Civilian-Military Land Use Compatibility
Washington State's Civilian-Military 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)
8730 N. Charles Porter Ave.
Oak Harbor, WA 98278-5000
United States Air Force Western Regional Environmental Office (AFCEE/RO-W)
50 Fremont Street, Room 2450
San Francisco, CA 94105-2236
DOD Siting Clearinghouse: To opt into a review process under the Office of the Secretary of Defense, visit www.acq.osd.mil/dodsc/
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:
- The 2022 Compatible Energy Siting Assessment (PDF) which documents the study’s review of military missions, energy trends, siting practices, and permitting processes.
- The 2022 CESA Map Tool (Prototype) and supporting documents that explore how mapping can support site-specific consultation.
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:
- The 2019 Washington State Guidebook on Military and Community Compatibility (PDF) – A reference for compatibility planning practices for civilian and military members of the statewide community.
- The Defense Community Compatibility Account (DCCA) page details a grant program and legislative report that the Legislature initiated to support local compatibility projects, Substitute Senate Bill 5748 (PDF).
- The Compatible Energy Siting Assessment (CESA) – A project promoting consultation between energy project developers, proponents, reviewing/permitting entities, and the military throughout the development process.
- 2016 legislative report, Civilian-Military Land Use Study (PDF), prepared by TSG.
- Defense Industry Adjustment Program
Governor’s Smart Communities Awards Program
GMA Laws and Rules
GMA Periodic Update
Growth Management Grants
Growth Management Topics
Guidebooks and Resources
Defense Community Compatibility
Regional Planners’ Forums
Short Course on Local Planning
Submitting Materials to the State for Review
To receive program announcements, subscribe to the Civilian-Military Compatibility email list.
For media inquiries, contact Penny Thomas, Media Relations Manager at 206-256-6106.