In addition to producing documents such as the 2010 JBLM Growth Coordination Plan (published Dec. 2010) and the JBLM Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) , the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership is also committed to bringing military and community members together on a regular basis to share information about current and future projects and to seek funding for infrastructure and other needed regional improvements.
The SSMCP and partners from the State of Washington, Pierce County, City of Lakewood, JBLM and the Department of Defense have completed work on the North Clear Zone Action and Implementation Plan (AIP). In April 2017 the City of Lakewood adopted Resolution No. 2017-09, authorizing the City to sign and execute a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for implementation of the AIP. In May 2017, the MOA was signed by all AIP partners. Now that the AIP is completed and the MOA is signed, the SSMCP and partners are transitioning to implementation of the AIP.
The AIP sets forth a phased strategy consisting of six actions and corresponding implementation steps designed to be carried out over the next 10-20 years to accomplish project objectives, while balancing benefits and costs among stakeholders. All of the actions are anticipated to begin in the short term (0-5 years).
- Changes to City of Lakewood Code and Administrative Processes
- Amortization Study
- Voluntary Property Acquisitions and Business Relocation
- Habitat Restoration and Preservation
- Woodbrook Land Exchange
- AIP Implementation Team
Please see the NCZ project brochure below for additional information on the AIP actions and implementation phases.
About the Project
A Clear Zone is a federally-designated, 3,000-by-3,000-foot safety area adjacent to the end of a runway. This area has the highest statistical possibility of aircraft accidents. Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense guidelines call for Clear Zones to be undeveloped and free of people and flight obstructions. This protects the public’s safety and the military’s ability to carry out its missions.
The North Clear Zone is located at the north end of the McChord Field runway. It is partly within JBLM and partly within the City of Lakewood. The part in Lakewood includes many buildings and business on privately-held properties. Based on federal safety guidelines, these uses are incompatible with runway operations and pose public and flight safety risks. At the same time, existing businesses operating in the North Clear Zone are an important part of the local, regional and State economy.
SSMCP recently completed the JBLM Joint Land Use Study (JLUS). One of the highest priority recommendations that came out of JLUS was to develop solutions for the North Clear Zone.
“The potential for accidents is so high [in the Clear Zone] that the land use restrictions necessary to ensure compatibility would prohibit reasonable economic use of the land. Therefore, it is DOD and USAF policy to own the land within the Clear Zone, or control the land through restrictive use easements.” — Air Force Instruction (AFI)32-7063, 18 DEC 2015, para. 3-9, p 24
- Ensure public and air safety
- Bring use of the North Clear Zone into Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense regulatory compliance
- Preserve JBLM “Mission Assurance”
- Implement the 2015 JBLM Joint Land Use Study
- Maintain full airfield operational capacity and capability
The North Clear Zone project is being conducted in four phases Phases 1-3 have been completed. They included 1) project startup, which began in summer 2017, 2) strategy analysis and cost estimates for voluntary property acquisition and business relocation, which were conducted between summer and winter 2016, and 3) development of the North Clear Zone Action Plan & Implementation Program and Memorandum of Agreement, which were finalized and adopted in spring 2017 following open houses with property owners and a Lakewood City Council study session and public comment period. The final phase, implementation, is currently underway and is anticipated to continue for the next 10-20 years. Most implementation actions will be led by project partners such as the City of Lakewood, Pierce County and JBLM. SSMCP will continue to be actively engaged, for instance by supporting formation and regular meetings of the AIP Implementation Task Force.
The Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Growth Coordination Plan (GCP ) is the product of partnerships formed to prepare for growth and change in the South Puget Sound region associated with the joint base.
The Coordination Plan has three intended uses: 1) To provide regional service providers with more information about JBLM population and employment they can use to better support military families in the region; 2) To provide JBLM and community providers with recommendations for leveraging the economic opportunities of base expansion and for providing adequate off-base support services; and 3) To provide public agencies with a consolidated document that provides supporting data for the opportunities and needs identified that can support future grant applications, and inform decision-makers of the urgency for implementation and benefits to both JBLM and the larger region.
This study area does not follow the geographic boundaries of any one entity, jurisdiction, or service agency, and is unique to the needs of those within it. JBLM representatives, Washington State, and community leaders from Pierce and Thurston counties, Lakewood, Tacoma, DuPont, Steilacoom, Lacey, Yelm, Roy, area School Districts, health and social service agencies, and nonprofit service providers in Pierce and Thurston counties participated in the development of this Plan.
This document represents a collective effort to assess the region’s ability to address the impacts of past and future JBLM growth and change. The intent of the Plan is to assist the communities in planning and preparing effectively to maintain and enhance the quality of life of the region as the installation grows in response to Base Realignment and Closure, Army Modular Force, and other Department of Defense initiatives.
The Joint Base Lewis-McChord 2010 Growth Coordination Plan (GCP) includes Six Core Recommendations:
- Formalize New Methods of Regional Collaboration
- Improve Access to Information
- Improve Access to Existing Services
- Promote JBLM as a Center of Regional Economic Significance
- Improve Support for Military Families
- Improve Regional Mobility
As issues are resolved or become obsolete and new issues arise, the SSMCP will supplement its work and move beyond the Growth Coordination Plan while relying on the relationships built while it was developed.
SSMCP Working Groups
The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership continues the work of the Growth Coordination Plan through Working Groups comprised of regional stakeholders and subject matter experts to (1) Assess the continuing relevance of the 2010 GCP recommendations and (2) Make recommendations to the Steering Committee for ongoing implementation and coordination. The groups present updated strategies and priorities to the SSMCP Steering Committee.
Chair: Tom Pierson, President and CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
K-12 Chair: Debbie LeBeau, Clover Park School District Superintendent
Higher Education Chair: Amy Ybarra, South Puget Sound Community College, Director of Financial Aid
Chair: Dr. Anthony Chen, Director of Health, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
Chair: Dona Ponepinto, President and CEO of United Way of Pierce County
Washington Department of Transportation: Steve Roark, Assistant Region Administrator for Construction
Pierce Transit: Alex Fastle, Government and Community Relations Officer
Thurston Regional Planning Council: Marc Daily, Executive Director
JLUS Implementation Task Force
Co-Chairs: Jeff Wilson, Director Planning, DuPont and Grant Beck Director Community Development, Yelm
If you would like to participate or provide information to any of the working groups, please contact SSMCP Program staff at (253) 983-7772.
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