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Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) may not have a direct impact on you as a resident, but its due diligence process ensures that APG, the region's economic driver and top employer for Harford and Cecil Counties, continues to thrive in its mission sets. It also takes environmental factors into consideration, such as sea (level) rise, resiliency (to a changing climate), and other factors that are assessed and monitored. Being good stewards of the Upper Chesapeake (Bay) and its tributaries, coast lines and (native animal species), is a benefit to all citizens who want to ensure a quality of living for generations to come.
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Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG)-and its community-was nominated and then thoroughly vetted by the Office of Economic Adjustment, looking for a good faith effort to collaborate on a community and installation investment of time, resource and subject matter expertise for the comprehensive project. Additionally, leadership buy in was paramount and commitment was required from the Garrison Commander, County Executives, and Commissioners to support the process and associated milestones.
The CSSC, through Harford County, made an application to secure funding for an independent consultant who, once awarded, conducted extensive interviews with organizational leadership, constructed mapping, and identified a playbook to address any issues for mitigation. Although the playbook is non-binding, it serves to guide both APG and adjacent communities in addressing compatible land use issues associated with growth. Public workshops and presentations were conducted in each participating jurisdiction to ensure public engagement in the process as well.
A Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) is not a requirement, but it is a powerful tool to assess installation and community in its compatible uses, address issues like encroachment, and can be a proactive measure to anticipate issues that could be impactful in future BRAC rounds. The Office of Economic Adjustment has been supportive of funding these efforts across dozens of installation communities nationwide. In fact, in addition to an APG-specific JLUS at our community level, the Maryland Department of Commerce Office of Military and Federal Affairs has conducted one from a statewide perspective that looks at compatibility across the defense communities with a particular focus on the five military installations that have completed a JLUS.