Florida is home to 20 major military installations and three unified combatant commands. The Gulf of Mexico is a key training ground for both the Air Force and the Navy. The state also has two U.S. Coast Guard air stations and a dozen other Coast Guard stations. The military accounts for about 10 percent of Florida's economy. The Community Planning Act recognizes the importance of local governments cooperating with military installations to encourage compatible land use and facilitate the continued presence of major military installations in this state. The Bureau of Community Planning is available to work with local governments and military installations to encourage compatible land uses, help prevent encroachment, and facilitate the continued presence of major military installations in this state.
- Sections 163.3161(11), 163.3175, and 163.3177(6)(a), Florida Statutes
Community Planning Act Requirements
Section 163.3175(2), Florida Statutes, identifies the major military installations that, due to their mission and activities, have a greater potential for experiencing compatibility and coordination issues than others, and identifies the local governments proximate to these installations that are required to address compatibility of land development with military installations in their comprehensive plans (see Local Governments That Must Send Comprehensive Plan Amendments and Land Development Regulation Changes to Military Installations).
Section 163.3177(6)(a), Florida Statutes, requires that the future land use element in the local government’s comprehensive plan include criteria to be used to achieve the compatibility of lands adjacent or closely proximate to military installations.
Section 163.3177, Florida Statutes, required that affected local governments amend their comprehensive plans to include criteria addressing compatibility by December 31, 2013. As of July 1, 2014, all affected local governments have adopted the required comprehensive plan amendments.
Documents to be transmitted to Military Installations
Each affected local government identified in section 163.3175(2), Florida Statutes, is also required to transmit the following proposed comprehensive plan amendments, proposed land development regulations, and applications for development orders to the commanding officer of the relevant associated installation or installations (see Military Installation Contacts):
- Information relating to proposed changes to the local government's comprehensive plan which, if approved, would affect the intensity, density, or use of the land adjacent to or in close proximity to the military installation.
- Information relating to proposed changes to land development regulations which, if approved, would affect the intensity, density, or use of the land adjacent to or in close proximity to the military installation.
- At the request of the commanding officer, copies of applications for development orders requesting a variance or waiver from height or lighting restrictions or noise attenuation reduction requirements within areas defined in the local government's comprehensive plan as being in a zone of influence of the military installation.
Military Representation on Local Planning or Zoning Board
To facilitate the exchange of information, a representative from the military acting on behalf of all military installations within that jurisdiction shall be included as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the county's or affected local government's land planning or zoning board.
If a local government does not adopt criteria and address compatibility of lands adjacent to or closely proximate to existing military installations in its future land use plan element by June 30, 2012, the local government, the military installation, the state land planning agency, and other parties as identified by the regional planning council, including, but not limited to, private landowner representatives, shall enter into mediation conducted pursuant to Section 186.509, Florida Statutes.
If the local government comprehensive plan does not contain criteria addressing compatibility by December 31, 2013, the agency may notify the Administration Commission. The Administration Commission may impose sanctions pursuant to Section 163.3184(8), Florida Statutes Any local government that amended its comprehensive plan to address military installation compatibility requirements after 2004 and was found to be in compliance is deemed to be in compliance with this subsection until the local government conducts its evaluation and appraisal review pursuant to Section 163.3191, Florida Statutes, and determines that amendments are necessary to meet updated general law requirements.
Governments Required to Address Military Compatibility Standards
Section 163.3175(2), Florida Statutes, identifies the following military bases as those whose mission and activities, have a greater potential for experiencing compatibility and coordination issues than others and therefore requires that the local governments proximate to the bases as having to address compatibility requirements consistent with section 163.3177(6)(a)3., Florida Statutes.
The links below will direct you to the most recent Joint Land Use Study or Air Installation Compatible Use Zone for the listed military installation.
- Avon Park Air Force Range, associated with Highlands, Okeechobee, Osceola, and Polk Counties and Avon Park, Sebring, and Frostproof.
- Camp Blanding, associated with Clay, Bradford, and Putnam Counties.
- Northwest Florida - Military Sustainable Partnership: Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field, associated with Gulf, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton Counties and Cinco Bayou, Crestview, Destin, DeFuniak Springs, Fort Walton Beach, Freeport, Laurel Hill, Mary Esther, Niceville, Shalimar, and Valparaiso.
- Homestead Air Reserve Base, associated with Miami-Dade County and Homestead.
- Jacksonville Training Range Complex, associated with Lake, Marion, Putnam, and Volusia Counties.
- City of Tampa - Joint Land Use Study: MacDill Air Force Base, associated with Tampa.
- Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Marine Corps Support Facility-Blount Island, and outlying landing field Whitehouse, associated with Jacksonville.
- Naval Air Station Key West, associated with Monroe County and Key West.
- Panama City - Planning and Land Use Department: Naval Support Activity Panama City, associated with Bay County, Panama City, and Panama City Beach.
- Joint Land Use Case Study - Naval Air Station Pensacola - Escambia County, Florida: Naval Air Station Pensacola, associated with Escambia County.
- Santa Rosa County - Long Range Planning: Naval Air Station Whiting Field and its outlying landing fields, associated with Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties.
- Naval Station Mayport, associated with Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville.
- Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, associated with Brevard County and Satellite Beach.
- Tyndall Air Force Base, associated with Bay County and Mexico Beach and Parker.
Technical Assistance - Florida Defense Alliance
The Department of Economic Opportunity assists the Florida Defense Alliance, and communities surrounding military bases with planning strategies to protect existing bases. These strategies focus on the importance of base retention, development of best practices guides, sponsoring joint land use studies to identify specific actions to remedy encroachment, and coordinating land acquisition through various funding sources.
