What is the Sumter-Shaw AFB Joint Land Use Study?

The Sumter-Shaw Air Force Base (AFB) Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) was a cooperative planning effort conducted as a joint venture between Shaw AFB, including Poinsett Electronic Combat Range (ECR), the City of Sumter, Sumter County, and other affected stakeholders. The study was administered by the Sumter City-County Planning Commission and co-funded through a grant from the Department of Defense (DOD), Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). The effort was, in part, a follow-up to a JLUS for Shaw AFB completed in 1993 and a JLUS for the Poinsett ECR completed in 2002. The Sumter-Shaw AFB JLUS was completed in September 2016.

The Sumter-Shaw AFB JLUS aimed to benefit both the Air Force and the surrounding region by:

  • Preserving long-term land use compatibility between the installation, training range, and the surrounding communities;
  • Sustaining the operational mission of the Air Force in Sumter and Sumter County while protecting the quality of life of nearby residents and businesses;
  • Enhancing communication and coordination among local and regional stakeholders; and
  • Integrating the growth plans of the communities in the region with Air Force plans and mission operations.

What was the purpose of the JLUS?

The purpose of the JLUS was to identify means of promoting responsible land use near both Shaw AFB and Poinsett ECR, to accommodate compatible growth and economic development in the region, to protect public safety and quality of life, and to sustain the mission of the Air Force in Sumter and Sumter County for the long-term. The JLUS evaluated ways to enhance communication and coordination among local and regional stakeholders with the goal being to protect land use compatibility as both the community and the Air Force plan for the future. The JLUS does not result in changes to land use, zoning, or how a property owner may use their property, though it identified regulatory changes for the community to consider.

What did the JLUS address?

The Joint Land Use Study provided:

  • An assessment of existing land use conditions near both Shaw AFB and Poinsett ECR, to include potential perceived incompatible land uses;
  • An assessment of potential future civilian and military land use conditions, to include projected incompatible uses; and
  • Strategies to promote compatible land use planning around Shaw AFB and Poinsett ECR and the surrounding communities.

Compatible land use planning can be defined as the balance between the needs and interests of the community and the needs and interests of the Air Force installation and training range. In order to assess compatibility, the project team identified current or potential encroachment issues, which included noise, endangered species/critical habitat, safety/security, air or water quality, regional airspace management, energy development, and frequency spectrum interference, among other issues.

How long did the project take?

The Sumter-Shaw AFB JLUS was completed in September 2016. Implementation of any actions recommended in the JLUS, should the community wish to take that step, would follow completion of the study and would follow community-wide consideration and input and action by local decision-makers.

What lands outside of Shaw AFB and Poinsett ECR were included in the JLUS?

Shaw AFB is comprised of 3,363 acres of federally-owned land in the City of Sumter, and is located roughly eight image27miles west of downtown Sumter. Poinsett ECR is comprised of approximately 12,500 acres of federally-owned land in Sumter County, located roughly seven miles south of Shaw AFB. Please click here to see a map of the Sumter-Shaw AFB JLUS study area.

Who guided the development of the JLUS?

While the Sumter City-County Planning Commission acted as the fiscal agent and project manager for the Joint Land Use Study, the development of the JLUS was guided by two steering committees with input from the general public. The Policy Committee was composed of elected and public administrative officials representing jurisdictions in the study area and Air Force leadership. The Policy Committee was responsible for guiding the direction of the JLUS and for managing implementation actions. The Technical Advisory Committee was comprised of staff members from local governmental agencies, the Air Force, and other entities, and identified and addressed local land use matters, provided feedback on documents prepared by the consultants, and assisted the Policy Committee in the development and evaluation of implementation strategies and tools.

The project was overseen by the JLUS consulting team of White & Smith Planning and Law Group, Marstel-Day, LLC, and Benchmark Planning. This team has completed numerous JLUS projects around the country, including at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in 2015.

What were the opportunities for public input?

There were multiple opportunities for public input throughout the development of the JLUS. The project team held a number of public meetings to provide JLUS project updates and to seek input into the process and deliverables. The kickoff meeting was held on October 26th, 2015 where the project team introduced the Sumter-Shaw AFB JLUS, and attendees participated in a live-polling session. The second meeting was held on Monday, July 18, 2016 where the JLUS team briefed the public on their findings and received feedback on draft recommendations. The third and final public meeting was held September 12, 2016 where the Policy Committee’s recommended Joint Land Use Study for Shaw AFB and Poinsett ECR was presented and public comments and input on the report were received.

Also, the general public provided input through a public survey, the results of which provided the JLUS steering committees and project team insights into community attitudes regarding regional Air Force activities.

Finally, the public was able to provide input on the project through the Sumter-Shaw JLUS Facebook page, or by emailing us at the contact information provided below:

George K. McGregor, AICP
Planning Director/Project Manager
Sumter City-County Planning Department
12 W. Liberty Street
Sumter, SC 29150
(803) 774-1606