Civilian-Military Land Use Compatibility

Coordinated planning is critical to understanding community and military interests in a shared landscape.
Picture of people standing on naval vessel
U.S.S. John C. Stennis. Photo credit: Credit to A.P. Akre,

Washington State's Civilian-Military Coordination

Growth Management Services supports civilian-military communication in local planning as a critical means of identifying community and military interests in future land-use development. We recognize coordination as an essential part of planning for future land use in ways that balance local needs and military mission requirements. Our civilian-military compatibility resources offer technical assistance to local governments and consultation-support tools meant to inform ongoing coordination.

The Growth Management Act’s military-notification requirements

We promote ongoing civilian-military communication to help fulfill regulatory requirements and as a best practice for coordinated planning. Washington’s Growth Management Act (GMA) directs jurisdictions in the vicinity of a base to notify the military when the community intends to adopt or amend comprehensive plans and development regulations. The GMA states a priority to protect lands around military installations from development that would reduce the ability of personnel to fulfill mission requirements (RCW 36.70A.530). Development that is incompatible with this priority poses risks to operational efficiency as well as the safety of military personnel and the public.

Energy Projects Require Written Notice to the Defense Department

Energy developers and reviewers are advised to have early and ongoing consultation with the Department of Defense (DOD) throughout the development process to identify and plan around potential concerns associated with military operations and safety. Washington law also requires counties to provide the DOD with written notice for alternative-energy permit applications (RCW 35.63.270/RCW 35A.63.290/RCW 36.01.320 and WAC 365-16-475).

Contacts for early DOD consultation and energy-permit applications are:

Northwest Training Range Complex (NWTRC)
Kimberly Peacher
8730 N. Charles Porter Ave.
Oak Harbor, WA 98278-5000
Phone: 360-930-4085
Fax: 360-257-1852

United States Air Force Western Regional Environmental Office (AFCEE/RO-W)
50 Fremont Street, Room 2450
San Francisco, CA 94105-2236
Phone: 415-977-8884
Fax: 415-977-8900

DOD Siting Clearinghouse: To opt into a review process under the Office of the Secretary of Defense, visit

Compatible Energy Siting Assessment (CESA)

The Compatible Energy Siting Assessment (CESA) study focuses on offering informational resources to promote early and ongoing civilian-military consultation in energy siting. Commerce partnered with the State of Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) and the DOD to assess state energy trends, developers’ practices, community requirements, and military missions in Washington. The project results in tools and resources that encourage information-exchange between developers, permitting authorities, and military representatives across different phases of clean-energy development processes.

Study deliverables offer technical assistance and insights aimed at fostering communication where clean-energy and military operational areas overlap. Deliverables include:

Other Civilian-Military Compatibility Resources

Since 2015, Commerce has developed supportive resources for coordinated planning to help address the unique needs of areas around military bases and ranges: