. This process will include the opportunity for the public to comment on proposed projects.

 

Q7: Why is there newly raised fencing on Greenbury point? Why is the gate consistently closed at the entrance of the nature trail?

A7: While we welcome our community to enjoy Greenbury Point, the primary mission of NSA Annapolis is to support military operations. The gate is closed when the firing range is operational because the trail's position is at risk. The fencing on Greenbury Point is to ensure individuals do not enter the trail when it is closed for safety. The fencing is unrelated to the proposed concept received from NAGA- there has been no construction or changes to Greenbury Point related to this proposal. Greenbury Point will remain unchanged before the concept has been through an extensive review process that includes an opportunity for public comment. 

 

Gates at the entrances to the gravel access roads are closed and locked during evening hours: 8:00 p.m. - 5:00 a.m. (March 1 – October 31) and 6:00 p.m. - 5:00 a.m. (November 1 – February 28) and during periods of operational closures. Please keep in mind that Greenbury Point is subject to closure at any time without prior notification.

 

Q8: What about the USNA range's restricted area and danger zone? How can we build a golf course in a danger zone?

A8: Any activity in the Greenbury Point danger zones is restricted when the ranges are operational. NAGA's project would need to mitigate the danger somehow to avoid restricting portions of the site. Until a proposal undergoes the deliberate review process and becomes a final project, we will not know what the mitigation would be.

 

Q9: What does it mean to grant a sole source negotiated lease agreement?

A9: Authority to grant a sole-source lease is a kind of lease agreement that the Navy can issue without a competitive bidding process and can only be authorized by the Secretary of the Navy, delegated to DASN EI&E.

 

Q10: How will the time and place for public comment be advertised?

A10: For installation projects, public meeting announcements are typically posted in the local paper and on the installation website.

 

Q11: What is the timeline for this project?

A11: There is no project at this time. All we have is a concept proposal that is being reviewed.

 

Q12: Will the trails incorporated still be available for public use? Will the public still be able to go fishing and bird watching?

A: Until a proposal is approved and becomes a project, we cannot say what the impacts will be to Greenbury Point. At this point, all we have is a proposal.

 

Q13: What impact will this expansion have on the residents of the nearby neighborhood of Providence?

A: Until a proposal is approved and becomes a project, we cannot say what the impacts will be to Greenbury Point. At this point, all we have is a proposal.

 

Q14: What will happen to the Nature Center?

A: Until a proposal is approved and becomes a project, we cannot say what the impacts will be to Greenbury Point. At this point, all we have is a proposal

 

Q15: Will there be an environmental impact assessment on how the expansion would affect the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay? What about the animals that will be displaced and increased vehicular traffic? Can you list the environmental impacts that would have to be considered for a golf course to be approved? Is this an environmentally responsible use of the land on the Chesapeake Bay watershed?

A15: If this project is approved, the appropriate NEPA reviews would be required before the Navy codifies any lease agreement with NAGA. The NEPA process would require answers to all of these questions. The environmental impacts cannot be determined until NAGA has the opportunity to present the project's scope. The Navy will prioritize environmental considerations throughout the process and ensure all regulations are followed.

 

Q16: How many trees will have to be removed? Will they be replaced with comparable trees? I know the Navy has been working on reforestation efforts; will the young trees be cut down?

A16: Without a project scope, the number of trees NAGA would remove is unknown. The trees must be replaced at a 1:1 or 3:1 ratio. 

 

Q17: Will taxpayer money be used to build the course?

A17: NAGA is a non-Federal entity and would be responsible for paying the land lease and the price of any improvements or changes made to the property.

 

Q18: Where will any profits the new course brings in be spent/allocated?

A18: The golf course would be owned/managed by NAGA, and so it would be at their discretion that money be allocated or spent.

 

Q19: What will happen to the newly built cottages?

A19: Until a proposal is approved and becomes a project, we cannot say what the impacts will be to Greenbury Point. At this point, all we have is a proposal.

 

Q20: Why has the IRNMP not been updated since 2014? Isn't periodicity every five years?

A20: NSAA is in the process of updating its IRNMP and will post the updated plan when final.

 

Q21: How does a second golf course enhance the mission of the Naval Academy? Why is it needed?

A21: The proposed project's benefits to the Navy Academy mission are currently being assessed. 

 

 

Q22. How is the Navy able to change the designation of the land from a conservation space to potential commercial/recreational use?

