Joint-Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) is seeking feedback from the public on a variety of issues to update its Growth Coordination Plan (GCP), first published in 2010.
JBLM is the fourth-largest military base in the United States. It is conducting the study with the help of the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP) and covers areas such as education, transportation, housing, land use, safety, and social services.
The GCP looks at all the aspects of the community within JBLM and Camp Murray, including the overall wellbeing of its personnel and their families. The researchers state that “strong, supportive communities surrounding the base enhance the quality of life of military personnel and their families by providing quality neighborhoods, schools, recreation opportunities, and other services.”
In turn, neighboring communities also benefit from JBLM as it contributes to the enhancement of the region’s economic activities. With this, JBLM is seeking community feedback, not just those living within Camp Murray but also includes residents in the South Puget Sound region.
Residents are encouraged to fill out the JBLM online survey to provide insight and community feedback. The staff recognized that public comments are necessary as it gives off information and expertise that only stakeholders can provide.
The online survey is available until Wednesday, August 11.
In addition, JBLM also held an online open house last Monday, June 26. During the open house, the staff discussed several issues that the growth plan can improve on.
One of the most important issues that the plan needs to address is the lack of child care services within the base. Staff noted that some childcare providers have a waiting list of up to two months to two years.
Housing also remains one of the major issues for families within the JBLM community. Staff claims that cost and attainability contribute to a shortage of available housing. They noted that some families have also opted to move South to Thurston County in search of better housing options.
For its project timeline, the staff plans to use the community feedback to draft recommendations for the GCP. They are targeting to implement the plan by Spring 2022.