Recently the Grass Valley City Council took action to “overrule” the Nevada County Airport Land Use Plan and clear the way for Loma Rica Ranch development to proceed.
This happened after a long, complicated history of planning and studies with an apparent lack of communication between the city and the county. Unfortunately, from the standpoint of an airport user, “overruling” is a bad idea. The ACLUP was created using guidelines developed by the State Department of Transportation with safety as the primary purpose. Safety zones were designated to limit residential development and mitigate noise problems. If this project goes ahead as planned, there will certainly be noise complaints, as has happened at every airport around the country where urban development has encroached.
Although the airport has an excellent safety record, it would be unwise to become too complacent in this regard. Airports are built away from cities for a reason, and an accident could be a huge liability for the city of Grass Valley. A valuable asset to the county, the airport contributes to business, safety, Cal Fire and recreation. Lets keep it that way without curfews or other restrictions to activities such jets, helicopters or commercial service.