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Maryland Military & Civilian Compatible Use Project

The Maryland Department of Commerce (Commerce) is committed to protecting the $57.5B in economic impact from the state’s 20 military facilities, including 12 major installations. Civilian activities and uses that are incompatible with military missions in the state could potentially mean a loss of that mission or even the closure of the base, a blow to the local economy from loss of revenue and jobs generated by that installation. The Department of Defense defines incompatible civilian development as land use activity and civilian development activity that adversely affects the utility or training and readiness missions of a military installation. To prevent adverse effects, it is important that communities and military collaborate on compatible land use planning. Compatible use ensures that civilian regions can grow and develop while protecting the military’s mission.

Phases of the MD Compatible Use Project


Phase 1: Plan

Maryland’s Statewide Joint Land Use Response Implementation Strategy (SJRIS)

To promote compatible civilian development in Maryland that supports long-term military sustainability and continued regional community development around MD installations, Commerce received a $178K grant from the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC) in 2017 to fund an effort that would 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. 

Additionally, six fact sheets were created on compatible use issues, including: 

Joint Land Use Studies

A Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) is a strategic planning process undertaken by state or local government in partnership with the military installation to preserve and protect military readiness and defense capabilities, seek ways to reduce the operational impacts on adjacent lands, and support community growth and economic development. A JLUS is a key tool for compatible land use planning. Five Maryland installations and facilities have completed Joint Land Use Studies – Aberdeen Proving Ground, Blossom Point Research Facility, Joint Base Andrews, NAS Patuxent River, and NSF Indian Head - the outcomes of these studies informed the development of the SJRIS. 

To view these studies, please see the links below:

Phase 2: Implement

The SJRIS includes 7 recommendation focus areas and 33 implementation activities. To implement some of the recommendations, Commerce, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) applied for and received a $1.12M grant from the OLDCC in 2020 to fund the implementation of key focus areas: 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 project was completed in December 2022 and details and links to the tools and resources created under this grant can be found below.

Compatible Use Website & Handbook

The website and technical handbook educates, informs, and guides state and local leaders, members of the military and military communities, and the general public on compatible use issues and solutions. To complete the website and technical handbook, Maryland Department of Planning hired a Compatible Use Community Planning Liaison who directed an outreach effort, including the formation of two stakeholder groups. 

Stakeholder Groups: 

The outreach effort also engaged the public using surveys, public forums and meetings, and other methods. Please visit this page for upcoming events and opportunities through which you can provide input. 

Renewable Energy Compatible Siting Project

In an effort to enhance compatible use between the military and civilian communities, Commerce conducted a Renewable Energy Compatible Siting Project. The goal of this project was to help the renewable energy industry coordinate with the military when identifying areas for development of solar and wind energy projects in the state and make recommendations to improve coordination processes with the military for siting renewable energy projects. This goal not only serves to protect the economic impact from Maryland's military installations by preventing potential adverse impacts from incompatible development, but also helps the state meet its goals for renewable energy generation through smart siting guidance. 

Project activities included the creation of military and coordination map layers incorporated into Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s Smart DG+ screening tool to inform renewable energy developers of military operations in the state and provide them with contact information with military representatives for coordination purposes when siting a wind or solar energy project. The project further included a study, the Military Assets and Considerations for Renewable Energy Development report, which characterizes military operations in the state and explains those operations in relation to renewable energy development and provides recommendations to improve existing coordination processes between energy developers and the military for compatible siting of renewable energy projects.

Renewable Energy Compatible Siting Project Steering Committee 

A steering committee made up of members representing the state, military, federal agencies, the renewable energy industry, and local communities, guided and supported the execution of the project activities.

For more information about this project, please see the brochure below. If you would like more information, please contact Jennifer Chiasson at Maryland Department of Commerce at

Events and Activities Archive

User Experience Survey: Compatible Use Website and Handbook Development

The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) launched a survey effort in October 2021, in which participants could give feedback on the state's military installations and their relationship with surrounding communities. The purpose of this survey was to gain information about how community members interact with, seek information about, and envision compatible development in their area.

Planning would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate in and share this survey and invites you to view the results of this effort. Insights received will be invaluable in supporting the development of the compatible use website and handbook, and will help strengthen communication and coordination between Maryland's military installations and surrounding communities.

Fall 2021 Feedback Sessions

These first sessions were used to provide an overview of the compatible use project and public outreach methodology, receive input on content creation and existing resources, and receive input on compatible use best practices and success stories at the regional, local, and installation levels. Additional feedback sessions will be held in late Winter/Spring 2022 to allow participants to provide further feedback on website functionality and design. A final session will be held to demonstrate the final products.

Download a project summary outlining our outreach efforts.

Links to the presentation and meeting agenda for Fall 2021 feedback sessions.

Session #1: Military Engagement (Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021) Session #2: Industry Engagement (Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021)
  • Organizations included Chambers of Commerce, offices of economic development, minority groups, and other business alliances and partnerships from across the state.
  • Link to meeting summary.

Session #3: Community Engagement (Friday, Oct. 29, 2021)
  • Organizations included representatives from housing authorities, real estate associations, community development networks, and the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo).
  • Link to meeting summary.

Maryland Military Installation Council (MMIC) Meetings

MMIC identifies the public infrastructure, potential impact on local communities, and support needed for state military installation development and expansion. The Council reviews state policies to support military installations and maximize economic benefits to local communities​. Meetings are held bi-annually and are open to the public. See links below for updates provided at these meetings. 

The Planning Director's Roundtable included a presentation about Maryland’s Compatible Use Project and the development of resources that are promoting compatibility in support of the Department of Defense mission between local communities and the state's military installations.
Compatible Use and Development with Military Installations: Aug. 5, 2021

This webinar, hosted by Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) and Maryland Department of Commerce (Commerce), in partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Planning Collaborative showcased MDP/Commerce's Compatible Use and Renewable Energy Siting Projects as well as provide case study examples of compatible use strategies in practice.

How to get Involved

For information on how to join the meeting, please contact Sarah Diehl, Compatible Use Community Planning Liaison at the Maryland Department of Planning, at

Further Reading

Press/Blog Posts 

Other Resources 

For further information on this grant effort, please contact: 

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