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"Airport Land Use: Subdivision near airport is denied"
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 11:23:13 -0500
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Subdivision near airport is denied
REDLANDS: Planning commissioners feared more noise complaints. The builder
By NAOMI KRESGE
The Riverside (CA) Press-Enterprise
REDLANDS - City planning commissioners moved Tuesday to protect Redlands
Municipal Airport from development pressure.
Responding to airport advocates, the commission voted 5-0 against an 81-home
subdivision it deemed too close to the airport.
The Walton Development project would have built on about 42 acres between
Pioneer and San Bernardino avenues at Judson Street, south of the 180-acre
The project has been delayed since June, when the commission signed off on
the environmental paperwork but questioned the sense of building homes so
close to the flight path of airplanes and helicopters.
"The airport is a valuable asset that we have to protect," Commissioner Paul
Commissioner Caroline Laymon recused herself from voting and Commissioner
Gary Miller was absent.
Walton representative Everett Hughes said after the meeting that the
developer would appeal to the City Council. Walton has argued from the
beginning that it followed city rules when it applied to build the
subdivision, but that the city changed its rules after pressure from airport
Pilots and airport boosters prize Redlands Municipal in part because it
allows flights around the clock, and fear that having more residents in the
area will lead to more noise complaints and ultimately to flight
Attempting to bolster its case, Walton took the unusual step of petitioning
the commission several times directly by letter and sending leaflets to
residents around the airport.
The airport neighbors responded by peppering the city with complaints about
noise, something Thompson said made him believe it would be a bad idea to
build more houses near the airport.
In the area now are new subdivisions juxtaposed with open fields and narrow
roads lined with old cut-stone walls.
The Walton plan was one of several subdivisions proposed after changes in
planning rules in 2003 to allow a sports park opened more land to
But by last spring, when the Walton plan was ready for its first commission
hearing, the city had been worrying for months about the effect that so much
residential development could have on the airport.
Officials began considering tightening development rules again.
"We really ended up kind of in a big mess and need to back off," Planning
Commission Chairman George Webber said.
Now officials are working on a long-term plan for the airport. They want to
use it to write rules for what can be built around the airport.
The council is expected to consider a temporary ban on residential
development near the airport, which if extended could put development in the
area on hold for up to two years.
Post your opinion on this story in the CAA General Aviation Forum
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