Northwest Florida Communities Looking for Ways to Mitigate Encroachment
A partnership between Eglin Air Force Base and Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa counties in Northwest Florida is evaluating potential growth conflicts that could interfere with training and other missions at the installation.
The Air Force is mainly concerned with development in flight paths and cruise missile corridors, Ken Little, growth project coordinator for the Okaloosa County Department of Growth Management, told the Crestview News Bulletin. Specific concerns include light that interferes with night training, tall structures and noise complaints.
The goal of the Tri-County Small Area Studies project, which is being prepared by Matrix Design Group, is to encourage communities to ensure their general plans call for compatible land uses in flight corridors and areas surrounding Eglin and neighboring Hurlburt Field.
“We want to do everything we can to keep it [the Air Force presence] here. When you consider not just what goes on within the base but all the defense contractors, and more importantly, all the people who work for those contractors and work on the base, it has a huge impact on our economy,” Little told the News Bulletin.