Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Town’s bid to acquire airport grounded
By LEROY STANDISH
The Victorville (CA) Daily Press
APPLE VALLEY – The town’s two-year bid to win control of the Apple Valley Airport from San Bernardino County is officially dead. “The town has removed from one of its goals the acquisition of the airport,” Mayor Mark Shoup said. The Town Council came to the conclusion during its goal setting workshop. The change in policy marks the end of a two-year struggle that began when the town submitted an application to the San Bernardino County Local Agency Formation Commission in January 2004.
The town planned to acquire the 556-acre airport – located at the end of Corwin Road in northeast Apple Valley – and continue collecting $1.2 million in annual tax revenue from Adelanto, Hesperia and Victorville for the operations of the airport. Airport users, officials with the county and the city’s within County Service Area 60 vehemently objected.
Ultimately the town withdrew its request from LAFCO, but held out the possibility of resubmitting it after revisions.
Instead of conquest the town has now decided to focus its efforts on the lands surrounding the airport, which are within the town limits. Currently that land is zoned primarily residential. The Council is working to rezone the area industrial and commercial to protect aircraft flight paths from residential development and facilitate economic growth in the north end of town.
Those who use the airport daily said they were concerned by the town’s bid to acquire the airport and its motivations.
“Apple Valley Airport is considered by San Bernardino County as the crown jewel of all (the County’s six) airports because it is well maintained and well run and makes a lot of money for the county,” said pilot Paul Ray, who has leased a hanger at Apple Valley Airport for eight years.
At some distant date in the future the town may once again resume its bid for the airport, Shoup said. “I think ultimately at build-out or some later time, the town is going to acquire the airport,” he said.