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:
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:
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.
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).
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.
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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
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