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Cooperative effort stops incompatible land use plansCooperative effort stops incompatible land use plans

The combined efforts of area pilot groups, the local AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer, state aviation officials, and AOPA has put an end to a proposal that would have allowed high density residential development near Sanderson Field in Shelton, Wash.

A developer on Jan. 12 withdrew a request to rezone 120 acres of property adjacent to the airport from commercial industrial to commercial residential after meeting with stiff opposition. The proposed rezoning would have conflicted with the airport’s overlay zoning, which was introduced in 2006 to bring the field into compliance with Washington State law. AOPA also supported that overlay zoning plan.

“This is an important victory and a great example of how local pilots, with the support of AOPA, can make the difference for their airports,” said John Collins, AOPA manager of airport policy. “The people who use airports are the very best advocates for those airports, and cooperation among affected parties is a great way to create a united front to fight encroachment.”

AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Jack Krause rallied local aviators to attend public meetings with the airport sponsor and city officials to express concerns about the proposed rezoning. And members of the Washington Pilots Association and the Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division helped local authorities understand the potential conflict between the airport and the developer’s proposal. AOPA also sent a letter reminding city officials of their federal grant obligations and state zoning requirements. The rezoning proposal would have violated both those agreements.

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