Livermore Airport Noise Issues

LIVERMORE — Officials and residents of Livermore, Dublin and Pleasanton will meet during the next few months to try to resolve differences of opinion about the proposed expansion of Livermore Municipal Airport.

The Livermore City Council unanimously agreed Monday night to establish an advisory committee after critics, including officials in Pleasanton and Dublin, raised loud objections about the plans for the airport. Pleasanton officials threatened to sue if the differences were not resolved.

The committee will consist of 21 people from the three communities, including representatives of the city councils from each community. Councilwoman Lorraine Dietrich will represent Livermore. The city’s other members will come from various groups, including residents.

Officials are in the midst of updating the airport’s general plan, which will guide development of the airport during the next 20 years. The draft master plan allows for up to 370,000 flights per year, up from fewer than 200,000 last year, but officials have said the actual number of flights will be much lower. Residents near the airport said the additional flights will exacerbate the airport’s existing noise problem.

The new committee will delay approval of the master plan, although the scheduled May 4 Livermore Planning Commission hearing on the airport will continue as planned. Subsequent hearings will wait until after the committee does its work, including listening to experts and taking public testimony.

Livermore Councilman Mark Beeman urged his colleagues to lower the number of planned committee meetings from the planned six to three or four, but they rejected his idea.

“I do think it is important for everyone to hear the same information so that they all have the same factual information,” City Manager Linda Barton said. “I am not sure they are all interpreting the data in the same way.”