Greg Marshall: Cal Fire and the airport
This letter is in response to Elias Funez’s excellent article on the relationship between the Nevada County Airport, Cal Fire and the Loma Rica development.
First, I was the Nevada County Airport manager from July 2005 through November 2012 and I’m intimately familiar with the operation of the airport and the importance of the Cal Fire Air Attack Base to the local community. If not No. 1, keeping Cal Fire happy and functioning at max efficiency was close to my No. 1 priority.
Second, the Loma Rica development has been in the proposal/planning stages for a long time. I recall meeting with Grass Valley planners and City Council members about the project as far back as 2009 to 2010. Those meetings normally included representatives from the FAA and,Dan Landon from the Nevada County Transportation Commission.
The development as proposed at that time did not meet the guidelines, neither the FAA’s nor the Transportation Commission’s, for density or heights of buildings in the proposed proximity to the airport.
Grass Valley planners and council members were advised by the FAA that if the development was completed as proposed, outside federal and Transportation Commission guidelines, that Grass Valley would share in any liability as a result of an incident in the development footprint.
Nine years later, I have no idea what the current development looks like but I hope that FAA and Transportation Commission density and building height guidelines have been taken into account.
Assuming unnecessary liability due to poor planning would not be very smart on Grass Valley’s part and may cause Cal Fire to rethink their desire to stay at the Nevada County Airport.
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