Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) is an active duty and reserve Air Force installation with three primary missions: testing and deployment of all air delivered weapons, special operations training, and Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Initial Joint Training. The reservation is located in the Florida Panhandle on the Gulf of Mexico and surrounded by Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa Counties, and ten municipalities. The reservation encompasses 453,594 acres (453,460 Department of Defense-owned), including a main airfield cantonment area, Hurlburt and Duke Airfields, an Army 7th Special Forces Group training site, land assault zones, and an active live fire test range.
Joint Land Use Study Planning Process
The Air Force nominated Eglin AFB as a candidate for the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) program in September 2005 in response to urban growth moving toward the Eglin reservation. New residential development north of the reservation near the City of Crestview may impact JSF use of Duke Field and development northeast of Eglin Airfield is increasing in height and density within the Clear Zone (CZ), Accident Potential Zone (APZ) 1 and APZ 2. This urban residential encroachment, along with associated support structures, will continue and is likely to impair the operational utility of the installation.
The JLUS is expected to guide the three counties and ten municipalities in their efforts to support compatible civilian development, while not limiting economic development. The participating jurisdictions signed resolutions indicating their good faith efforts to support the JLUS and to implement the study recommendations.
Completed in June 2009, the JLUS includes recommended actions and strategies to enhance compatible use. One of the highest priority JLUS recommendations is completion of a Small Area Study for a large land mass immediately under the low-level flight corridors, cruise missile corridors, and within one mile of Eglin’s land boundary in northern Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton Counties, as well as an area in western Walton County. The Small Area Study will result in the identification of land uses and specific tools prepared for each affected jurisdiction that are supported by property owners, local jurisdictions, agencies, and Eglin AFB. The study will include recommended amendments to future land uses and zoning maps, comprehensive plans, zoning codes, and other regulatory changes. The Small Area Study will be completed in October 2012.
In November 2010, the JLUS Policy Committee merged with the Eglin Installation Growth Committee. Through an inter-local Agreement, the participating jurisdictions ratified the creation, membership, and operation of the "Northwest Florida Military Sustainability Partnership." The "Partnership" combines the members of the JLUS and growth management committees, totaling 22 members from the 13 jurisdictions that participated in the JLUS and Growth Management Plan. The purpose of the partnership is to adopt JLUS recommendations and form a strategy for implementing the recommendations. An overview of some of the other JLUS recommendations includes the following:
- Study Community Plans and Enterprise Zone Creation Promoting Economic Diversity & Compatible Land Use
- Study Retrofitting Public and Private Buildings with Sound Attenuation
- Study the Development and Implementation of a Voluntary Land Acquisition Program
- Conservation lands north of Duke Field in APZ II, within maximum mission noise contours, along Yellow and Shoal Rivers floodplains and tributaries, within critical parts of Low Level Approach Zones
- Prepare a Land Acquisition Plan with Projected Costs for Acquisitions Programmed into a 5-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP)
- Update County/City Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code
- Conduct a Comprehensive Plan Military Encroachments Element Data Inventory and Analysis
- Comprehensive Plan MIPA Sub-element Goals, Objectives, and Policies
- Implement Public Awareness Measures
- Distribute Maps Showing CZ, APZ, High Level Aircraft Noise, High Intensity Impulse Noise Areas, and MAZs/MIPAs
- Develop a Land Acquisition Program
- Implement Comp Plan Amendments Discouraging Additional Navigational Channels or Land Cuts, Artificial Reefs, or Other Activities
- Distribute Educational Handouts on Radio Frequency
- Implement a Lighting Ordinance
- Establish Military Influence Planning Area (MIPA) Zoning Overlay District Creating MIPA Designations
- Formalize Policy to Include Military Participation and Cross-Jurisdiction Coordination
- Continue Pursuing Funding and Construction of the Destin Airport Control Tower
- Participate in the Ongoing Department of Defense Airspace Study
- Identify Cruise Missile Corridor on Public Documents
- Limit Object Heights Regarding Potential Conflicts
- Establish Effective Disclosure Procedures Preclude Increases in Density and Intensity in Low Level Approach Zones and Eglin AFB Boundary Buffer Until Small Area Studies are Completed
Community Website: webgis.co.okaloosa.fl.us/jlus