Jet Ranch approved by Planning Commission

Opponents to the planned Jet Ranch airplane hangars to be constructed at the Carson City Airport, plan to contest the approval given to the project Wednesday by the Planning Commission.

Johnson Lane resident Jerry Vaccaro, whose wife owns a business on Highway 50 East, said he has concerns about the project and how members of the city's Airport Authority conducted themselves.

"I don't feel we've been informed as we should have," Vaccaro told the commissioners.

Not only does he want to know how all of the authority members might be affiliated or whether they might have potential conflicts of interest, he also cited concerns about airport parking rules being equally enforced and the ability for residents to obtain project-related documents.

An appeal of the project would put the decision in the hands of the Board of Supervisors.

"We feel our welfare is at stake," said Dottie Kelley, an Apollo Drive resident against the project whose home was damaged last June when a plane crash-landed.

She wants to see more security measures taken before a project of this size is allowed. The total space could house up to 17 aircraft, according to airport officials.

Members of the Airport Authority approved the project last week after stating they would consider sanctions against pilots who make a habit of low or off-course take-offs and landings, and post volunteers at the end of Runway 9-27 to monitor aircraft.

Kelley wants what was promised last summer by the airport authority: Aircraft spotters in her neighborhood, watching planes as they fly over the corner of Apollo and Hiko Court, for example.

A small plane also crashed in the same neighborhood in 2001, severely injuring a man who was in a back yard.

The site where the Jet Ranch is being planned is near the center of the airport, referred to as "the triangle," and close to where Taxiway C and Runway 9-27 meet.

Grant money from the Federal Aviation Administration will allow the airport to pay for the realignment of the main runway so air traffic flies over the Eagle Valley Golf Course and the city's industrial area instead of the Apollo Drive area. The $25 million in improvements are expected to be done in 2010 or 2011 and should greatly enhance safety, according to airport officials.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.

In other business

Planning commissioners:

• Recommended Combs Canyon ll, a plan for 19 new homes on 25 acres, though residents and commissioners expressed concern about road safety along the stretch of Combs Canyon where the homes would be - especially during winter. Two of the six commissioners cited area traffic safety as a reason why they voted against the project. Its downsloped driveways would feed to and from Combs Canyon Road, and the site would offer no designated on-street parking. Turnabouts would help smaller autos and trucks go from home to home, but wouldn't accommodate larger trucks. The Board of Supervisors is expected to consider the plan April 18.

• Allowed the Nevada Children's Foundation to have some of its land rezoned from conservation reserve to retail commercial. The 10.5 acres is on Eagle Valley Ranch Road and next to the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center.


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