Friday, August 31, 2007

Roanoke Regional Airport Noise

Roanoke Regional Airport 2005 Noise Contour
YELLOW Means Non-Compatible Land Use
RED Line Is Widened RPZ
“—–“ is Current RPZ Boundary

The Runway 6 Noise Contour study completed in 2005 shrank the non-compatible dwellings slightly from the study completed in 2000. Unbeknown to me in 2000 I was living in the 65 DNL (Day Night Level) noise contour when I purchased my home in 1999. The City or Roanoke does not require disclosure of an “Airport in Vicinity” to unsuspecting home buyers – see an example of such disclosures adopted by other localities to protect their citizens below. I have mentioned the disclosure protection at City Council several times and received no indication by any of the Council members that they cared if current citizens or new Roanoke arrivals are duped.

For the study on Boeing’s website submitted by Ms. Schuck, Director of ROA, click HERE – Note: Runway 6/24 arrivals and departures are noise sensitive. The Countryside Neighborhood and the Countryside Golf Course are located at the end of Runway 6 and are noise sensitive to takeoffs and departures.

Virginia Cities are permitted by Chapter 509 § 15.2-2295 of the Code of Virginia to enact zoning requlations around airports (CLICK anywhere in the text for the full section):

In establishing the regulations, the locality may adopt one or more noise overlay zones as an amendment to its zoning map and may establish different measures to be provided or installed within each zone, taking into account the severity of the impact of aircraft noise upon buildings and structures within each zone. Any such regulations or amendments to a zoning map shall provide a process for reasonable notice to affected property owners. Any regulations or amendments to a zoning map shall be adopted in accordance with this chapter. A statement shall be placed on all recorded surveys, subdivision plats and all final site plans approved after January 1, 2003, giving notice that a parcel of real property either partially or wholly lies within an airport noise overlay zone. No existing use of property which is affected by the adoption of such regulations or amendments to a zoning map shall be considered a nonconforming use solely because of the regulations or amendments. The provisions of this section shall not affect any local aircraft noise attenuation regulations or ordinances adopted prior to the effective date of this act, and such regulations and ordinances may be amended provided the amendments shall not alter building materials, construction methods, plan submission requirements or inspection practices specified in the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.

In January, 2006, I invited the airport staff to address the Countryside Neighborhood Alliance at our monthly meeting. Mr. Gonzalez, Deputy Executive Director, accepted the invitation. Mr. Brian Townsend also attended. At that time we were unaware of the land swap that had been agreed to by the City Manager, Ms. Burcham, and the Director of ROA, Ms. Schuck. The presentation by Mr. Gonzalez did not inform us of the widening of the RPZ nor was it mentioned by the then Planning Director, Brian Townsend. However, a confusing drawing showed a widening of the noise contour into a more “cone” shape. This drawing has been mysteriously absent from further discussions.

As best as I can draw on the current 2005 noise contour above I have made the “cone” shape that I recall. I know others at the meeting remember that the cone shape would change and seemed to include residences that were previously not in the 65 DNL noise area that the FAA does not recommend for residential housing.

As most of you are aware there was a cutoff date to receive Federal AIP (Airport ImProvement moneys earmarked for noise mitigation) funding for the noise abatement program that some of the Ranch Road residents received as well as those in the Miller Court neighborhood. I missed receiving funding by about 6 months.

However, this does not mean that residents do not have any recourse should circumstances change such as the adjustment to a Runway Protection Zone as we see here. It is my understanding in reading the Noise Abatement Funding program that the cutoff date is not applicable should conditions change. For example, the Airport is enlarged or a runway extended, or flight paths changed (as could be the case here).



This property is presently located in the vicinity of an airport, within what is known as an airport influence area. For that reason, the property may be subject to some of the annoyances or inconveniences associated with proximity to airport operations (for example: noise, vibration, or odors). Individual sensitivities to those annoyances can vary from person to person. You may wish to consider what airport annoyances, if any, are associated with the property before you complete your purchase and determine whether they are acceptable to you.

I’ll also include a quote here by attorney, Maryellen Goodlatte, regarding Virginia State Law and zoning:
Such considerations are limited by state law, which provides that zoning regulations must “promote the health, safety, morals or general welfare of the public,” according to Roanoke land use attorney Maryellen Goodlatte. They also must not “destroy all economic use of the property.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community, Uncategorized



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