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Thread: Request for residential setbacks to private airstrips

  1. #1
    Cyburbian pandersen's avatar
    Sep 1998
    "Off Kilter"

    Request for residential setbacks to private airstrips

    Hi all:
    My office has received a request from a rural land owner for a subdivision of land that would result in 18 lots each about 1 acre in size. These proposed lots would enlarge an existing rural settllement center. Azoning amendment will be required to change the zoning from an agricultural zone to an urban residential zone.

    The problem is that these proposed lots are immediately adjacent to an in some casses encroach on an existing grass airstrip (owneed an operated by the applicant). We undstand from the applicant that he and several others in the area use the airstrip and the applicant wishes to have the unregistered / uncertified airstrip remain in service despite what our office believes is a clear land use conflict. The Canadian Federal Department of Transport does not have in place any regulations or guidelines governing private (unregistered / non-certified) airstrips and adjacent land uses.

    Anybody out there have any minimum setback requrements between residences or residential lots and adjacent private airstrips. NOTE: the airstrip in no way will be used by any of the owners of the residential lots being proposed.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    The US FAA has some pretty strict guidelines that we would follow. I dealt with a similar issue a few years ago. The grass strip was put in place decades earlier when it was further from town. A developer came in wanting to do a subdivision next to it. Of ourse, the private airport had never received any permissions or obtained property or easements for clear zones, etc.

    Avoid the headache. Treat this like a regular airstrip. Do not allow encroachment. Alternatively, make the owner place appropriate restrictions on the deeds of the new lots and the airport, acknowledging the situation so that neither of them can complain in the future.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
    Jun 2002
    Southeast US

    Uses adjacent to airstrips

    We have an airstrip from WWII inside city limits in what was Agricultural zone. FAA requires clear space at ends of runway limiting heights of structures and even trees. These zones extend several hundred feet and flare out and incline upward according to their formulas. One interesting point is that the FAA determined that the trees at one end (on separate federal park land) were growing too tall, and wanted them cut. The federal park has refused to cut the trees. I would assume that the airport has modified its aircraft approach and departure rules.

    On one side, the land owner decided to establish a tree farm parallel to the runway. One the other side was a significant two lane connector road now expanding to three or four lanes. Across that road are now three churches and a prior existing large residential site and a prior existing home with horses.

    At the ends of the runway outside of the clear zone are new subdivisions. An office subdivision at one end (but to the side of the approach zone) has received approval for combination residence/office buildings with hangars. These are linked to the taxiway by extention of their own new taxiway to the airport.

    There is also a revolving beacon at the airport that should be considered (and it may increase in intensity in the future).

    Yes, we have had one crash in recent memory inside the approach zone missing all residences.

  4. #4
    Jumbolair, a fly-in community (where John Travolta lives) is about 10 minutes up the road from where I live. You can look at the Marion County (Florida) Comprehensive Plan for regulations regarding that community (it should be online). Hope it helps....Aerial view look like setbacks are multiple hundreds of feet.

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