The Maryland Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) and several other state agencies, has been awarded a second federal grant to help guide compatible development of military installations and their surrounding communities.
The goal of this effort is to ensure that military activities do not adversely impact the quality of life in their communities and that development in the communities does not encroach on installation activities.
“Maryland’s military installations are a great source of economic strength for their communities and for the state as a whole,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “This grant will help make sure that as these installations and communities grow and embrace new technology and development, they will do so together so all stakeholders can benefit.”
According to a press release:
The $1.12 million grant from the U.S. Office of Economic Adjustment is the second phase of the Statewide Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) grant first awarded to Commerce in 2018. The initial funding supported the development of the Statewide Joint Land Use Study Response Implementation Strategy (SJRIS) report. The new funds will support the development of a State of Maryland Military Communities Compatible Use website; a planning coordination guidebook for local communities; and a study to identify and display via publicly available maps for use by potential energy developers, areas where renewable energy projects may or may not be compatible with the missions of Maryland military installations.
The Maryland Department of Planning will procure a vendor to develop the Compatible Use website and planning coordination guidebook. The department will also hire a compatible use community planning liaison to lead the implementation of recommendations from the SJRIS report and to facilitate communication and coordination between military, state, and community stakeholders.
“Maryland’s military installations are unique centers of innovation,” said Rob McCord, Maryland Secretary of Planning. “We are excited about improving our collaboration and coordinating planning efforts so that the installations and the adjacent communities will continue to thrive and support each other for many years to come.”
Other partners in this effort include, but are not limited to, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Power Plant Research Program; the Maryland Military Installation Council (MMIC); representatives from the U.S. Department of Defense; community representative organizations like Maryland Associations of Counties (MACo) and Maryland Municipal League (MML); and organizations involved in energy siting including, but not limited to, the Maryland Energy Administration, the Maryland Public Service Commission, the Maryland Climate Change Commission Mitigation Working Group, and the Governor’s Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting.
This 18-month program began on June 1 and will end on November 30, 2021.