SCAPA Helps Defeat Housing Next to Airport

San Carlos CA. – In one of the most threatening moves in recent years, a housing project was recently proposed that would have put approximately 400 residents under the helicopter pattern at San Carlos Airport. Located at 767 Industrial Drive, these people would have been living with some of the best noise an aviator could imagine — planes taking off and helicopters flying overhead — but something that would obviously have been annoying to some non-aviators. Even though they would have been warned with legal disclosures at the time of purchase and in spite of the fact that the control tower is clearly visible from this property, some of these new residents would eventually have complained about the Airport.

Recognizing this as an imminent threat, over the past 18 months the San Carlos Airport Pilots Association ( SCAPA) Board of Directors monitored the various government approvals for this project. This included attending and speaking out, as appropriate, at meetings of the San Carlos Planning Commission, the General Plan Advisory Committee and the City Council.

Finally, on Oct. 27, 2008 the City Council held a meeting at which they voted on zoning changes and a general plan ammendment that would have allowed this project to go forward. SCAPA President Carol Ford spoke on our behalf at this meeting and pointed out the incompatibility between the Airport and housing at this site.

You can watch a video of Carol’s remarks by clicking Carol at San Carlos Council Oct. 27, 2008here. Fast forward to 2:45:40 to skip the 2 hours and 45 minutes of the meeting that preceded Carol’s presentation.

A number of San Carlos residents who are also SCAPA members responded to a last-minute call for Airport supporters to attend the Oct. 27th meeting. This was very helpful to show the Council that they represent many people who agree with SCAPA’s position. We would like to thank W.D. Lewis, Mark Rockwell, Bruce Wallace, Carl Mauck, Frank Alaimo, Laurie Pitman, and Jon Carlson for showing up and in many cases staying throughout the entire meeting, that lasted more than 5 hours. (If we missed anyone, please accept our apology and send email to webmaster at sancarlospilots dot org so we can add your name to the list.) It was unfortunate that another unrelated and lengthy matter was on the agenda that caused the meeting to last past midnight. Everyone who attended deserves a big vote of thanks.

The final result was that the Council voted against the zoning and general plan changes that would have permitted housing at 767 Industrial Rd. This is great news for SCApA since it stops this project for now.

Thanks to everyone who helped out. Every current and future user of the Airport should appreciate your efforts.

Rest assured that SCAPA is ever vigilant and will keep you informed as other threats to the Airport develop.

Editor’s Note: For more information on SCAPA, a Chapter of the California Pilots Association, go to their web site.

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