Noise worries residents in airport land-use plan
Questions and complaints about Truckee Tahoe Airport noise and land use may be answered on Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. at the Sierra Economic Development District’s meeting in Auburn.The SEDD, which is working as a consultant on the Foothill Airport Land Use Commission’s land use compatibility plan for the airport, will present the draft plan with the FALUC as an item during its board meeting.Much like the previous meeting held in Truckee, the airport land use plan will be presented to the board of directors and the public, but no action will be taken. The SEDD will address issues of the airport’s future, which includes number of operations (takeoffs and landings), safety, the airport’s general plan and the hot topic as of late: noise.In the Truckee meeting, only a handful of people attended, and only six Truckee residents (not connected to the airport, the town or the plan) were present. Nevertheless, the big issue was airport noise.While the land use plan notes that airplanes are getting quieter and will create less noise, the residents did not buy it. One resident at the Truckee hearing asked, “Do we want to maintain this as a resort community or do we just want to become another metropolis?”Likewise, several Truckee residents – mostly from Tahoe Donner, but also from the Armstrong Track and Coachland – have contacted the Sierra Sun to complain about airplane noise.Kevin Moniz, a Truckee resident for seven years and a Armstrong Track homeowner for four, said, “In my seven years here, I have never heard so many planes fly over my house. I used to only get one or two a weekend. Now, I’m hearing 10 a day.”However, the airport contends that while the airplanes are getting quieter, there are still the older, noisier planes still in use. And although the number of operations is estimated to jump from the current 48,000 per year to 120,000 per year (airport manager Dave Gotschall said the estimate is probably closer to 100,000), Gotschall and others have said the planes are getting exponentially quieter.The reason for the update is the airport’s current land use plan is out of date, and an airport land use plan is required by state law. The new one is in the draft stage, and Ken Brody, a senior airport planner for Mead & Hunt, which helped put together the plan, said action toward a final plan could result from the meeting in Auburn.The Sierra Economic Development District is located at 560 Wall Street, Suite F, in Auburn. For more information on the SEDD, visit http://www.sedd.org. For more information on the airport, visit http://www.truckeetahoeairport.com.
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