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Maryland Military & Civilian Compatible Use Project

MilitaryJet.png The Maryland Department of Commerce (Commerce) is committed to protecting the $55.5B 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: 

Compatible Use Studies 

A Compatible Use Study ( also known as 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 Compatible Use Study is a key tool for compatible land use planning. Five Maryland installations and facilities have completed Compatible 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 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.

Compatible Use Website & Handbook

The website and technical handbook will educate, inform, and guide state and local leaders, members of the military and military communities, and the general public on compatible use issues and solutions. Planning has secured the services of a vendor, Spillman Consulting, Inc., to design and construct the website and technical handbook for the audiences outlined above. To complete the website and technical handbook, Maryland Department of Planning has hired a Compatible Use Community Planning Liaison who directs an outreach effort, including the formation of two stakeholder groups, the SJRIS Implementation Workgroup and the Compatible Use Policy Committee.  

SJRIS Implementation Workgroup focuses on implementing the SJRIS recommendations. This group will include state, military, and local representatives and focus on the tools, communication methods, and educational and funding resources proposed in the SJRIS.

Compatible Use Policy Committee explores and develops model local legislation to improve compatible use in Maryland and considering any needed new or modified state legislation. This group includes state, military, and local representatives.

The outreach effort will also engage 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

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In an effort to enhance compatible use,  Commerce is conducting a Renewable Energy Compatible Siting Project. This project will help the state provide resources to the renewable energy industry to identify areas in the state that are compatible with military operations in the state, which will not only serve to protect the economic impact from our state's military installations by preventing potential adverse impacts from incompatible development, but will also help us to meet our goals for renewable energy generation through smart siting guidance. This project is anticipated to wrap-up in February 2022.

Matrix Design Group, has been selected to complete this effort and will be leading execution of the project activities, including the creation of map layers to inform where renewable energy development projects are compatible, potentially compatible, or incompatible with military operations within the state. These maps will be incorporated into Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s Smart DG+ screening tool for renewable energy developers to identify areas in the state that are ideal for renewable energy development. The project will further include 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. p guide and support the execution of the project activities.

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, will guide and support the execution of the project activities.

For more information about this project please see this flyer. If you would like more information, please contact Jennifer Chiasson at Maryland Department of Commerce at Jennifer.Chiasson@maryland.gov.

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) Meeting: Oct. 4

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. The MMIC meeting on Oct. 4 included project updates from Maryland's Compatible Use Project, including the Renewable Energy Compatibility Tool and the Compatible Use Website and Technical Handbook.

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

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 Sarah.Diehl@maryland.gov.

Further Reading

Press/Blog Posts 

Other Resources 

For further information on this grant effort, please contact: 


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