By Carol Ford VP Region 3
The second meeting on the Tidewater Development proposal, adjacent to the Stockton Airport, was remarkable. The Board of Supervisors started out discussing how to create a protection area around the airport. The Director of Community Development and Planning, Kerry Sullivan, discussed various methods to protect the airport, and the procedures with which to do it. The more I heard, the happier I became (often the value of airports is not understood by the Sponsor-City or County). During my time allotment, I praised them for their efforts which could result in a two-mile radius protection area, prohibiting incompatible uses such as residential or schools. Further, since they were only focused on Stockton, I urged that the entire county be included. (Tracy and New Jerusalem airports as well).
The Tidewater Crossing Development proposal was not the focus the meeting. I believe this was a result of the previous meeting in July, when three other airport managers Steve Grossman, from Oakland, Michael Musca from Modesto and Leander Hauri from Livermore spoke. Apparently, their combined reports to the Board of Supervisors regarding the problems that they might experience if they didn’t protect the airport now, registered. In particular, Steve Grossman warned them that Oakland is spending $1 million each year to deal with noise complaints; and while Stockton isn’t the size of Oakland yet, it will be in the future. Now is the time to stave off that inevitable result by better zoning.
Rick Tutt, a California Pilots Association member, spoke as the chairman of the airport commission-which is a very impressive group. There was some sparring with one supervisor who is pro-development. He can be identified by reviewing the newspaper article available on the CALPILOTS web site.
AOPA California Representative John Pfeiffer also spoke, particularly about how it was the board?s obligation under the grant assurances to protect the zoning around the airport.
Staff will come back in a month with recommendations of how to do this most efficiently. The San Joaquin County Supervisors definitely voted for protection for the airport.
About the Author: Carol Ford runs Ford Aviation Consultants, a business that assists airports in many ways including funding through grants. You can reach her at 650-591-8308, or or through her web site at her Web Site