Home » Departments » Planning & Community Development » Regional Planning » Joint Base Cape Cod (Massachusetts Military Reservation)
Cape Cod Commission Logo

    Joint Base Cape Cod (Massachusetts Military Reservation)


    The Cape Cod Commission, as the regional land use planning agency for Barnstable County (encompassing all of Cape Cod), has been involved since its inception with land use planning, environmental protection, and economic development work related to the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR), now known as Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC), a military installation encompassing about 21,000 acres (approximately 30 square miles) on what is known as the "Upper Cape," the area closest to the Cape Cod Canal. Parts of the installation are in the towns of Bourne, Mashpee, and Sandwich, and the installation abuts the town of Falmouth. The installation hosts the Massachusetts Air National Guard's Otis Air National Guard Base, the US Coast Guard's Air Station Cape Cod, the Veterans Administration Cemetery, the US Air Force's Cape Cod Air Force Station, and the Massachusetts Army National Guard's Camp Edwards.

    The Cape Cod Commission's staff participates on an ongoing basis on technical and community advisory councils of Joint Base Cape Cod and helps prepare plans and studies, including the following:

    Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) Update, 2012–2013

    In 1985, the US Department of Defense (DoD) initiated the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) program, a cooperative land use planning effort between military installations and surrounding communities. One goal of the program is to preserve the sustainability of the mission by ensuring that future community growth and development are compatible with the training or operational missions of the installation. Dialogue between communities and the military service also can result in ways to reduce the operational impacts of military installations on adjacent land. The Cape Cod Commission prepared the first JLUS for the MMR (now known as Joint Base Cape Cod) in 2005; see below.

    In 2012, the DoD approved the pursuit of an update to the 2005 JLUS to reflect post-BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) changes, current and future military plans, and projects in the communities surrounding the base. The Cape Cod Commission has again been retained to produce the JLUS update, working with the military and the four Upper Cape towns. The goals of the study are:

    1. to develop recommendations to mitigate possible negative impacts of development on and off the base to the military missions and the communities;
    2. to identify resource-sharing opportunities and efficiences; and,
    3. to build on and strengthen the dialogue that exists between the MMR and its neighbors.

    Areas for study in the JLUS Update will include existing and future land use, general communication and coordination, alternative energy development, noise, and shared civilian-military public and municipal services.


    MMR Joint Land Use Study area (2005)Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), 2005

    The Cape Cod Commission prepared the 2005 Joint Land Use Study through a grant provided by the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment, with in-kind support from the towns of Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, and Sandwich. The study resulted in recommendations regarding land use restrictions, land acquisition, water supply and wastewater infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, personal wireless communications facilities, base access, air safety, and noise. Many of the recommendations have been implemented by the Upper Cape towns and the MMR (now known as Joint Base Cape Cod).


    Historical/Background Information about the MMR:


    MMR Master Plan, 1998

    In 1997 and 1998, the Cape Cod Commission played a pivotal role in fostering a land use vision for the future of the MMR (now known as Joint Base Cape Cod). The Commission received a grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs to develop a master plan for the MMR, working through a specially appointed, 22-member "Community Working Group." The group included representatives from the four towns surrounding the MMR, several state environmental and regulatory agencies, two branches of the Massachusetts National Guard, the US Coast Guard, the US Congress, the Massachusetts Legislature, and numerous citizens and consulting groups. The year-long process achieved consensus on the long-range military and civilian uses of the MMR and resulted in a report that detailed a future land use plan, an analysis of the capacity limits of the natural resources and infrastructure of the base and surrounding area, a plan for future water supply, and a plan for open space. The process identified and guarded the most important land use opportunity: regional water supply. Following release of the report, then-Massachusetts Governor A. Paul Cellucci ultimately designated about 15,000 acres of the MMR as a water supply and wildlife reserve.

    » Link to the web site of

    Joint Base Cape Cod

    » See also the Cape Cod Commission Water Resources Department's Joint Base Cape Cod (Massachusetts Military Reservation) web page



    CCC Staff Contact:

    Sharon Rooney
    Chief Planner


    JLUS Policy Committee:

    The members of the Joint Base Cape Cod (formerly MMR) Military-Civilian Community Council will serve as the Policy Committee for the JLUS Update. The council includes representatives from the four Upper Cape towns, base commanders, and other key stakeholder groups, such as the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and the Association to Preserve Cape Cod.

    » Download the list of members


    JLUS Technical Advisory Committee:

    Town and regional planners and Joint Base Cape Cod (formerly MMR) operations personnel comprise the Technical Advisory Committee for the JLUS Update.

    » Download the list of members


    NEW!  JBCC Communications Plan, Request for Information

    In support of the Upper Cape communities and Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC), the Cape Cod Commission is seeking information on how an interested contractor could develop and/or modify tools and procedures to standardize and improve communication and coordination between the military installation and surrounding jurisdictions across a wide range of subjects and where appropriate to propose different, more proactive and modern tools and mechanisms to achieve effective military-civilian communication and coordination.
    THIS IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) ONLY. This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes – it does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP) or a promise to issue an RFP in the future.
    Questions regarding this announcement shall be submitted in writing no later than March 31, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. to:
    Sharon Rooney, Chief Planner Cape Cod Commission
    P.O. Box 226 3225 Main Street
    Barnstable, MA 02630
    Email to: srooney@capecodcommission.org
    Verbal questions will not be accepted.
    Ornamental banner for bottom of page