Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency may sue airport | SierraSun.com

Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency may sue airport

The Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency is holding closed session meetings with legal council to discuss the possibility of litigation with the Truckee Tahoe Airport District over future airport expansion plans.

“The board did go into an executive session this morning over the matter but we have nothing to report at this time,” Truckee Tahoe Sanitation Agency General Manager Craig Woods said of the Agency’s meeting Wednesday, Oct. 11.

“We are taking very seriously what the Truckee Tahoe Airport District board has done. We have been meeting to discuss our alternatives, one of which is litigation,” Woods said. “We consider the airport Master Plan coupled with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan will place restrictions on Truckee Tahoe Sanitation Agency’s property, and it may impose on the School District, or future plans by the town,” he said.

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District approved an update to the Airport Master Plan Monday, Oct. 2. The plan retains the option for building a runway parallel to an existing runway which adjacent property owners feel may preclude plans for development. The Comprehensive Land Use Plan, a document developed by the Foothills Airport Land Use Commission, specifies safety zones surrounding each runway which may lead to development restrictions.

“The Truckee Tahoe Airport District only deals with airport-owned property,” said Ken Foster, incumbent airport board candidate and current board president. “It is the Airport Land Use Commission that deals with the land outside of the airport boundaries. We’re in the airport business, not the land use business.”

According to the state Airport Land Use Commission code, “each [local] commission shall formulate a comprehensive land use plan that will provide for the orderly growth of each public airport and the area surrounding the airport within the jurisdiction of the commission…”

The code continues, “The commission plan shall include and shall be based on a long-range master plan or an airport layout plan as determined by the Division of Aeronautics of the Department of Transportation, that reflects the anticipated growth of the airport during at least the next 20 years. In formulating a land use plan, the commission may develop height restrictions on buildings, specify use of land, and determine building standards.”

The Foothills Airport Land Use Commission operates under the State Airport Land Use Commission code, as described above, and the Truckee Tahoe Airport is within its jurisdiction.

“The Foothills Commission found that the new master plan, which is now adopted, is consistent with the land use plan,” said Neil Eskind, attorney for the airport. “When someone proposes to build something, they go to the town or the county and to concerned agencies like the Foothills Commission.”

Whether or not the sanitation agency’s property or the school district’s property will conflict with the Foothills Airport Land Use Commission’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan will be determined when the agency submits plans for development.

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