A local committee has hired a consultant to help implement recommendations made in its study, which address the growth of Cannon Air Force Base and how it affects surrounding communities.
The goal of the Joint Land Use Study Committee is to identify areas where land use conflicts exist including noise, wind turbines and light, while suggesting solutions to these issues.
JLUS Committee member and Curry County Commissioner Wendell Bostwick said those are a few issues they will discuss with the consultant this month in an effort to minimize land use conflicts with Cannon.
“We’ll look at light reflections, whether it be from a high school football field or a dairy to see how those issues affect (Cannon’s) trainings,” said Bostwick as an example.
According to the study, the recommendation to address light issues is to consider initiating a light and glare working group to evaluate appropriate lighting standards to protect military operations from the impacts of light and glare.
“The recommendations presented in the JLUS are a result of public meetings, technical and policy committee meetings and an effort to assess the existing effects of those installations on surrounding communities and vise versa,” said Claire Burroughes, legislative and community development director of Clovis.
The study was funded by the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment and members of Cannon reviewed and agreed with the study’s recommendation.
“The goal of the study was to reduce any potential conflict while accommodating the growth of Cannon and sustaining the economic health of the region,” Burroughes said.
Burroughes said additional goals of the study include protecting public health and safety and protecting private property in the study’s area, which includes the area around the Melrose bombing range and Curry and Roosevelt counties.
The JLUS Committee is a sub-committee of the Local Growth Management Committee.
The LGMC approved a near $105,000 proposal for the land use consultant.
The city of Portales is the fiscal agent for the grant from the Economic Office of Adjustment, according to Burroughes.
Bostwick said that in another effort to improve community relations with Cannon, a meeting will be held with Cannon’s Wing Commander Col. Buck Elton on Jan. 28 to address wind energy.
“There’s been some concept out there that Cannon is opposed to wind generators but that’s not necessarily true,” Bostwick said.
The meeting will give land owners and other concerned citizens in Curry and Roosevelt counties an opportunity to ask questions regarding the construction of wind farms.
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