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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Forecasting and Mitigating Future Urban Encroachment Adjacent to California Military Installations: A Spatial Approach


California is home to 64 military facilities, more than any other state. All four military service branches, in addition to the US Coast Guard, operate facilities in California. More than half of California's military facilities are located within, at the edge of, or within a stone's throw of major metropolitan areas.

California is also home to more than 34 million people, most of whom live in metropolitan areas. By 2020, the California Department of Finance projects, California's population will grow to 45 million. If past trends continue, the majority of this growth will occur at the edges of existing metropolitan areas, nearby or adjacent to active military facilities.

Many military facilities conduct operations that extend beyond their perimeter boundaries and generate significant aircraft and artillery noise. As California's population grows, the number of people living near military facilities and impacted by facility operations will also grow.

Without some degree of forward planning to reconcile the space needs of California's growing population with the operational needs of the military, the encroachment of urban growth on California military installations may significantly compromise the presence, functions, and missions of the military in California.

This report provides information regarding the potential encroachment effects of projected population growth and urban development on California military installations. It also presents and evaluates alternative planning and policy approaches for dealing with current and projected encroachment issues. Finally, it develops a web-enabled spatial database for use by civilian land use planners and military operations planners in analyzing encroachment issues and undertaking future encroachment zone studies.

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