A22. The Navy has the authority to change the designation of land to meet operational needs and requirements. 

 

Q23: Are there plans to develop further the surrounding area, such as the former David Taylor Research site? 

A23: The former 46.5-acre site of the David Taylor Research Center is owned by Annapolis Partners. The Navy has no update on the status of redevelopment, as initially proposed in 2002. 

 

Q24: Is the benefit of an exclusive golf course worth the loss of easily accessible natural space for midshipmen and the local community, especially considering that the Naval Academy is a vital member of the Annapolis community?

A24: The benefits of the proposed project to the Navy Academy mission are currently being assessed. 

 

Q25: Will there be any change to who is allowed to use the Naval Academy Golf Course?

A25: The golf course is owned/managed by NAGA, so any changes to who can use the course would be at their discretion.

 

Q26. Isn't the proposed new course redundant? The USNA golf team has a first-rate, recently renovated course. Who are the expected users of the second course? 

A26. The proposed new golf course would be owned/managed by NAGA, so who can use the course would be at their discretion.

 

 

Q27. Will the land be leased by the Naval Academy Golf Association (NAGA) with community access by private membership only, similar to the current course? What are the long-term plans for the usage which would require a second course? 

A27. The proposed new golf course would be owned/managed by NAGA, so who can use the course would be at their discretion.

 

 

Q28. Was there an environmental impact statement done and available for the public to see for the 2019 renovations of the USNA golf course on NSA Annapolis? I believe the National Environmental Policy Act required this.

A28. According to our Public Works Dept. (PWD), the project was a renovation to the Greens and Bunkers and received a NEPA Categorical Exclusion and other appropriate permits. A NEPA Categorical Exclusion is defined as "a class of actions that a Federal agency has determined, after review by Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and for which, therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is normally required. The use of categorical exclusions can reduce paperwork and save time and resources. 

 

Q29. I'm also trying to fact check this review stating around 500 trees were removedhttps://www.facebook.com/wayne.pruitt.96/posts/10218686088602953

A29. I have not been able to confirm that 500 trees were removed. Our PWD combed through documentation and could not find that trees were removed. There have been several projects at the golf course over the last few years, and the only project that discussed tree removal was the Short Game Practice Course project. A building was installed, which required some trees to be removed, but they were mitigated with the replacement of trees. 

 

Q30: Was there notice of the proposed Categorical Exclusion in the Federal Record for public input? Was the final Categorical Exclusion posted in the Federal Record? I'm having trouble locating both. Can you provide links or copies for both? 

A30. The Council on Environmental Quality regulations provides for the establishment of Categorical Exclusions (CATEX) for those categories of actions that, after consideration by the Department of the Navy, have been determined to have no significant effect on the human environment, individually or cumulatively, under normal circumstances, and therefore do not require completion of an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement. The Department of Navy List of existing 49 NEPA Categorical Exclusions can be found in Table 10-6 (pg. 10-41) in the Department of Navy Environmental Readiness Program Manual, publicly available via this link: 5090.1.pdf (navy.mil). Federal "Procedures on Establishing a New or Revised Categorical Exclusion" (https://ceq.doe.gov/docs/ceq-regulations-and-guidance/NEPA_CE_Guidance_Nov232010.pdf) requires that notice of proposed new or revised Categorical Exclusions be published in the Federal Register. 

 

In 2019, the Department of Navy proposed new or revised Categorical Exclusions, and as required, a notice of these changes was published in the Federal Register (see attached). Subsequently, Table 10-6 of the Environmental Readiness Program Manual was updated to reflect the approved changes to the Department of Navy Categorical Exclusions. If and when the Department of Navy determines that an individual project or action, such as the 2019 NAGA Bunkers and Green Renovation project, is on the CATEX list (Table 10-6 of the manual), there is no requirement that the CATEX determination be published in the Federal Register.

 

Q31.Will the proposed golf course and associated environmental impacts be mentioned or considered in the INRMP? And do you know if this INRMP has significant enough changes that it would require a public comment period?

A31. The proposal will not be mentioned in the current INRMP update, because currently it is just that, a proposal. If the proposal receives approval, then an EA would be conducted to update the INRMP with the change of use of Greenbury Point. The associated EA would require a public comment period. Additionally, a golf course project would require an EIS which would also mandate a public comment period.

 

Q32. Who owns and maintains the radio towers at Greenbury Point?

A32. The radio towers are owned and maintained by Anne Arundel County.

 

 
 
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