Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Airport trying to ground developments
By Jacob Ogles
The San Bernardino (CA) Sun
REDLANDS – Companies seeking approval for two housing developments near the city’s airport face opposition from a City Council that is considering a moratorium on new homes in that area. Ryland Homes is scheduled to go before the city’s Planning Commission today Tuesday with its plan to add 27 homes to a subdivision that now holds 52 along San Bernardino Avenue.
Meanwhile, Walton Development plans to bring its plan for an 81-home development along Pioneer Avenue back to the council on Dec. 20. The company was denied approval in October because city officials are undecided on whether to halt development in the airport neighborhood.
Aviation officials don’t want any more homes around the airport. The airport is one of the last unrestricted facilities in Southern California, airport manager Charlotte Kranenburg said.
More homes next door could compromise air space, she said.
But Walton Development representative Everett Hughes said the airport and homes can co-exist, and that his planners have gone to great lengths to appease the airport.
“We have met every concern that the city can think of,” he said. “We have provided for other safety and noise concerns. All we can do is follow the rules.”
City planners said the fates of the Walton and Ryland requests are intertwined.
The discussions have been frustrating to Walton officials, who nearly three years ago bought the San Bernardino Avenue property where they want to build and sell homes.
Hughes said they bought the land immediately after development restrictions were relaxed around the airport. It is unfair to have to change plans now after millions of dollars have been invested, he said.
The Ryland property is in the same zoning area as the Walton project and is subject to the same building restrictions. But unlike Walton, developers completed construction for the first wave of homes before city officials talked about restoring the old development restrictions around the airport.
Community development director Jeff Shaw said the vote on Ryland should be delayed until the City Council weighs in on the Walton development. If the council overturns the Planning Commission decision on Walton, it could set a different policy, he said.
“If Walton is approved, it would take the airport issue totally off the table,” Shaw said.
Hughes said he is optimistic a deal can be reached with city officials about the Walton development.