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FY 2015 Defense Spending By State report now available for download.

BRAC Technical Assistance

The Office of Economic Adjustment has helped defense downsizing communities since 1961. This experience has shown that communities facing BRAC are most successful when they organize around a single entity to undertake to respond to the BRAC action, develop a plan, and bring together the resources to implement their strategy. These efforts help to minimize the economic distress on their communities. OEA’s approach includes developing a comprehensive regional organizational structure to help communities tackle BRAC issues such as job creation, base redevelopment and other economic development strategies.

Additionally, OEA coordinates the Economic Adjustment Committee. The committee meets to help coordinate the resources of 22 key federal agencies for communities adversely affected by BRAC actions. The Committee allows OEA to leverage available federal resources for impacted communities.

OUR APPROACH

Every community facing BRAC will have individual factors and unique circumstances. To be successful in managing BRAC transition and recovery, communities proactively organize to minimize economic distress and challenges. Regardless of the situation, OEA’s dedicated project managers and economic adjustment assistance support the proven Organize, Plan, Implement approach that has helped many communities respond to BRAC.

Establishing a Local Redevelopment Authority

Organize

Much of the BRAC process is about redevelopment and reuse of base land and facilities. During the first 6 months, property not needed by DoD or other federal agencies is identified, and the military service publishes a notice of surplus property available for redevelopment

Following the initial organization process, and after a notice of surplus property has been provided, the LRA undertakes significant outreach efforts and begins the initial redevelopment planning process.

By law, the redevelopment planning process must include the identification of homeless needs and accommodation for homeless needs must reflect a balance with local community and economic development needs. LRAs must establish links to local homeless-assistance providers and consider their request to utilize base assets for homeless assistance.

Other stakeholders in the community will likely be interested in participating in the redevelopment planning processes and may express interest in acquiring property through public benefit conveyance and other methods. School districts, colleges and universities, airport authorities, wildlife and conservation groups, alternative transportation organizers, historic preservation societies, business groups and entrepreneurs, and various other stakeholders may wish to participate in the planning process.

Key Points to Remember

  • Outreach and solicitation of interest must begin within one month of the surplus notice and follow either a three- or six-months schedule, depending on local needs.
  • The public should be informed and given an opportunity to participate at all stages of the process.
  • Communities should utilize established networks of businesses and non-profits to connect with a variety of stakeholders.
  • By law, the redevelopment plan should address the needs and concerns of homeless and reflect a balance with local community needs.

Plan

Following the organize phase, the heart of the LRA's planning process takes place in the second year. Having considered the notices of surplus and interest, the LRA prepares a redevelopment plan, taking into account a broad range of installation and community factors.

The redevelopment plan identifies the LRA’s overall redevelopment strategy for the base. Under the BRAC law, the LRA and the community must ensure that the plan adequately balances local community and economic development needs with those of the homeless. This must be an open, public, and transparent process.

The first step is to determine the community goals that will guide the planning process. These goals will serve as the foundation of the overall adjustment strategy. For base closures, the primary community goal is often job creation. Other goals may include expanding the tax base, diversifying the local economy, maintaining a level of environmental quality, and meeting affordable housing needs. A number of public benefit transfers are available for community uses such as schools, parks, airports and law enforcement facilities.

In setting the community’s goals, a multitude of objectives may be identified, such as a civilian job replacement, public use of portions of the site, and effective efficient use of land and facilities.

The LRA should take into consideration the initial identified needs, goals, and objectives of the community. Often, this consensus is the basis for preliminary LRA consultation with interesting property users.

Implement

After consensus/agreement on redevelopment uses, specific guidance is needed to implement the plan. Key questions the LRA and communities must face during this phase include:

  • What will be the structure of any follow-on entity tasked with putting the installation into civilian use or following through on growth management plans?
  • What resources (grants, other financial resources, specialized help from planners, engineering firms, economic development expertise, etc.) required for the effort? What are the requirements/schedules for site improvements or construction of community facilities?
  • How will funding be secured to finance economic development/job creation efforts?
  • What roles will the private and public sectors play in redevelopment of the installation?

This is the “action” component of the plan and becomes the basis for implementing the plan.

When completed, the base redevelopment plan should identify the redevelopment entity for plan execution.

BRAC Resources