Thu, Jul 15, 2004
AOPA Fights Residential Development At Long Beach Airport
AOPA has launched
another salvo in the ongoing battle to protect Long Beach Daugherty
Field (LGB) from an incompatible housing development. In letters to
the Long Beach Economic Development Commission and Airport Advisory
Commission, AOPA said no safety review had been conducted of the
Southern California development.
"We remain opposed to high-density residential development in
the proposed Douglas Park," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of
Airports. "Residential development directly adjacent to an active
airport simply is a noncompatible use of land."
AOPA President Phil Boyer spoke to Long Beach Mayor Beverly
O'Neill on Monday, prior to sending the letter. "The mayor seemed
to understand our concerns and indicated to me these were not the
first she had heard on this side of the issue," said Boyer. "The
impression left me with, however, was that her strong desire in her
third term to continue an aggressive economic development stance
overshadows our concerns for safety and long-term airport
This issue has been brewing for years, and this isn't the first
time AOPA has weighed in on development proposals around the busy
airport. Noise complaints are an ongoing issue and were the subject
of a lawsuit in 1987. Earlier this year, the Long Beach Airport
Association formally joined the ranks of those opposing plans to
build 3,900 housing units on airport property. They called it
"sheer folly" in terms of safety and noise.
AOPA's most recent letter pointed out that the Los Angeles
County Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) review of the proposal
considered only noise. But it didn't go by the current standards
published in California's Airport Land Use Planning Handbook, which
requires review of runway protection zones, runway safety areas,
and obstacle-free zones.
"In short, no safety-related review was conducted," said Dunn.
"And adding more homes closer to the airport will only exacerbate
an already-strained relationship between the airport and the local
AOPA asked the planners to reject the housing development and
that any residential development near the airport should be
required to furnish buyers with a real estate disclosure form
alerting them to the airport's proximity and obtaining the buyer's
signature on an avigation easement.
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