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Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina

AV-8B Harrier on its way back to MCAS Cherry Point

Military Mission

Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point is a 13,164 acre military installation located north of the town of Havelock in southeastern Craven County, North Carolina. It houses approximately 8,400 Marines and Sailors and about 5,700 civilian personnel. MCAS Cherry Point currently provides support facilities and services for the Second Marine Aircraft Wing, the Naval Aviation Depot, Combat Service Support Detachment 21 of the Second Force Service Support Group, the Naval Air Maintenance Training Group Detachment, and the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office. MCAS Cherry Point maintains facilities for training and support of the Atlantic Fleet Marine Force aviation units, and is designated as a primary aviation supply point.

Joint Land Use Study Planning Process

In October 1999, the Navy nominated MCAS Cherry Point for a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) because of significant population growth and development around the installation. Field investigations determined that Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field (MCALF) Bogue was similarly impacted. The City of Havelock and the Towns of Bogue and Emerald Isle were experiencing daily noise levels greater than 65 dB from aircraft over flights. Low to medium density residential development and a variety of commercial activity exist within the aircraft Accident Potential Zones and the flight paths at both MCAS Cherry Point and MCALF Bogue. The increased volume of civilian complaints reported around Bogue Field suggested mounting concern and increased resident hostility toward flight operations, especially at night.

The MCAS Cherry Point JLUS was a complex, multi-jurisdictional encroachment prevention effort. Five local communities in the Craven/Carteret County areas partnered to engage in a planning process that would protect the communities' need for growth while insuring compatibility with local military base training and operational space requirements. Craven County, Carteret County, the City of Havelock, the Town of Emerald Isle, the Town of Bogue, MCAS Cherry Point, MCALF Bogue, and the State of North Carolina were involved in the Eastern Carolina Joint Land Use Study. The East Carolina JLUS Policy Committee was formed with representatives from the effected local jurisdictions, the State of North Carolina, and the MCAS Beaufort command. A JLUS Technical Advisory Committee also was formed to support the Policy Committee. The East Carolina Council of Governments served as the JLUS sponsor tasked to undertake the study on behalf of the participating jurisdictions. The JLUS effort commenced in March 2001 with the East Carolina JLUS Policy Committee approving the final JLUS report in October 2002. The final JLUS was released in December 2002.

Implementation Strategy

Early accomplishments included the creation of a publicly accessible web page that explained the purpose and intent of the JLUS effort and mapping of the study boundaries and the military operations footprint. Twenty-one of the thirty-two JLUS recommendations pertained directly to the cities of Havelock and Cherry Point. One recommendation called out the need for a Havelock/Cherry Point Unified Development Code (UDO). In 2008, with Office of Economic Adjustment financial support, the City of Havelock developed the recommended zoning regulations. The city completed and adopted the UDO in July 2011. The UDO transforms the former single use municipal code to a smart growth code that defines allowable and unallowable uses within the Accident Potential Zones (APZs).

Community Website/Links:

Eastern Carolina Council: www.eccog.org/document.asp?document_name=ecd/military

City of Havelock Unified Development Ordinance: www.havelocknc.us/Departments/Planning%20Inspections/UnifiedDevelopmentOrdinance.aspx