Noise and airspace use were the top two issues local residents have with the region’s military presence — but the majority of people who responded to a recent survey about the relationship between the military bases in Colorado Springs and the larger community say they have no issues at all.

That’s the news from a Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments survey that was created to gauge the military-community partnerships and identify areas of strength and issues that need improvement. The survey, part of the Joint Land Use Study, was paid for by a grant from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment to conduct the study, which examines land-use issues related to military installations that are close to counties, cities and towns.

About 700 people responded to the survey which was open from April 8 to June 14.

Other common areas:

  • Most people believe the community and military work well together.
  • People approve of the military installation’s efforts to develop alternative energy sources.
  • Results validated issues heard in the community before: noise from training activities and stormwater runoff from military development.
  • A new issue: Keeping the New Santa Fe Trail open where it crosses Air Force Academy property.

As a result of the survey, the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments formed two working groups: one to address noise complaints at the Air Force Academy and one to discuss stormwater runoff at Monument Creek.

The USAFA working group started meeting in May. It’s goal is to develop workable strategies to meet the needs of both the Air Force Academy’s training schedule and local residents, while also improving communication between neighbors and the academy.

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The group hired a sound consultant to test noise from USAFA training flights, and results from the testing will be available this fall. In July, residents, developers and Realtors shared their perspectives about the flight training program and their experiences with residential development in areas that are in the flight path of the student pilots. In August, the group started working on strategy to come to a compromise between the residents and the academy.

The Monument Creek stormwater group is working with the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District. The Fountain Creek organization received money from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to investigate options to restore the watershed after extensive flooding in 2013, as well as issues stemming from Waldo Canyon and Black Forest wildfires.

The county, city, Air Force Academy and other municipalities are working on projects to mitigate flooding risk and maintain water levels in Monument Creek. The Joint Land Use Studies will use the outcome from the effort to craft stormwater strategies for the entire region — making sure that efforts with military installations and community groups are coordinated.