Joint Land Use Study (JLUS)


Encroachment around military airfields is a primary reason for base closure. Florida witnessed the loss of NAS Cecil Field, the Naval Depot at NAS Pensacola as well as other large military missions within the state. Based on Joint Land Use Recommendations, Santa Rosa County has taken a proactive approach and has partnered with our military communities and other agencies to develop strategies that protect the installations from encroachment, incompatible development and other activities that might hamper the successful completion of the military mission. We have implemented rules and regulations that protect both the local citizens of Santa Rosa County and fulfill the requirements necessary to sustain military operational requirements.

Actions to protect our military installations include:

  1. Direct purchase.
  2. Apply to public land trusts such as Florida Forever to acquire lands.
  3. Using agricultural conservation easements.
  4. Using Zoning Controls to control development.


  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Florida Division of Forestry
  • Florida Forever
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Northwest Florida Water Management District
  • Santa Rosa County
  • Team Santa Rosa
  • Various other State Agencies


What have we accomplished?

  1. Clear Creek/Whiting Field project added to Florida Forever Acquisition List. Acquisition of development easements and/or properties is an on going effort as funding becomes available. 
  2. To date, Santa Rosa County has acquired approximately 637.52 acres through direct purchase. Protective easements have been acquired on an additional 300 acres.
    Yellow River Rivines project added to Florida Forever Acquisition List. Acquisitions have been made by the Nature Conservancy and are transferred to the State as funding becomes available.
  3. Off Road Vehicle Park accepted as project with the Division of Forestry; design phase in progress; efforts for additional funding are on-going.
  4. Limited access use agreement approved by U.S. Navy with Santa Rosa County enabling runway access allowing for future economic development of the Whiting Aviation Park.

What’s Next?

Prioritization of acquisition is determined by the Navy based upon:

  1. Location - Clear Zones and Accident Potential Zones are the Navy’s highest priority.
  2. Willing Seller - Is the property owner even willing to negotiate and at acceptable selling terms?
  3. Land Use - Is there a potential for a conflicting land use?
  4. Partnership Priorities

The U.S. Navy Real Estate personnel coordinate with the Santa Rosa County attorney in regards to local easements or direct purchases. The partners coordinate directly with the U.S. Navy about lands they would like to acquire.