APA Federal Planning Division Outstanding Collaborative Planning Project Award, 2017

North Carolina is host to several military installations and facilities for each branch of the Armed Forces – Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, National Guard, and Coast Guard.  The State’s defense sector employs more than 416,000 people and accounts for more than $66 billion in annual economic impact, making this industry sector the second largest in the state.

Because the military footprint associated with operations necessary to ensuring global mission readiness covers a vast majority of the State’s geography – approximately 85 percent, the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission (NCMAC) selected Matrix Design Group to conduct a Statewide Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) with the aim of protecting and enhancing the State’s defense industry.

Working closely with the NCMAC, Matrix planners and military experts performed a thorough review of existing policies and regulations along with compatibility issues and identified for each installation, and then drafted a set of common goals and objectives.  From these, a set of recommendations was developed to encourage communication, data sharing, and compatible land use planning without overregulation.  A key recommendation was to Implement a statewide GIS database / mapping tool to improve understanding and enhance coordination between the military and jurisdictions, special interest groups, the development community, and the public.

Matrix conducted a robust engagement program to facilitate consensus-building and solutions across multiple branches of the military, local governments, communities, and stakeholders throughout the state.  The NC Statewide JLUS has become a catalyst for productive collaboration between divergent stakeholders who, prior to the project, did not have a relationship.  The JLUS has been instrumental in fostering communication, sound land use planning, and broad public awareness of the military’s economic value to the State.

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