Thursday, December 15, 2005
Panel supports moratorium on housing near the airport
The Redlands (CA) Daily Facts
REDLANDS Planning commissioners supported the idea of halting developments near the airport Tuesday, despite the Airport Advisory Board’s recommendation that the group approve a 26-home infill project. ity leaders have been mulling a moratorium since the 81-home Walton project stirred compatibility issues this year over building houses near the airport north of San Bernardino Avenue.
Although both the Walton project and Ryland Homes project that was heard Tuesday comply with the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan, airport users worry that complaints from future Walton residents could lead to lawsuits and financially stifling regulations. The city has begun the process of updating its Airport Master Plan and the compatibility plan, which could ultimately change land use regulations in the northeast area of the city.
On Tuesday, the Airport Advisory Board changed course and recommended that the commission approve Ryland Homes according to the rules of the current plan. Although the group remains vehemently opposed to the Walton project, it argued that the Ryland Homes project qualifies as an extension of the previous 52-home Ryland Homes project to the east.
“I believe this is a big difference from (the Walton project) because, although this does not meet all the infill requirements, it does meet the first two,” said board Chairman John James.
The 26-home development would be on about 10 acres north of San Bernardino Avenue, south of Pioneer Avenue and east of Hanford Street. Approximately 2.4 acres at the north end of the site falls within the more restrictive B2 zone of the land use plan and would remain as open space.
Commissioners argued that the city should wait to see if those boundaries ultimately change as a result of airport plans. Several referred to the first Ryland Homes project as “the mistake.”
“We need to build on the mistake is that the position of the board?” Chairman George Webber asked James.
“It seems to me that if you approve this project based on the current plan, then I don’t see how you can deny Walton,” said former Mayor Bill Cunningham on behalf of slow-growth group the Redlands Association.
Representatives for the Walton project have argued that the homes are compatible with the airport and that it is unfair to deny the project based on the potential for changes in land use regulations.
The Ryland Homes project was unanimously postponed until a later meeting.