Thursday, May 3, 2007

Part III – Two Year Anniversary

Click on letter image to enlarge

This is the response from Ms. Shuck to Ms. Burcham regarding the availability of the 46 acres of airport owned property serving as a RPZ (Runway Protection Zone) mandated by the FAA to be clear of objects of any kind. Click HERE to the link to the VDOA (Virginia Department of Aviation) website that clearly defines recommended “land use” adjacent to airport runways. It states that: “The Department of Aviation recommends that communities discourage the development of residences, schools, churches, hospitals, daycare centers, nursing homes and other similar uses, including uses resulting in large open-air assemblies of people, such as amphitheaters and stadiums in Overflight Areas. Compatible uses include commercial, industrial, agricultural, golf courses, parks and other similar uses.”

Click HERE for the VDOA Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan

Shortly after we learned that Roanoke City took the option to purchase Countryside in May, 2005, I called and spoke to Ms. Shuck to ask why the lease on the airport property would not be renewed for the current owner, Meadowbrook. The answer at that time was that it was a safety hazard. The trees needed topping and kids would climb the guide light towers. She referenced 9/11 security concerns and the desire to “fence in” the RPZ except that it may trap wildlife. My question is between the time of the writing of this letter to Ms. Burcham in January, 2003, and May of 2005 what has changed that makes the statement, “might be viewed as quite irresponsible if it were to release any of the few acres it does own, especially land dedicated to meeting the safety needs of the traveling publicirrelevant in 2005 or today. Also note the comment about the golf course being a compatible land use according to the FAA and that Federal Airport Grant Funds were used to purchase the the property in 1957. This means that the Feds will have to approve any land swapping as any proceeds to the sale of property bought with Federal Funds must be returned to the Feds. The Feds must approve the land swap. More on the “land swap” later including map.

Posted By Valerie Garner

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