Joint Land Use Study Program
The Joint Land Use Study program is a cooperative land use planning effort between affected local governments and a military installation. This program is managed by the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment. The goal is to ensure that development near a military installation is compatible with the base's mission, while at the same time ensuring the public health, safety, and quality of life of the community. The Joint Land Use Study program has become more important as urban development in many areas has encroached closer to a military base that was once in a remote location. Recent examples of Joint Land Use Studies in Florida include Avon Park Air Force Range, Naval Air Station Key West, and Naval Support Activity Panama City.
Communities can receive a Community Planning Assistance Grant to support the cost of a Joint Land Use Study which the sponsor must match. A Joint Land Use Study is a cooperative land use planning effort between an affected local government and a military installation. Joint Land Use Study recommendations provide a policy framework and justification to support the adoption and implementation of compatible development measures. The Office of Economic Adjustment provides the technical and financial assistance for the community to work collaboratively with its local military installation to identify existing or potential future incompatible development and to develop Joint Land Use Study recommendations with the assistance of a consulting team. Each Joint Land Use Study involves a Technical Advisory Committee and a Policy Committee that are composed of public officials, military base representatives, and representatives from the community. The key to a successful Joint Land Use Study is keeping the public informed and involved throughout the process by using public workshops and hearings. Examples of implementation measures include changes to the local comprehensive plan and land use regulations, such as:
- height restrictions;
- density and land use restrictions;
- amending local building codes to require increased sound attenuation in existing and new buildings;
- land exchanges;
- transfer of development rights;
- real estate disclosure; and
- conservation partnering
The U.S. Office of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment publishes two resource documents: a Joint Land Use Study Program Guidance Manual and The Practical Guide to Compatible Civilian Development Near Military Installations.
Additional information regarding the Joint Land Use Study process is available at U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment
Air Installation Compatible Use Zone Program
The Air Installation Compatible Use Zone program is a U.S. Department of Defense planning program that was developed in response to incompatible urban development and land use conflicts around military airfields. The Air Installation Compatible Use Zone program seeks to provide information on compatibility, develop a cooperative relationship between communities and military installations, and provide land use compatibility guidelines that protect public health and safety and maintain military readiness. As designed, the Air Installation Compatible Use Zone program addresses only a few of the compatibility issues discussed in a Joint Land Use Study. These issues focus around three factors: noise, vertical obstructions, and accident potential zones. The following links are to recent Air Installation Compatible Use Zone studies: Homestead Air Reserve Base, MacDill Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Key West and Tyndall Air Force Base.
The Air Installation Compatible Use Zone program has two objectives:
- to assist local, regional, state, and federal officials in protecting the public health, safety, and welfare by promoting compatible development within the Air Installation Compatible Use Zone area of influence; and
- to protect operational capabilities from the effects of land uses that are incompatible with aircraft operations
While prepared by or for a military installation, the primary users of an Air Installation Compatible Use Zone study are the local communities surrounding the installation or an offsite location (such as auxiliary fields or training areas). The Air Installation Compatible Use Zone study is also a tool used by the installation's community planner to evaluate proposed projects (both on and off the installation) for their compliance with the information presented in the Air Installation Compatible Use Zone study.
Areas contiguous to military installations often provide attractive land development opportunities. Certain types of development are not compatible with the high noise and high potential for aircraft accidents associated with airfield activities. In the absence of compatible land use controls, inappropriate uses may occur near or adjacent to the installation causing eventual conflicts between flight operations and landowners.
Army Installation Environmental Noise Management Program
Without question, noise is an unavoidable by-product of running a trained and ready army. However, there is also a growing recognition that noise has a significant impact on and the communities surrounding them. While the Army cannot alter the physical properties of noise, they can influence it and manage it through planning and operations efforts. Since 1993, Army Environmental Policy Institute studies have documented the potential threat that noise poses to readiness training. The Installation Environmental Noise Management Plan provides a strategy for noise management at Army Bases. Elements of the Environmental Noise Management Plan include education, complaint management, noise and vibration mitigation, noise abatement procedures, and noise assessment.
The Installation Environmental Noise Management program provides a methodology for analyzing exposure to noise and safety hazards associated with military operations and provides land use guidelines for achieving compatibility between the Army and the surrounding communities. Through the Environmental Noise Management Plan the Army is able to recommend uses of land around its installations that will both protect citizens from noise and other hazards and protect the public's investment in the installation.
The noise impact on the community is described by the use of noise zones. The program defines four noise zones. Zone I is compatible with most noise-sensitive land uses. Zone II is normally incompatible with noise sensitive land uses. The Land Use Planning Zone provides the installation with a better means to predict possible complaints, and meet the public demand for a better description of what will exist during a period of increased operations. Zone III is incompatible with noise-sensitive land uses.
More information on the Environmental Noise Management Plan can be found at the Army Environmental Policy Institute website.
Similar to the Environmental Noise Management Plan process, the Operational Noise Program at the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine has developed the Operational Noise Program as a tool for Army Bases to aid with the management of operation noise (formerly referred to as environmental noise). The Operational Noise Program is highly qualified to develop Operational Noise Management Plans for Army testing and training facilities. Since 1999, the Operational Noise Program has developed over 80 comprehensive Noise Management Plans for Army and Army National Guard installations and training sites. These studies include the 2005 Florida Army National Guard Statewide Operational Noise Management Plan which identifies the peak potential noise areas associated with Florida Army National Guard bases (Camp Blanding) and includes information on how to model and monitor on site noise as well as strategies to reduce noise conflict.