Island of Defiance

The city commission of Valparaiso, Fla., has voted unanimously to not endorse a resolution being drafted by the local communities around Eglin Air Force Base that would adopt recommendations of the Pentagon-sponsored joint land use study (JLUS) issued in June. The Northwest Florida Daily News reported Wednesday that Valparaiso Mayor Bruce Arnold made the commission’s decision known that day during a public hearing with JLUS representatives in Niceville. Valparaiso remains locked in a legal battle with the Air Force—and is at odds with some of its neighbors—over the Air Force’s decision to establish the F-35 initial joint training schoolhouse at Eglin. Some Valparaiso residents fear the noise impact of the stealth fighters on their health and the economic vitality of their town. The study is meant to harmonize future community growth and development with Eglin’s training and operational missions. According to the Daily News, Valparaiso’s refusal to sign will make it ineligible for federal funding for items like noise-mitigation studies. Earlier this month, Valparaiso reached a settlement with the Air Force over one of the city’s F-35-related lawsuits. (Joint land use study; caution, huge file.)