About the Project

What is a Compatibility Area Study?

A compatibility area study is a cooperative planning effort between military installations and surrounding communities, state and federal agencies, and other affected stakeholders. The study addresses compatible land use and communication with military missions. The WTM Compatibility Area Study is funded by a grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation and contributions by the project sponsor, the Mountainland Association of Governments. This Compatibility Area Study can directly benefit both the military and surrounding region by:

  • Protecting the health, safety, and welfare of surrounding residents and workers;

  • Preserving long-term land use compatibility between Camp Williams and the surrounding communities, which supports existing and potential future missions for the installation;

  • Sustaining economic vitality of the communities;

  • Enhancing communication and coordination between Camp Williams and community officials and residents; and

  • Providing tools to assist in land use decisions.

What is Compatibility?

Compatibility, in relation to military readiness, is the balance and/or compromise between community and military needs and interests. The goal of compatibility planning is to cultivate an environment in which both entities can coexist successfully. Existing conditions data for the project Planning Area obtained from the Policy Committee, Technical Committee, other stakeholders, and the public will be assessed to identify current and potential future compatibility issues. This assessment will also identify the influence of regulatory measures on land use decisions and consider the impacts of existing and projected development trends within the project Planning Area. 25 compatibility factors will be used during the West Traverse Mountain Compatibility Area Study to explore and identify existing and potential compatibility issues in the project Planning Area.

What Is the Goal and What Are the Objectives of the Compatibility Area Study?

The goal of the WTM Compatibility Area Study is to reduce and/or mitigate potential land use conflicts between Camp Williams and surrounding communities while still accommodating and promoting new compatible growth and economic development.

The following are the objectives of the Compatibility Area Study.


Bring together community and military representatives to discuss compatibility issues in an open forum that considers both community and military perspectives and needs.


Encourage cooperative land use and resource planning among the military and surrounding communities to ensure compatible community growth while reducing military operational impacts on lands within the Planning Area.


Create a set of mutually-supported tools and procedures that local jurisdictions, agencies, the military, and other stakeholders can utilize to implement appropriate recommendations that are developed during the project.

What Will the Study Provide?

The Study is an important tool for fostering better communication and building partnerships between the Camp Williams and neighboring communities. The study provides a body of information for all stakeholders to learn about local growth trends and military operations and how the two can impact each other. The Study will provide stakeholders with:

  • An assessment of existing land uses, potential growth areas, and economic development opportunities around Camp Williams;

  • Information to assist surrounding communities in making informed decisions regarding compatibility; and

  • Mitigation strategies, for each compatibility issue identified, that promote compatible land use planning around military installations and within the surrounding communities.

What Are the Compatibility Factors?

Compatibility factors are overarching categories of variables that often create or result in a range of compatibility issues between military installations and surrounding communities. The compatibility factors are used to organize the evaluation of land use and other activities occurring at Camp Williams and in the surrounding communities. This evaluation is used to identify specific compatibility issues that exist or could occur in the future. A set of 25 compatibility factors will be evaluated during the project to identify specific compatibility issues. While all 25 factors will be used in the initial assessment, issues relating to each factor may not be identified in this region. Strategies for mitigating incompatible activities and for ensuring future compatibility will only be developed for issues shown to be of concern in the Planning Area.

The 25 compatibility factors are, for convenience, further organized in terms of three main types: social, resource, and development. The 25 compatibility factors are shown below and are organized by their factor types.

Air Quality

Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection

Biological Resources

Communication/ Coordination

Cultural Resources


Energy Development

Frequency Spectrum Capacity

Frequency Spectrum Impedance/Interference

Housing Availability

Infrastructure Extension

Land/Air Space Competition

Land Use

Legislative Initiatives

Light and Glare


Public Services

Public Trespassing


Roadway Capacity


Scarce Natural Resources

Vertical Obstructions


Water Quality/Quantity

What Will the Study Recommend?

The Compatibility Area Study will include recommendations that stakeholders can implement to address identified compatibility issues and to guide compatible development in the future. In recognizing a one-size-fits-all approach will not be appropriate for the entire Planning Area, the recommendations will be developed by the project stakeholders to ensure tailored options that best meet each community’s needs. Once the project is completed, it is critical stakeholders move forward with implementing these recommendations. The Compatibility Area Study recommendations can generally be categorized into six groups or types of strategies:







Most compatibility issues can be addressed through nonregulatory strategies that promote enhanced communication, collaboration, and education, but some recommendations may involve amendments to community general plans and/or land use controls, such as zoning, subdivision regulations, and building codes.

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Copyright Matrix Design Group, 2022

This study was prepared under contract with the Mountainland Association of Governments with financial support from the Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation. The content reflects the views of the key Compatibility Area Study partners involved in the development of this study and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation.