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September 29, 2015 – Colorado Springs Independent, By Pam Zubeck

A planning process for growth near three area military bases will look at development impacts on everything from water supply to wildfire risk to “electromagnetic spectrum.” The cost? Nearly $1 million, with most of that money coming from the Pentagon, according to a regional planning agency news release.

The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments said today it’s landed an $800,000 grant from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment to manage a two-year land-use study involving local and state governments, as well as the three military installations. Another $100,000 will come from the council’s 16 member governments.

Fort Carson is among three installations included in a study of how the city and county can develop without disrupting the military — and vice versa. - PAM ZUBECK
Fort Carson is among three installations included in a study of how the city and county can develop without disrupting the military — and vice versa. (Pam Zubeck/ Colorado Springs Independent)

The bases included in the study, which will be completed by three planners hired for the project, are the Air Force Academy, Fort Carson and Peterson Air Force Base, the release states.

The goal is to produce a strategic plan “to preserve military readiness and defense capabilities while supporting community economic development and jointly beneficial adjacent land uses.”

In other words, the plan will guide development so that it is “compatible” with military training, testing, and operational missions, while finding ways to reduce the military’s impact on adjacent land.

“Our community has a history of working cooperatively with our military neighbors,” Manitou Springs Mayor Marc Snyder, who serves as the PPACG board chair, says in the release. “This study will enhance existing relationships and identify additional ways to improve our region’s economy and natural environment through military operations.”

According to the release, the study will cover:

  • Regional water supply
  • Regional stormwater management
  • Compatible alternative-energy development
  • Wildfire risk
  • Development near airfield operations
  • Regional airspace use
  • Competition for electromagnetic spectrum
  • GIS data
  • Formal policies and procedures for military participation and cross-jurisdictional coordination in community development review and planning processes
  • An implementation strategy with specific actions and monitoring responsibilities identified by year

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The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.

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