About the Project

What is the Monterey Regional Compatible Use Study?

The Monterey Regional CUS is a collaborative planning effort among a variety of regional stakeholders to identify and address compatible use and communication with and around military installations in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties. The CUS is funded by a grant from the Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation and by contributions from the local CUS sponsor, the City of Monterey. The CUS effort can directly benefit both the military and surrounding region by:

  • Protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public and of military personnel;
  • Preserving long-term compatibility between military installations and the surrounding communities to support existing and future military operations;
  • Sustaining the economic vitality of local communities;
  • Enhancing communication and coordination between military installation and community officials and staff; and
  • Providing tools that support informed decision-making.

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 Study Area obtained from the Policy Working Group, Technical Working Group, 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 Study Area. The Monterey Regional CUS will use 26 compatibility factors to explore and identify existing and potential compatibility issues in the project Study Area.

Why is the CUS Important?

The CUS will help protect the economic engine generated by the various military installations in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties. The Department of Defense provides the following economic benefits to the region.

graphic showing three icons with the statistics 15,000+ local jobs, $1.4+ billion local payroll per year, and $2 billion economic impact per year

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

The primary goal of the CUS is to reduce potential land use and resource conflicts between the military installations in Monterey County, northern portions of San Luis Obispo County, and surrounding communities while accommodating and promoting new, compatible growth and economic development.

The objectives of the CUS are as follows:


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


Encouraging cooperative land use and resource planning among the military and surrounding communities to ensure compatible community growth and reduce operational impacts on lands within the project Study Area.


Providing a set of mutually-supported tools and policies through which local jurisdictions, agencies, the military, and other stakeholders can implement appropriate recommendations that are developed during the CUS.

What Will the Study Provide?

What Will the Study Provide? The CUS is an important tool for fostering better communication and building partnerships between the military installations and neighboring communities in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties. 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 Monterey Regional CUS will provide stakeholders with:

  • An assessment of existing land uses, potential growth areas, and economic development opportunities around military installations;
  • Information to assist surrounding communities in making informed decisions regarding compatibility; and
  • Mitigation strategies, for each compatibility issue identified in the region, 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 the military installations in Monterey County and in the surrounding communities to identify specific compatibility issues that exist or could occur in the future. A set of 26 compatibility factors will be evaluated during the CUS to identify specific compatibility issues. While all 26 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 project Study Area. The 26 compatibility factors are, for convenience, further organized in terms of three main types: social, resource, and development.

Air Quality

Anti-Terrorism/ Force Protection

Biological Resources

Communication / Coordination

Cultural Resources

Dust / Smoke / Steam

Energy Development

Frequency Spectrum Capacity

Frequency Spectrum Interference

Housing Availability

Infrastructure Extension

Land / Air Space Capacity

Land Use

Legislative Initiatives

Light & Glare



Public Services

Public Trespassing


Roadway Capacity


Scarce Natural Resources

Vertical Obstructions


Water Quality

What Will the Study Recommend?

The CUS 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 project Study Area, the recommendations will be developed by the project stakeholders to ensure tailored options that best meet each community’s needs. Once the CUS is completed, it is critical stakeholders move forward with implementing these recommendations. The CUS recommendations can generally be categorized into six 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.
Copyright Matrix Design Group, 2021
This study was prepared under contract with the City of Monterey, California, with financial support from the Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation. The content reflects the views of the key Compatible Use 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.