Escambia County and the U.S. Navy will host two joint workshops concerning updates to the Air Installation Compatible Use Zone maps.
Escambia County Press Release:
The Escambia County Development Services Department, along with the U.S. Navy, will hold two public workshops regarding updating the county’s Air Installation Compatible Use Zone maps. Single-family homes on recorded parcels are not in jeopardy, but there may be changes to allowed uses and densities that would impact future uses of the land.
Residents are encouraged to attend one of the workshops taking place on Monday, Oct. 10 and 17 at Pensacola State College’s Warrington Campus, 5555 W. Highway 98. The workshops will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the McMillian Room (3728, 3729, 3730).
The Navy first requested Escambia County adopt the AICUZ Study for NAS Pensacola and NOLF Saufley in 2010. At the time of the study Saufley was still considered an active airfield. The Navy has since removed Saufley from air operations, and the county is removing all references to Saufley in our Land Development Code and Comprehensive Plan.
Escambia County attempted to adopt these maps in 2011, however, the board of county commissioners had concerns regarding the expanded density restrictions, and the project was put on hold. The majority of new restriction areas at that time were around Saufley Field, but that is no longer a concern. Commissioner Doug Underhill has led the way in revisiting this project, as the vast majority of affected parcels are in District 2.
For questions about these meetings, contact Escambia County Development Services at (850) 595-3475.
About the Air Installation Compatible Use Zone Program
Historically, military bases were established in rural areas of the country. However, over time, many of these areas have experienced associated population growth and increased development in close proximity to the military installation. This growth can be seen immediately outside facility fence lines as well as throughout the surrounding areas, and the developments primarily take the form of new housing and commercial sites. New homes are constructed close to the installation to allow both military and civilian personnel to live near their employer. Similarly, businesses are established near the facility to take advantage of the large workforce that becomes a strong consumer base for goods and services.
As the number of residences, commercial developments and other land uses around the military installations rise, the potential for the establishment of incompatible land uses can also increase. If the growth of a community is not controlled by local government through the use of comprehensive zoning and land use planning that takes the operational activities of a military airfield into account, both the mission of the military field and the well-being of the community can be adversely impacted.
The United States Department of Defense initiated the Air Installations Compatible Use Zones Program to help governmental entities and communities anticipate, identify and promote compatible land use and development near military installations. The goal of this program is to protect the health, safety and welfare of those living or working near military air installations, as well as protect the military operational capabilities of the air station. This is achieved by promoting compatible land use patterns and activities in the vicinity of a military installation.
The AICUZ Program recommends that noise levels, Accident Potential Zones and flight clearance requirements associated with military airfield operations be incorporated into local community planning programs in order to maintain the airfield’s operational requirements while minimizing the impact to residents in the surrounding community. Mutual cooperation between military airfield planners and community-based counterparts serves to increase public awareness of the importance of air installations and the need to address mission requirements and associated noise and risk factors. As the communities that surround airfields grow and develop, the Navy has the responsibility to communicate and collaborate with local government on land use planning, zoning and similar matters that could affect the installations’ operations or missions