Camp Crowder is a Federally-owned facility licensed to the Missouri Army National Guard (ARNG) and is located in the southwestern corner of Missouri. It is comprised of 3,040 acres and lies within both the City of Neosho and Newton County. The City of Neosho is contiguous with the installation’s western border, and Newton County borders the installation along the north, east and south.
Camp Crowder’s Federal mission is to provide mobilization pre-deployment training to federal Missouri ARNG units deploying to the Southwest Asia and Afghanistan theatres of operation prior to arriving at their mobilization stations. Full-time, active duty tenants on the installation include an Engineer Battalion headquarters, several unit vehicle storage sites, and an organizational maintenance site. Camp Crowder hosts a live-fire demolition range, as well as familiarization and qualification ranges for the M-16 rifle, M-4 carbine, M-203 grenade launcher, and M-9 pistol. There are two designated rotary-wing landing zones on the installation. The base accommodates maneuver training for units ranging from the squad to battalion levels. A significant focus on training is related to Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection, defense, and countermeasures.
The eastern boundary of the installation presents a significant challenge. Recently, service providers extended city water and sewage systems to this area, opening the region for residential development. The majority of land along the eastern border and south to the installation's southern boundary is available and zoned for residential use. Previous community complaints have led the installation to imposing training restrictions. Any further growth along installation boundaries is likely to negatively impact the installation’s operational training utility by limiting the amount and types of explosives that may be used.
Newton County has no zoning authority, complicating any imposition of land use controls. The City of Neosho, however, retains zoning authority within its city limits. Therefore, any land use controls designed to preserve training utility on Camp Crowder would have to be jointly coordinated among the City of Neosho, Newton County, and the State of Missouri. The JLUS effort will aid this process.
Joint Land Use Study Planning Process
The Harry S. Truman Coordination Council, a state-chartered Council of Government, will serve as the local sponsor and fiscal agent for the JLUS project. The City of Neosho and Newton County will also collaborate with the Coordination Council on the study.
The Coordination Council will establish and support a JLUS Policy Committee that will have ultimate oversight of the JLUS process and will provide final endorsement to the completed JLUS report. The Policy Committee will delegate the tasks of collecting data, mapping, holding special meetings, and writing the JLUS to present to a Technical Committee. Members of this technical advisory group will consist of individuals with specialized areas of expertise and knowledge. Some key members will participate throughout the project, while others will participate on an as-needed basis.
The JLUS will address community growth conflicts that can be anticipated, identified, and prevented. The JLUS also will include actions that nearby jurisdictions and Camp Crowder should complete jointly. It is important that Camp Crowder and the surrounding communities be able to grow and develop in patterns that are mutually beneficial. The JLUS will address potential compatible use concerns including, but not limited to, the following:
- civilian complaints;
- interference with military communication and frequencies;
- obstacles to low-flying aircrafts;
- light pollution that conflicts with night-vision training;
- wildlife hazards, recreation areas, and endangered species protection;
- noise, vibration, dust, and smoke;
- water and air pollution;
- ecosystem damage and increased wildfire hazards;
- air operations in populated areas;
- coordination between military and Neosho High Robinson Airport operations;
- stressors posed to public services and infrastructure; and
- alternative energy development.
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