Rather than discussing County and FAA environmental compliance – as originally planned - today’s article comments on a citizen suggestion. Next week, the environmental compliance theme continues.
The citizen suggests: “If you see planes and an airport when you buy your house and do not like it, go somewhere else.” I agree. If there is somewhere else to go. And if the County is disclosing rather than hiding its plans for its 8 County airports.
Where to Go
In 1999, we moved from Los Angeles to Carlsbad. First, we looked at the Estancia development South of Palomar Airport Blvd, West of Melrose. About 2 miles from Palomar. Stylish Spanish homes. Nicer than either home we later bought.
We were prepared to plunk down the wampum for Estancia. Then we stood on the hill overlooking this new development. And heard planes fly over repeatedly. We fled. We sacrificed a very nice home to skip the noise. Good for us. Bad for the developer and Estancia homeowners wanting to maintain property values and sell in the future.
We bought 5 miles South of Palomar in La Costa Valley, off Calle Barcelona. The airport noise seemed far less. Until 2005. Then, more planes, more noise.
We fled again, this time to Lake San Marcos, 5 miles east of Palomar. Again, the planes and helicopters followed. In a few years, we’ll move again. Time to downsize from a two-story to a one-story. The magic question: where can we go to minimize airport noise?
Relying to Your Detriment on County Division of Airports Disclosures
Let’s start the search. First, identify the “quiet” areas in the County. Not an easy task.
Besides San Diego International Airport, which is operated by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, there are 11 civilian airports in the County. They are: McClellan-Palomar, Montgomery Field, Gillepsie Field, Brown Field Municipal, Ramona, Oceanside Municipal, Fallbrook Community, Borrego Valley, Agua Caliente, Ocotillo, and Jacumba. Add in the military aircraft from Camp Pendleton and Miramar.
Now target your new neighborhood. Say Carlsbad. Find quiet Carlsbad. How? Stand at a house, look up, wait a few hours on different days, and count the planes. Or, snuggle (women) or sink (men) into your favorite armchair and visit the website www.lochard.com. Select McClellan-Palomar. This website allows you to track flights during different times. You can see aircraft flight tracks and altitudes as planes take off from Palomar, fly over your new crib, and as they land.
Comfortable with the noise level? Now, go to the County records to see what future growth the County predicts. What do you find? As noted in Blog #4 published on November 12, 2012, you find that for 33 years the County has promised to operate Palomar as a limited use airport in accordance with Carlsbad Conditional Use Permit 172. In other words, a promise not to place regularly scheduled large commercial aircraft at Palomar flying to many cities.
So you buy. You’ve done your diligent research. Do you have to move again because the County wants to break its promise that it has made to several hundred thousand homeowners near the airport for more than thirty years?
Balancing the Rights of Homeowners, the Traveling Public, and Business
My wife and I fly once or twice a year. Our daughter flies from San Francisco a few times a year. We understand the appeal of using Palomar.
But why do several hundred thousand homeowners and apartment dwellers near Palomar have to daily sacrifice for travelers who use the airport a few times a year? Should homeowners sacrifice peace of mind and property values for the occasional traveler?
But won’t Carlsbad corporate businesses suffer if Palomar does not expand? Why? Corporate jets typically carry fewer than 20 people. Why does Palomar need turbojets carrying 80 passengers and crew as is now proposed?
Next Week Blog 9: Palomar Airport Expansion: More County & FAA Environmental Tricks