Overview of Maryland's Statewide Compatible Use Project
The State of Maryland, including the
Maryland Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the
Department of Planning (Planning), is committed to protecting the $61.4 billion in annual economic impact from the state's 20 military facilities and federal installations. The statewide Compatible Use Project is a multi-phased approach to promote compatible civilian development in Maryland that supports long-term military sustainability and continued regional community development around Maryland's military installations. It also identifies ways the state can address compatible use issues from an enterprise perspective. Successful implementation of Phases 1 and 2 of this project led to the publication of the Statewide Joint Land Use Response Implementation Strategy and the development of this compatible use website and handbook (described below).
Phases of the Statewide Compatible Use Project
Phase 1: Plan
To protect the installations and their missions, Commerce applied for and received a $178,000 grant in 2017 from the
Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC). The grant funds an effort to provide the state with a strategic approach, in coordination with local governments, to address compatibility issues at a state level. The deliverable for this project was the
Statewide Joint Land Use Response Implementation Strategy (SJRIS), completed in 2019.
The SJRIS includes recommendations on how Maryland can improve compatible use, as well as timetables with possible milestones to track implementation progress and successes. Additionally, the SJRIS includes a work plan that identifies responsible parties for all activities. The
Executive Summary of the SJRIS provides an overview of recommendations/actions for future outreach efforts.
Phases of the Statewide Compatible Use Project
Phase 2: Implement
The SJRIS includes seven recommendation focus areas and 33 implementation activities. To implement some of the recommendations, Commerce, in partnership with Planning, applied for and received a $1.12 million grant from the OLDCC in 2020 to fund the implementation of key focus areas, including: strengthening communication and coordination between the state, military, and community; technical guidance/assistance for local communities on best practices for land use; facilitating compatible renewable energy siting; and exploring legislative initiatives to address compatible use issues. This grant opportunity was divided into two projects - the development of a compatible use website and handbook (led by Planning) and the Renewable Energy Siting Study (led by Commerce).
Compatible Use Website and Handbook
The purpose of the grant project was to provide Maryland and the surrounding regions with resources and frameworks to guide compatible community development to support long-term sustainable, resilient, and operational military facilities throughout the state. Working alongside state, federal, and local partners, the compatible use website and handbook educates and guides state and local leaders, members of the military and military communities, and the public on compatible use issues and solutions that were identified while developing the SJRIS. The tools and resources also support strategies by which military installations and neighboring jurisdictions can better understand and consider the impact that their operations have on one another.
The project required extensive outreach and communication to experts in the field, impacted communities and organizations, and military representatives. Planning convened two stakeholder groups in early 2021, an Implementation Workgroup and a Policy Committee, to guide deliverable development. The Implementation Workgroup focused on implementing SJRIS recommendations, such as establishing formal procedures to address compatible use issues and guides to leveraging funding resources. The Policy Committee focused on assessing statewide policy gaps and developing local ordinance guidance, including how communities consider military activities and their economic impacts in their comprehensive plans. The groups met throughout the course of the project to share resources, discuss needs, and provide feedback on the development of the website and handbook.
Planning also hosted a series of feedback sessions to give individuals and organizations who were not part of the Implementation Workgroup or Policy Committee a chance to comment on website content, suggest resources, and share what they thought would be beneficial for promoting compatible use and development across the state.
Planning would like to thank the individuals from the following organizations,
agencies, and communities for their participation in this project, whether it
was through participation in the Implementation Workgroup or Policy Committee
or taking part in one of the smaller feedback sessions. The input received ensures
the compatible use website and handbook best meet the needs of Maryland's military
installations and communities and comprehensively describe successful and ongoing
partnerships throughout the state.
Additional Outreach and Engagement
During fall 2021, Planning conducted a User Experience Survey to seek input across the state on the need for information and compatibility topics as well as valuable insight as to how communities interact with military installations. Survey results were used to inform and build much of the content contained within this compatible use website and corresponding handbook. Results include insight showing what types of information citizens would like to know that would help familiarize themselves with Maryland's military installations and categories where respondents thought additional support is needed to promote compatible and sustainable development.
View insights from the Compatible Use Website and Handbook User Experience Survey
Compatible Energy Siting Study
In an effort to enhance compatible land use, Commerce conducted a
Compatible Energy Compatible Siting Project to provide resources to the renewable energy industry and to identify areas compatible with military operations in the state. The project not only serves to protect the positive economic impacts of our state's military installations by preventing potential adverse impacts through incompatible development, but will also help meet state goals for renewable energy generation through smart siting guidance. This project was completed in April 2022.
Project activities included the creation of map layers to inform where developers should coordinate with the military on renewable energy project siting based on how they overlap are compatible, potentially compatible, or incompatible with military operations within the state. These maps are incorporated into the Maryland Department of Natural Resource, Power Plant Research Program's
Smart DG+ screening tool for renewable energy developers to identify areas in the state where coordination for renewable energy development is recommended and provides points of contact for coordination. The project also included a study of renewable energy's impact on military missions in the state, with a review and recommendations to enhance the current siting and approval process for renewable energy development. Check out the
project webpage to learn more about the project and read the final report.