Naval Support Activity Panama City (NSA Panama City) is located in what was once a predominantly rural area that has experienced substantial growth over the past 64 years. The base comprises 1,117 acres (652 acres are Department of Defense owned) and is located in an unincorporated portion of Bay County, opposite Panama City, across St. Andrews Bay. The installation is a support activity hosting 18 tenant commands including the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City, the Center for Explosive Ordnance and Diving Excellence, the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, and the Navy Experimental Dive Unit.
Joint Land Use Study Planning Process
Beginning in 2005, the Navy, along with Bay County, experienced an increased demand for marina space and boat slips. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Facilities) nominated NSA Panama City for a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) in August 2006. Bay County, the City of Panama City, and the City of Panama City Beach were involved in the planning process. A JLUS Policy Committee and a Technical Advisory Committee, composed of city, county, military, and other stakeholders, guided the development of the JLUS which was completed November 2009. The objectives for the collaborative planning effort included the following:
- Participate in JLUS implementation group meetings.
- create a military influence overlay district;
- conduct a vertical height assessment study including critical parcels in line-of-sight corridors;
- create a zoning overlay with the line-of-sight contours;
- create comprehensive land use policies for areas within line-of-sight corridors;
- create a process to formally inform and invite Naval Support Activity Panama City to discussions involving land development adjacent to the base;
- develop a business registration program;
- develop a military influence area overlay district zoning ordinance;
- develop standards for structures in water;
- develop a Bay County/NSA Panama City communication plan;
- review jurisdictional capital improvements; and
- increase Thomas Drive capacity.
The JLUS included recommendations to designate Military Influence Areas and a Military Influence Overlay District (MIOD). Military Influence Areas are the geographic planning areas where military operations may impact local communities. These planning areas and the overlay district were developed to accomplish the goal of compatibility between the community and the military.
Formation of a JLUS Implementation Committee was key to successful implementation of the JLUS recommendations. Bay County is currently implementing critical, high-priority recommendations arising from the JLUS. These immediate implementation actions fall into three areas:
- ensure adequate anti-terrorism and force protection (AT/FP) around the NSA Panama City fence line;
- ensure compatible land uses in other areas based on mission requirements (e.g. preserving electromagnetic spectrum bandwidth, regulating water-based development, ensuring efficient ingress to/egress from the NSA Panama City access control point); and
- preserve the positive communication and collaboration process between the JLUS communities and NSA Panama City leadership.
Community Website: www.pcgov.org/residents/planning-and-land-use