Like so many other municipalities, the Tehachapi City Council continues to straddle the fine line between doing the right thing and seeking taxes, in this case in the form of yet another hotel which will be built in an inappropriate airport safety zone.
Mayor Phil Smith was quoted as saying – “We rely on a document developed by professionals, written and devised by professionals and includes the California airport planning guidelines,” said Mayor Phil Smith. “The FAA has said its okay to put it there, Caltrans has said its okay to put it there, so I am inclined to say I am going with the specialists at the FAA and the people that created the document” in an article written by the local newspaper (you can review it on this website).
However, the very document that the city has used to approve this hotel also says that “hotels are not normally a good idea in this safety zone, but since there is already another hotel there” (oh well – CalPilots Editor).
In this ongoing difficult economic time, the California Pilots Association certainly understands the difficulties associated with having to fund city operations. That to us however, is not appropriate reasoning to place people, and aircraft, in jeopardy by building another hotel in an inappropriate safety zone.
This action will also place the city in a difficult to defend liability situation should a tragedy happen in the future.
The attached PDF presents the plan and shows the location of the new hotel.