Taft Airport’s Land Use Compatibility

Friday, January 27, 2006
Airport map to be revamped
By Doug Keeler
The Taft (CA) Midway Driller

The Taft Airport’s land use compatibility plan just needs a revision to reflect current usage to remove restrictions on construction in the area. That revision became necessary when Kern County planning and airport officials objected to a proposed 31-home development on East Center Street. However, the project can go ahead once the city makes findings that the residential project is simply infill in an already inhabited area

The city’s airport committee met Tuesday afternoon to discuss a memo from an airport consultant to Michael Jenkins, an attorney hired by the city to work on the issue.

John Gibson, a partner in the law firm that represents the city, is also a partner in West Side Development Co. LLC, the firm that wants to build 31 $200,000 homes on East Center Street.

City councilmen Paul Linder and Randy Miller sit on the airport committee and both indicated the changes shouldn’t be a problem.

The adjustments, prepared by the consulting firm of Mead & Hunt, altered the compatibility plan to recognize that runway 2020, the northerly runway, is no longer in use.

“It keeps the integrity of the airport with the exception of that one runway,” Linder observed. “The county has no intention of (rebuilding) that runway. It doesn’t really change the airport usage as far as I’m concerned.”

“We are still going to have a viable airport in town,” Miller agreed.

The change in the land use plan will have to be approved by county officials and both the city and county’s general plans will have to be amended to reflect the changes, City Manager Becky Napier said.

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