State Agencies Overview

This section contains information about about state agency programs, resources, and requirements for military and civilian compatible use within the State of Maryland. The state agencies included in this tab have defined roles, responsibilities, authorities, and regulations that impact overall planning throughout the state, but also have the potential to influence compatible use and development around Maryland's military installations and communities.

What's in This Tab

  • Overview of the state's role regarding compatible use planning
  • Brief descriptions of each state agency's role in compatible use planning
  • Overviews and links to each state agency's compatible use planning and related funding programs
  • Summaries of other state agency programs that support compatible use planning

State governments play an invaluable role in supporting strong and lasting relationships between military installations, surrounding defense communities, and other jurisdictions. In support of mutual benefit, state agencies collaborate with local and federal partners on legislative initiatives, partnerships, and programs that also support military-community cooperation, and address encroachment and compatible land use issues.

The State of Maryland, with the sixth highest level of defense spending among all 50 states,1 recognizes the importance of ensuring the long-term viability of the missions of these installations by addressing encroachment and incompatible land uses around installations, establishing processes and methodologies to improve compatibility with their surrounding communities, and most recently, addressing resiliency issues facing installations and their surrounding communities.

The primary driver of these efforts by the state was economic concern due to the multiple rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) that occurred in the 1990's, with the most recent BRAC in 2005. The State of Maryland wanted to preserve and possibly expand the military presence in the state for economic and quality of life reasons, which was largely coordinated by the Maryland Department of Commerce's Office of Military and Federal Affairs (OMFA). As the primary driver of the state's relationship and coordination with its military installations, OMFA has, and continues to, support business diversification, spur economic growth, and help minimize or prevent adverse impacts from the closure or relocation of military bases, commands, major U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) programs, and federal facilities.

Compatibile land use programs benefit installations and the surrounding communities. These benefits include the improvement of quality of life in communities neighboring military installations as an increased workforce brings additional amenities to the area, increased cooperation and understanding on mutually beneficial initiatives like Intergovernmental Service Agreements (IGSAs), and increased protection of wildlife and ecosystems near installations, preventing development that would otherwise impact the realism of military training and decrease of the potential for accidents and other safety concerns.

As part of the 2019 Statewide Joint Land Use Response Implementation Strategy (SJRIS), an analysis of current state legislation/policy was conducted to identify policies that directly and indirectly are related to encroachment and compatibility planning, for example, real estate disclosures and noise pollution statutes. Best practice legislation and policies from other states was included in the analysis to address gaps that were identified in Maryland's current legislation concerning community and military compatibility. For instance, the analysis found that 16 states have established planning notification areas where bases are required to be notified of upcoming development actions to prevent incompatibility. An overview of all policies can be found in Chapter 3 of the SJRIS – State Policy Review.

Additionally, many state agencies have programs that offer funding opportunities or other solutions in support of compatible military and community development. Select from the list below to learn more about how different agencies support compatible use.

1 Defense Spending by State Fiscal Year 2021. U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation. ​

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