March 20, 2012
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2087
, a no-cost jobs bill that would remove government restrictions that are blocking job creation and economic development on a small parcel of land in Virginia. Sponsored by Rep. Scott Rigell (VA-02), the bill was approved by a bipartisan vote of 240-164.
H.R. 2087 would allow Accomack County in Virginia to move forward with plans to develop a 32 acre parcel of land, adjacent to a NASA airstrip, into a technology and research facility. Currently, the parcel has a restriction limiting use of the property to recreational purposes, a condition placed on the property when the county obtained the deed through the Federal Land to Park program in 1976. The park currently on the property is rarely used and is in poor condition. Construction of the technology and research facility would create hundreds of high-paying, long term jobs and stimulate the local economy.
“The federally-imposed restriction currently limiting the use of the County’s property to recreational purposes is stifling job creation and against the wishes of the community,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). “With unemployment still over eight percent, Congress should be looking for every opportunity possible to create new American jobs. Now more than ever Congress must make it a priority to eliminate hurdles to economic development. That’s exactly what this bill does.”
“Too often, the needs of local citizens and local taxpayers are ignored by their bureaucratic landlords in Washington, D.C. While this is a common plight for those of us from the West, today it is Accomack County in the great state of Virginia that finds itself at the mercy of the federal government as they look to have antiquated restrictions lifted off 32 acres of land that already belong to the county. Currently, the deed to the land restricts what it may or may not be used for, limiting the county from using the land to expand and create jobs. H.R. 2087 lifts the deed restrictions and allows Accomack county to utilize the land in a way that provides the most benefit to the residents and local communities. It makes absolutely no sense that the federal government should be able to dictate what the county may or may not do with its own land and therefore I am proud to support this common-sense legislation,” said Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01).
“The only thing standing in the way of job creation on the Eastern Shore is the federal government. That is wrong and goes beyond the bounds of common sense,” said Rep. Rigell. “The restrictions placed on this piece of land are unreasonable, and the solutions proposed by the county are good, common sense solutions. Unfortunately, the federal government doesn’t always value common sense solutions, so now it will take an Act of Congress to fix this.”
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