Permitting a proposed housing development under the approach to Pierce County-Thun Field would create future problems for the airport and residents, AOPA told the county June 18.
In a letter to the county director of planning and land services, AOPA urged the county to ensure that only compatible land uses are allowed around Pierce County-Thun Field. The proposed development would create 1,697 dwelling units on 202 acres, over half of which lie under the airport overlay zone.
Continued residential development around airports leads to tensions between neighboring communities and the airport, wrote AOPA Airport Policy Manager John Collins. “All too often, these conflicts lead to increased restrictions and decreased utility of the airport and ultimately impact the economic viability of these critical components of the local, state, and regional transportation infrastructure,” he wrote.
The proposed development, Lipoma Communities, would be half a mile south of the approach end of Runway 34.
AOPA has been talking to the aviation division of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) who provides guidance to state airports on preserving compatible land use. AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Vic Young is attending meetings with the county, WSDOT, and the developer to ensure that any development near the airport is in compliance with the county’s comprehensive plan and airport overlay.