Resources and Tools
By Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) has selected Spillman Consulting, Inc., in partnership with SIA Solutions, LLC, and Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., to develop the state’s first compatible use website and handbook, aimed at supporting compatible land use with Maryland’s 20 military installations and their surrounding communities.
The term “compatible use planning” generally refers to carefully considering both existing and planned uses and activities in an area to reduce or eliminate adverse impacts on neighboring or nearby land uses. In this instance, compatible use planning refers to activities that could adversely impact military technologies and operations and, ultimately the capability to effectively fulfill national defense objectives such as flight missions and radar communications.
The website and handbook will provide an overview of compatible use issues as well as ready-to-use resources including guidance, information on best practices, and support geared to both military and community audiences.
These resources are being developed in concert with the states’ Renewable Energy Siting Study, which is being conducted by Matrix Design Group in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Commerce (Commerce).
All three projects (website, handbook, and study) stem from recommendations in the Statewide Joint Land Use Response Implementation Strategy (SJRIS), completed in 2019 by Planning and Commerce with funding from the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA).
To develop these resources, the contractors will work closely with Planning’s Compatible Use Community Planning Liaison, Sarah Diehl, AICP, to build upon existing collaborations and communication networks between military installations and their surrounding communities, as well as help to create new ones, where needed.
Activities contributing to the development of the website and publishing the handbook include convening a workgroup tasked with guiding the implementation of recommendations from the SJRIS, and a policy committee tasked with exploring and developing model local legislation and guidance that jurisdictions can use to support compatible use planning in their communities.
The three companies, led by Spillman Consulting, have many years combined experience in compatible use and related land use, energy, and community planning issues and projects. Spillman Consulting, Inc. is part of the State of Maryland Certified Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program. The company provides project management and technical expertise in sustainability, environmental, munitions clearance/cleanup, infrastructure, utilities, and energy issues, to name a few.
SIA Solutions, LLC, specializes in compatible land use and development services, infrastructure asset management, energy consulting, and forging public-private and intergovernmental partnerships to help military installations sustain mission operations while respecting the needs of the surrounding communities.
Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. is a multidisciplinary firm with expertise in community planning and land development regulations, engineering, environmental services, military installation planning and asset management, public outreach and engagement, website development, among many other services.
The goals in developing the website and handbook are not only to inform the state’s military leadership and surrounding communities (including citizens, officials, and local planning professionals), but also to foster coordination and cooperation that will persist long after these projects are complete.
To learn more about this collaboration between Planning and Commerce, please visit the Maryland Military & Civilian Compatible Use Project website. For more information on compatible use planning in Maryland, contact Sarah Diehl, AICP, Compatible Use and Community Planning Liaison, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.