About the Joint Land Use Study
A Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) is a collaborative land use planning effort between military installations, affected land use planning authorities and regional governments. The JLUS Program is administered by the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). This JLUS was funded by OEA, the Mid-Region Council of Governments of New Mexico (MRCOG) and the County of Bernalillo.
The JLUS program encourages "cooperative land use planning between military installations and the surrounding communities so that future community growth and development are compatible with the training and operational missions of the installations, and to seek ways to reduce the operational impacts on adjacent land."
A JLUS is a best-faith effort by the community and military installation to compile, analyze and use data, stated requirements and desires for community development to achieve the common goal of planning a compatible future.
During the past several decades, the Albuquerque region has experienced robust growth that is anticipated to continue. As a consequence, the once isolated Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB) and Albuquerque International Sunport (Sunport) are now adjacent to vibrant community businesses and residences and/or potentially valuable development lands. Given the many land use jurisdictions impacted by activities at Kirtland AFB and the Sunport, the JLUS process allows a comprehensive and collective approach to future regional planning while coordinating individual land use concerns and desires of individual jurisdictions.
The sustainability and long-term viability of Kirtland AFB, the Sunport and the Albuquerque metro area are largely dependent upon each other.In effect, the installation, Sunport and Albuquerque metropolitan area constitute a "virtual ecosystem" that serves the economic and community needs of a large region. One constant of military installations, aviation activities and communities is change, and the JLUS can be used to manage these changes.
The primary JLUS Program goal is: to develop a set of recommendations -- through close collaboration between military installations and affected local land use and governmental entities -- that "present a rationale and justification, and provide a policy framework to support adoption and implementation of compatible development measures designed to prevent urban encroachment; safeguard the military mission; and protect the public health, safety, and welfare."
The Kirtland AFB JLUS has the following goals:
- Complete a comprehensive economic analysis of Kirtland AFB and its activities.
- A comprehensive analysis of issues identified by regional stakeholders and interested citizens.
- Develop recommendations that protect the health, safety and welfare of communities.
- Identify land use opportunities and implications from the existing transportation network or plans impacting, or impacted by Kirtland AFB or Sunport operations.
- Identify regulatory and policy actions to balance sustainment of military and federal agency missions, operations of the Sunport and the region's future needs and land use vision.
- Strengthen relationships between MRCOG and its members, Kirtland AFB, the Sunport and the region.
The majority of JLUS efforts focus on "an" installation and relatively homogeneous region; this is not the case for the Kirtland AFB JLUS that must address a complex and unique set of circumstances. Representative examples of the region's complexity include: a large number of stakeholders with varying perspectives, visions and goals, as well as operating and political autonomy; Native American tribal interests that require appropriate, government-to-government relationships; a significant number of sensitive and/or national security missions with special requirements; a unique airfield relationship between the Sunport and Kirtland AFB; the desire for an in-depth understanding of the economic impacts of the Sunport and Kirtland AFB - and the ability to clearly communicate that impact to the region's citizens; an expectation the JLUS will enable - not inhibit - land uses in the region; the need to create consensus throughout the process since no single, regional jurisdiction can mandate recommendations implementation; and the desire to develop recommendations that address transportation issues critical to the region, Sunport and Kirtland AFB.
Kirtland AFB occupies slightly over 80 square miles; provides approximately 34,750 direct, indirect and induced jobs; contributes more than $4.4 billion annually to the regional economy; represents the largest employment entity in the region and is a critical economic contributor. The majority of people who work on Kirtland AFB live, shop, attend school, worship and recreate in the Albuquerque region. Similarly, the Sunport provides approximately 8,000 jobs and contributes in excess of $1.4 billion annually to the region's economy. Employment and spending of Kirtland AFB and the Sunport account for one in every nine regional jobs and 17.5% of all regional wages or salaries.
The JLUS was guided by two committees - the JLUS Advisory Committee (AC) and JLUS Technical Committee (TC). Both committees were established at the beginning of the project to provide guidance and input on policy issues; provide overall direction to the process and review study findings and recommendations. Committee members were identified by MRCOG, Kirtland AFB, the Sunport, elected officials and community leaders. The committees included Federal, State, county and community organizations and agencies, as well as Native American; academic, business and community development representatives.
The JLUS process was designed to create a regional, community-based plan to strengthen relationships, build consensus and gain support from the many stakeholders including public and private land owners, residents, elected officials, the many Kirtland AFB associated units, neighboring educational institutions and surrounding tribal governments.
To achieve the Advisory Committee's objectives for public participation, an outreach process was developed to include a variety of opportunities for interested regional residents and stakeholders to provide input for the study. It included interviews of over 80 representatives of a five-county area and face-to-face meetings with key stakeholders including Kirtland AFB, Pueblo of Isleta, Bernalillo County, Mesa del Sol and both the former and current City of Albuquerque Administrations. Additionally, a web-based public survey was developed and the input received from 1,362 respondents was incorporated in the JLUS analysis.