Open letter to the Stockton Community Development Department regarding the Notice of Intent Tidewater Crossing development proposal adjacent to the Stockton Airport. January 20, 2005
City of Stockton
Community Development Department
Attention: Mr. Mark Martin
345 North El Dorado Street
Stockton, California 95202
Subject: Notice of Intent for Tidewater Crossing
Dear Mr. Martin:
The California Pilots Association (CalPilots) is a statewide pilot and aviation enthusiast organization. Our goal, since 1946, has been to promote and protect one of California?s most important transportation infrastructure assets, its airports. Our organization and its membership stand committed to that goal.
We are writing to express our association?s concerns regarding the proposed development known as Tidewater Crossing adjacent to the Stockton Metropolitan Airport. We are concerned that, if approved, the residential and school elements of the development could potentially have a significant impact on the Stockton Metropolitan Airport. As a statewide organization with more than 40 years of aviation experience, CalPilots has been involved in numerous proposals to build residential developments and schools near public use airports. Past experience has shown that residential development and schools in close proximity to an airport is poor public policy, and we strongly encourage the City to carefully examine this proposal in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
The California Department of Transportation document, The Airport Land Use Handbook (http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/planning/aeronaut/htmlfile/landuse.php) should be used to guide development around airports. Unfortunately, this guide is often overlooked when development around airports is considered which is regrettable, because as history has shown, crowding airports with homes, and in this case a school, typically brings controversy and additional costs to the city. After the developer has made his money and moved on, the city is left trying to resolve costly noise and safety issues which did not have to occur.
The EIR must thoroughly analyze the impacts of aircraft noise, safety, and over flights on the residential and school development, as specified in the State of California?s Airport Land Use Planning Handbook, January 2002. Additionally, a review of the instrument approach procedures for the airport is paramount to the decision to be made here. Finally, the EIR must contain an analysis of the school site as required by Section 17215 of the California Education Code.
CalPilots stands with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) concerning this proposal. We believe the City should explore a more ?airport friendly? and safer compatible use of the land as an alternative to the residential and school elements of the proposal. A comprehensive EIR should analyze the impacts of alternatives that are compatible with the airport which would benefit all concerned.
Thank you for your consideration of CalPilot?s comments on the Notice of Intent. If we can be of further assistance at this time, please contact us at 800-319-5285.
California Pilots Association
Mr. Barry Rondinella, Airport Manager, Stockton Metropolitan Airport
Ms. Mary Frederick, Chief, California Division of Aeronautics
Mr. John Pfeifer, AOPA California Regional Representative