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Stones Ranch Military Reservation, Connecticut

Program: Compatible Use

Stones Ranch Military Reservation, Connecticut

East Lyme, Lyme and Old Lyme in Connecticut collaborated on land use study to better understand how to support the military mission at Stones Ranch Military Reservation.

The town of East Lyme served as the project sponsor and grantee for the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for the area surrounding Stones Ranch Military Reservation (SRMR).  The Towns of East Lyme, Lyme, and Old Lyme, and other affected stakeholders, participated in the study, completed in 2016.  The study area encompassed all operational areas for the installation, including Camp Niantic, as well as all lands in the vicinity whose use may impact current or future military operations or that might be impacted by those operations. 

The JLUS represents a community-driven planning process among SRMR and the surrounding communities to protect and ensure the continued viability of the operational and training mission of the SRMR and Camp Niantic; protect the public health, safety and general welfare, and quality of life; promote the economic viability of the communities; and foster continued communication among SRMR and the surrounding communities to address compatibility issues. Without effective coordination and a formal planning process, residential development to the east and southwest of SRMR is likely to have negative impacts on training operations.  The JLUS planning process benefits both the military installation and its supporting communities by identifying existing and future land use conflicts, and where mitigation strategies, ordinances, and future planning may counter possible civilian development that may impair continued military operations.

SRMR is located within the Towns of East Lyme, Old Lyme, and Lyme.  Growth along the installation's eastern boundary has increased the potential for accidents from military convoy operations through local neighborhoods.  The installation has placed restrictions on training to accommodate local noise and air quality concerns.  However, further restrictions would have a significant impact on the operational training utility of the installation.  Increased residential development may limit air operations as new homes in this area will likely fall within the Accident Potential Zones.  Adjacent to the base's southwestern boundary in Old Lyme, two parcels (33 and 500 acres) are approved for residential development.  Requirements for the installation to continue imposing similar training restrictions may result in negative impacts to continued military operations.

The JLUS planning effort produced three deliverables:

  • Joint Land Use Study final report to identify compatibility issues and recommend actions to address or mitigate the compatibility issues at SRMR;
  • JLUS Background Report providing the technical background and detailed assessment of the compatibility factors and issues identified as part of the JLUS project; and
  • Executive Summary of the Report.

The JLUS included a recommendation for the participating towns to establish a SRMR Military Compatibility Area Overlay District to minimize exposure of community development to noise impact areas and promote compatible development within helicopter flight routes and safety areas, including the Clear Zones and Accident Potential Zones.  Other recommendations pertained to anti-terrorism/force protection, coordination/communication, infrastructure extensions, land use and noise.

Point of Contact:

Gary A. Goeschel

Director of Planning

Town of East Lyme

(860) 691-4105

Program: Compatible Use

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