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Alternative land uses can range from new mixed-use communities and regional business centers to college campuses and regional parks, such as those planned for the former El Toro base. Alternative-reuse plans typically are evaluated based how well they correspond to the community vision, how they fit with job-creation needs, tax revenue, open space, market realities and infrastructure costs.
Funding and support for reuse
Base-reuse never comes cheap and easy. Major costs include planning and site assessment, necessary demolition and remediation, infrastructure repair and development, and addition of other necessary public improvements. Most bases have environmental issues to consider when evaluating the location for new facilities, such as offices, schools and housing.
Gaining support for base reuse also has its challenges. It is possible to overcome potential roadblocks with a thoughtful, strategic approach to the approval, planning and development processes.
Building political and public support for base-reuse projects is critical because opposition can be substantial. Building consensus doesn’t mean everyone has to agree on the specifics of a plan. But building community support for the general direction of the plan is essential. Community-members’ input is necessary, and they often provide great ideas about reuse alternatives.
Successful base-reuse projects come from a collaborative approach that incorporates multiple planning tools, an understanding of the local market, stakeholder involvement and a defined community vision. If planned and developed correctly, these former bases can become viable communities that benefit local governments and residents.
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