The city of Gainesville, Florida, is considering rezoning land near the airport to allow 2,900 housing units to be built about 2,700 feet from one of the runways at Gainesville Regional Airport. AOPA has written the city, co-sponsor of the airport, asking the officials not to rezone the land. AOPA pointed out that the incompatible land use would negatively impact safety to those on the ground and in the air and create noise complaints from the new neighbors. "Developers will build the homes, take their money, and move on to the next site," AOPA said, "leaving the local authorities to deal with the concerns and complaints of the new airport neighbors." The airport's interim chief executive officer also has provided the city with evidence of the detrimental impact the development would have. And the FAA's Orlando Airports District Office has said that rezoning the land could jeopardize future federal funding for airport improvements. That would include $18.2 million in the airport's projected development costs through 2011, according to the FAA's airport development plan contained in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.
May 11, 2007