Via FAX and U.S. Mail
CALIFORNIA PILOTS ASSOCIATION
October 15, 2004
Honorable Beverly O’Neill
Mayor, City of Long Beach
Re: Douglas Park Project Residential
Dear Mayor O?Neill:
The California Pilots Association assists cities in preserving safe and efficient airports such as Long Beach Airport.
Long Beach Airport is the City?s on-ramp and off-ramp to the nation?s aerial highways. It is an important part of the transportation system that must be preserved for future generations of Long Beach residents. Your Council is the public trustee that is charged with that responsibility.
Long Beach Airport is designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as part of the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. It receives federal funding to defray the costs of maintenance and improvements. It is a public utility that provides a vital service to all within the region.
Your decision regarding approval of the Douglas Park Project will have a major impact on the future of Long Beach Airport. Any approval by your Council of residential housing should be in keeping with California?s Environmental Justice law. State planning law defines “environmental justice” as the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Gov. Code 65040.12(e).
If residents of the Douglas Park Project who, because of low income or other personal financial constraints, have no other choice but to live in the noise impacted area, they would be the victims of environmental degradation. This would be contrary to the purpose of the environmental justice law. The inequitable burden on the residents would not be cured by requiring an avigation easement or deed notice.
If residential housing is to be included in the Douglas Park Project, it should be planned and constructed in accordance with safety and noise guidelines of the Airport Land Use Planning Handbook that is published by the Aeronautics Division of the California Department of Transportation.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this very important issue.
Jay C. White, President