San Diego- Airport Authority Extension Proposed

Friday, May 6, 2005 Deadline on airport proposals criticized By Janine Z??iga The San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune City officials from Coronado and Imperial Beach are complaining that new deadlines to complete proposed land-use plans for nearby military airports are not realistic. Both cities plan to press the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority for more time ? Coronado in meetings with airport authority staff and Imperial Beach in a formal letter to the board.

On Monday, the airport authority granted its staff more time to resolve issues with various cities and agencies that raised concerns soon after reviewing copies of the draft plan in March.

Comments on the land-use policies were due April 15, and the airport authority’s deadline to adopt the plan was set for June 30. However, after a request from its staff, the airport authority agreed to extend the deadline for 10 of the 16 airport plans. The airport authority found that the other six airport plans could be adopted by June 30.

Two of the 10 given more time ? Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado and Naval Outlying Field Imperial Beach, or Ream Field ? were placed on another list, identified as plans with “questionable adoption status due to insufficient or obsolete data.”

However, Coronado and Imperial Beach officials are concerned that a resolution, passed by the airport authority on Monday, states that the affected jurisdictions must revise the draft plan for “ultimate adoption” no later than 90 days from June 30.

The airport authority said yesterday that the “90 days” deadline was added to the resolution so the cities and agencies involved would move quickly to complete them.

“If the 90 days doesn’t work, staff can go and ask for more time,” airport authority spokeswoman Diana Lucero said.

Imperial Beach officials want their letter to state that they don’t think they can make that deadline. The city will be reviewing the 1989 document on which the land-use plan for Ream Field is based. City officials say the document may be outdated. For example, airplanes now approach North Island at a slightly different angle than in previous years.

Coronado officials will review their 1984 Navy document that they say is outdated. Both cities plan to meet with Navy officials, who have told airport authority officials that the documents were satisfactory.

Coronado also is pressing the airport authority to conduct a full environmental report, saying significant effects from the proposals must be addressed.

Imperial Beach officials have agreed to support state legislation that would give the airport authority one year to complete its plan. Coronado is asking local political leaders to help write the legislation.