Now that a plan is in place to redevelop the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station, the Navy is taking public input on what should be included in the environmental impact survey.

The local redevelopment board in March voted to build a mix of residential, recreational, and retail facilities on the base, which long was a cornerstone of the regional economy.

The Navy will begin the survey in January to analyze how the project would affect traffic, roads, water and air quality, noise, and other issues in its area.

Willow Grove was one of 22 military installations slated for closure under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act.

But the transfer from military to local ownership has been painstakingly slow.

A major sticking point was whether the base should be turned into a commercial airport. Residents made it clear they wanted the runways demolished.

Now that the airport option is off the table, public involvement has dropped off. The Navy has received little input during the first two weeks of "scoping period." It held two forums last weekend to discuss the environmental impact survey, but only a couple dozen residents showed up.

Public comments can be submitted through Dec. 31 online at or in writing to Director, BRAC Program Management Office Northeast, Attn: Willow Grove EIS, 4911 S. Broad St., Building 679, Philadelphia 19112.

A draft survey is expected to be released this summer.