A Sustainability Plan is a collaborative study conducted by the regional commission, the military installation, local municipalities, federal officials, and residents to identify compatible land uses and growth management guidelines near the installation. The process encourages the local community and the installation to act as a team in order to prevent or limit any encroachment issues caused by future mission expansion or local growth.
Robins AFB has been in Houston County since 1941. The 6,935-acre facility is home to 54 mission partners and has a 23,405 civilian, member, and contractor workforce. It contains one of Georgia’s longest runways and averages approximately 23,000 flight operations a year. The installation is also home to 141 warehouses, 141 shops/hangars, 107 administrative buildings, and 11 other facilities. Robins has an approximate annual impact of $3.54 billion dollars on the surrounding community.
Need for a Plan
The last effort of this kind for Robins AFB was a Joint Land Use Study done in 2004. While the mission footprint for Robins AFB has not changed in the past 17 years, growth and development within the surrounding communities has lead to a needed update to the 2004 Study.
How it is conducted
The 2022 Sustainability Plan will provide information including uses on base and off; a compatibility analysis; a set of recommendations for improving compatibility, and a detailed implementation plan. The plan will identify existing and potential threats to the installation related to encroachment, transportation, infrastructure, operations, economic and community development, and the environment and cultural resources. The analysis is aimed at finding a balance or compromise between military and community needs sot that both can grow effectively.
The community plays a crucial role in the drafting of the study. Community input provides varying perspectives and differing opinions to ensure that the plan is well rounded and encompasses the community. In order to effectively gather input, a variety of public engagement opportunities will be provided throughout the process. Engagement opportunities could include the following:
- Public Workshops
- Stakeholder Interviews
- Project Handouts
- Project Website
Result of the Plan
A set of recommendations for both the military and local government stakeholders will be created to promote compatible development, increase base security, and build relationships between the installation and the surrounding communities. The proposed recommendations and guidelines will reduce potential conflicts between the military installation and surrounding areas while accommodating new growth and economic development, sustaining economic vitality, protecting public health and safety, and protecting the operational missions of the Installation.
Lastly, the Sustainability Plan will use the recommendations to create an implementation plan. A list of recommendations will be provided for each jurisdiction within the Study Area, so that all jurisdictions know which recommendations apply to them. Within this list, the recommendations are divided into type (i.e., collaboration and coordination, studies, etc.). The implementation plan is intended to provide a strategy to implement the recommendations, identify the key parties responsible, the time frame, and the estimated costs. Implementation is the key to the process that promotes compatibility and defends against encroachment.