Updates required for airport’s land use compatibility plan

CARLSBAD — At a recent City Council meeting, a unanimous passing vote was cast approving a General Plan amendment for McClellan-Palomar Airport’s land use compatibility.Corey Funk, associate planner for the city of Carlsbad, made the presentation.

Although the current Compatibility Plan was adopted in 2010, and is in effect already, certain language and state law requires local jurisdiction to amend the General Plan, so it is consistent with the new updated Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan.

Funk reminded the council that its previous Compatibility Plan, adopted in 1994, was the reason for the reference updates in the General Plan.

“Outside of certain exceptions, for each airport, state law requires the establishment of an Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) and the creation of an Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan (ALUCP),” said Funk, noting that the ALUCP is also referred to as the Compatibility Plan.

The Compatibility Plan, Funk said, contains policies that place limitations on development in the nearby vicinity of the airport. The four primary factors include noise, safety, airspace protection and over-flight.

“These are the same compatibility factors that were used in the previous compatibility plan in 1994,” he said.

For the most part, the policies remain the same, but it’s the boundaries that are slightly different based on the new data staff received.

Future development, which is mainly industrial around the airport, may be affected with the updated plans.

“Business operators, owners and employees in the vicinity of the airport are going to be subject to the new regulations which will reflect the most recent strategies on dealing with airport impacts and reflect the most recent statistics on noise data and hazards,” Funk said. “Those future projects would be locating areas where the impacts are minimized to the greatest extent possible and there is a benefit there.”

Funk wanted people to understand that the ALUC does not own the airport and has no authority over its operations. The Compatibility Plan he presented only deals with airport impacts to surrounding land uses.

The county of San Diego is the owner and operator of the airport, he said, in terms of airport operations and future airport growth.

In his presentation, Funk shared a bit about the Voluntary Noise Abatement Program, which highlights the effort to minimize aircraft noise impacted communities and flight paths. This program is championed by the airport and the county. The Fly Friendly Program, on the other hand, is an educational program for citizens and an opportunity for pilots to share information about the Voluntary Noise Abatement Program.

“These programs are voluntary on the part of pilots because factors such as safety or weather may warrant alternate flight paths,” he said.

For residents who want to report aircraft-related noise complaints or concerns, Funk invites them to call the county at (760) 431-4646 or visit sdcounty.ca.gov/dpw/airports/crqnoise.html.

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