The nearly decade-long debate and litigation process involving the Watsonville Pilots Association, Friends of Buena Vista, the Sierra Club, along with Caltrans Division of Aeronautics versus the City of Watsonville, has finally concluded. The protracted process included countless meetings, extensive input from all groups, and a favorable ruling by the Santa Cruz County Superior Court, which supported the Pilots Association and Friends of Buena Vista (et al). Although the city challenged the ruling, 18 months later the appeals court upheld the earlier decision, thereby establishing a legal precedent that mandated compliance with the Airport Land Use Handbook.

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They say that you can’t beat City Hall, but then whoever they are never met these determined groups from Watsonville California.


Watsonville Airport

The Watsonville Pilots Association (WPA), the Friends of Buena Vista – a local airport neighborhood group, some local businesses, and the Sierra Club, along with the California Division of Aeronautics, and the California Pilots Association became allies against a city planning effort that provided more questions than answers.

What was the common enemy that drew these different community groups together? In 2005 the City of Watsonville created Plan 2030. Part of the plan allowed building high density housing developments around the airport, violating the runway protection zones (RPZ’s). Plan 2030 would have undoubtedly caused the community of Watsonville, and its airport (WVI), problems long term. Sound familiar?

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