A developer has withdrawn plans to build 232 apartment units below the traffic pattern of the Moore County Airport in North Carolina.
The decision was announced April 12, and followed rejection of the planned residential and commercial development by both the town council in Southern Pines, N.C., and the planning board on two occasions in January and February.
Airport supporters continued to make their presence felt, appearing at April’s monthly town council session prepared to point out again that the proposal threatened to encroach on the airport and was an incompatible land use.
The developer, who abruptly ended the debate for now by withdrawing the pending request for a conditional-use permit, could resubmit a modified plan for the so-called Tyler’s Ridge at Sandhills project in an effort to comply with the community’s unified development ordinance.
A local news report of the plan’s withdrawal noted that the town is considering hiring a consultant to review and streamline the ordinance. The report also quoted a developer’s representative dismissing airport supporters’ safety concerns that had been raised at the January planning board meeting as “sensational.”
“Airport supporters will continue to work with the town to move them toward putting compatible land uses around the airport,” said AOPA Manager of Airport Policy John Collins. “And they will remain vigilant in case this plan comes back.”
Collins met last week with AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Colin Webster and other members and airport supporters to discuss strategy for protecting the airport against future encroachment.
Community support and involvement for the airport will be critical, he said, as the airport pursues improvements before the men’s and women’s U.S. Open golf championships are played consecutively in 2014 at the nearby Pinehurst Country Club.