Airport buys land for new hangars. | SierraSun.com
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Airport buys land for new hangars.

Scott Hess

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District and the Joerger family finally came to a compromise, allowing the airport to buy 27.13 acres of land for hangars, open space and a new road.

The compromise came after two years of deliberation, but the time spent seems to have paid off. In the agreement, the airport left the Joergers with 5.13 acres, to be used as frontage space for planned-community 3, according to airport general manager Dave Gotschall.

The land for the road cost the airport $2.17 per square foot, and the rest of the land set it back $2.70 per square foot, Gotschall reported. The total cost of the land, including appraisals, legal fees and service fees, he said, was nearly $3.3 million.

John Renwick, a member of the Joerger family who was handling the negotiations for them, said they were “satisfied” with the outcome.

He said they had to figure out what was the least amount of land the airport would be satisfied with, and what was the greatest amount of land the Joergers needed to use their land. “[The airport] was very cooperative in that manner,” he said.

Because it is a special district, Renwick said, the airport has “eminent domain,” meaning the airport can buy land when it needs to expand.

“We didn’t want to make a mistake,” Renwick said, which is why the negotiations took two years. “All in all, everything went pretty well.”

The land is right next to the airport boundary and is adjacent to Joerger Drive.

The road will be constructed as a joint effort between the airport and the Joergers, and the airport will use just over 25 acres for its new hangars. Gotschall said the hangars are long overdue – there are 160 people on a waiting list, trying to get a hangar.

While it now has the space, Gotschall said the airport won’t see all 11 phases of hangar construction completed for approximately 20 years.

The money for the land came from a Federal Aviation Administration grant, totaling $5.2 million, Gotschall said, and 90 percent of the cost of this land was paid by the grant. With $1.85 million left from the FAA grant, the airport is looking to buy more land.

One project is in deliberation now, and another looks to be just around the corner. The airport is in escrow with the Winters Family Trust for 18 acres. The land will cost the airport $630,000, Gotschall said.

The other piece of land, like the 18 acres, is located off the end of the runway. Under the Foothill Land Use Commission’s new airport land use compatibility plan for the Truckee Airport, not much can be built on each of those plots of land.

“You can’t [build] anything there, so we’ll pick it up,” Gotschall said. “It seems like the right thing to do.” He said the airport will simply designate the land as open space.

The airport is also contemplating a few other land acquisitions, including a land swap with the FAA, which would “square off” its property lines on one side of the airport.

For more information on the airport, visit http://www.truckeetahoeairport.com.


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