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AOPA discusses land-use issues with Worcester County, Maryland, commissionersAOPA discusses land-use issues with Worcester County, Maryland, commissioners

AOPA discusses land-use issues with Worcester County, Maryland, commissioners

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AOPA's John Collins tells Worcester
County officials the association's concerns
over residential development near OXB.

AOPA met with Worcester County commissioners last Tuesday to discuss the potential land-use issues that could arise because of a housing development that is under construction on land near the north/south runway at Ocean City Municipal Airport in Maryland. AOPA was invited to the meeting after sending a letter to the commission expressing concern about the development.

AOPA emphasized the importance of compatible land use and zoning, pointing out that allowing high-density developments under approach paths to runways could lead not only to noise issues, but also to efforts to restrict flight operations and close the airport. County officials asked AOPA questions about protecting the airport and county from noise complaints and seemed to understand the economic value of the airport to the community.

AOPA also informed commissioners that Prince Georges County in Maryland had adopted a zoning bill in 2002 to address land-use issues near its airports and offered to help Worcester County officials draft a similar plan. Commissioners seemed eager to work toward a solution for future growth.

Commissioner Louise Guylas, who represents Ocean City, countered one commissioner's claim that the north/south runway is rarely used, saying that the runway is used and is slated for expansion.

"AOPA presented the commissioners with facts that incompatible land use is detrimental to the airport environment and provided them with examples of possible solutions," said Stacy Platone Swigart, AOPA Airport Support Network director. "The commissioners seemed interested, and AOPA is hopeful they will take action."

June 9, 2005

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