By Mario Conde
The Imperial County Board of Supervisors continues with the efforts of bringing the F-35 Jet to the Imperial Valley.
Supervisor Jack Terrazas made a presentation to the Board of Supervisors updating them their work. The County of Imperial is promoting this area since valley is vast unobstructed, rural terrain and good air quality, military-friendly local community that the Imperial Valley’s Naval Air Facility El Centro offers an excellent location to home base the Joint Strike Fighter.
Terrazas explained that NAF-El Centro is an ideal environmental for aerial combat maneuvering, air-to-air gunnery, bombing practice and electronic warfare training. Terrazas mentioned that they had a lot of good support from County governmental agencies except for the Hotel industry that would benefit a lot from this project.
Imperial City Manager Marlene Best spoke about the visits to Washington and said that he County brings a lot of advantages to them since this is a growing community and the County have housing and will cost less to come here rather than other military bases in California.
“No other region in the United Sates more closely resembles the Middle East than the Imperial Valley.” Best said, “It’s the perfect training ground for our troops preparing for combat. Allied forces from around the world capitalize on NAF-El Centro’s unique environment to practice gunnery, bombing, carrier landings and air combat.” She said.
In related news, the County also authorized the Planning and Development Services Director to enter into a contract with Matrix Design Group for the preparationof the Joint Land Use Study NAF El Centro at at cost of $165,731.00. This project will be funded by OEA grant an in-kind match from local jurisdictions.
The NAF El Centro JLUS will include the jurisdictions of the County of Imperial, City of El Centro, City of Imperial, and the NAF El Centro located in the southeast corner of California, bordered by the County of San Diego, County of Riverside, State of Arizona and the Republic of Mexico. The County of Imperial is the project sponsor for this multi-jurisdictional planning effort.
The purpose of a Joint Land Use Study is to promote compatible civilian development patterns
near military installations by applying the local planning process to update the local general plans and supporting land use regulations. The JLUS will identify current and future encroachment sources, including new physical developments and potential natural environmental promotion such as conservation corridors, conservation easements, and designated wetlands.