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Charlotte NIMBYs File Suit Against Airport

Second Group Also Preparing Legal Action

NIMBYs living within a few miles of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina (KCLT) aren't messing around when it comes to protesting the disruptions to their lives caused by the opening of a fourth runway in February of last year. WSOC-TV reports that 48 of them have banded together, retained attorney Tommy Odom, and filed a lawsuit against the airport, seeking compensation for the impact on the values of their homes.

Odom tells the station, "The noise, the vibrations, the air quality and all of those things put together -- it causes serious disruptions in their life, and that results in the decrease of their property value."

The continued growth of the Charlotte area, now at over two million population, has led to increased traffic over the years. The metro has been a popular relocation destination for former residents of rust belt cities in the northeast, and its economy benefits from a location on the I-85 corridor.

WSOC reports some residents claim their property values have fallen as much as 25 percent due to the runway. But the station says it checked official records from the county tax assessor, and found the values of some of the properties involved have risen by as much as $30,000.

Vince Salazar, who lives in the affected area, tells the station the lawsuit is a waste of time. "They're a little loud, but not that loud," he says.

The South Charlotte News reports a second lawsuit is also being readied by attorney Will Terpening, who lives in an area not affect directly by the new runway, but which sees more airliners overhead as a result of a transition to GPS-optimized flight paths by the FAA. Terpening says homes as far as 20 miles from the airport are being subjected to increased noise levels, which he calls "a situation that affects tens of thousands of people."

Terpening says he plans to work pro bono for participants in his suit.

FMI: www.fairaircharlottetoday.com

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