The City of Beavercreek is one of the first municipalities in the country to enact legislation aimed at discouraging individuals and companies with ill intentions from acquiring land in close proximity to a military base.
Beavercreek City Council passed Ordinance 23-22 during their council meeting Monday, September 26, 2023. The ordinance is designed to deter individuals and companies with malicious intent from purchasing land near Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). The ordinance was introduced by Vice Mayor Joanna Garcia after participating in an event hosted by the Dayton Development Coalition in Washington D.C. earlier in the year.
Ordinance 23-22 mandates that individuals and companies seeking zoning permits within the City of Beavercreek certify that they are not subject to review by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS). If an applicant is subject to CFIUS review, they must provide appropriate documentation before the city will issue a permit. The ordinance also outlines a clear process for monitoring compliance. City staff is required to report any potential violations to the city manager and council. The city manager and council will then reach out to WPAFB, which will have 60 days to provide input.
Vice Mayor Joanna Garcia expressed her gratitude for the collaborative efforts that went into crafting this ordinance, acknowledging the contributions of the city manager, city attorney, and liaisons in Washington D.C. "I want to thank everyone for their efforts. I think it will be a huge benefit to the community,” Garcia said.
Wright Patterson Air Force Base issued a statement expressing their support for the legislation. Their statement read, "We are grateful for the support of the city of Beavercreek and its interest in protecting the security of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. We expect all developers to comply with any applicable federal requirements and appreciate the city's efforts to ensure they do so.”
Councilmember Pete Bales echoed this sentiment. "This ordinance protects our community, it protects Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and I appreciate Vice Mayor Garcia for bringing it to our attention after her trip to Washington D.C.," Bales said.
Councilmember Tiffany Schwartz highlighted the proactive nature of the ordinance and its direct link to council members' participation in the fly-in event in D.C. She said, "This ordinance is a tangible benefit of that."
Councilmember Glen Duerr emphasized the novelty of this legislation. “There is an adversary that is buying land in our country and we do need to be aware of it, especially with our given location next to Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Warfare looks very different today, it’s across five different domains, from land, air, sea, space, and even cyberspace. This is legislation that other municipalities should follow, it’s a way to strengthen our homeland.”
Mayor Bob Stone also encouraged neighboring municipalities surrounding WPAFB to adopt similar measures. "Being proactive is the best part. I think this will help raise a red flag and might discourage someone with malicious intent from buying land in our city and near the base. I think neighboring communities should adopt something similar so we can get regional support,” said Stone.