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Don Dufford Which county in California chooses to...

March 29, 2000

Don Dufford

Which county in California chooses to exempt itself from a law

designed to minimize incompatible new developments which would add to

airport safety and noise problems?

LA County is the perpetrator.

Designating the Regional Planning Department as the Airport Land Use

Commission (ALUC), the county's Board of Supervisors has slighted its

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oversight responsibilities. There have been no public hearings, no

regular meetings open to the public, no commission-originated reviews,

etc. They are a tiger with false teeth.

Drawing narrow noise contours (65db) around county airports, they

effectively eliminate areas up to two miles from airport boundaries. This

is where schools, housing projects and other encroachment is taking

place. The ALUC is set up as a watchdog to curtail this. That is, in all

counties except Los Angeles.

For example, the ALUC determined a 100-kid day care center proposed

within a half mile of Burbank Airport was not "in its jurisdiction." Not

a peep out the ALUC regarding the proposed 108-acre conversion of

Lockheed land to a hotel and business park. These projects should be

studied as part of the airport's Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).

Another instance was a multiunit condominium project proposed to

replace a 2-acre nursery under Van Nuys Airport approach path and about

two miles from the airport. The ALUC finding -- "not in our

jurisdiction."

Currently, Galpin Ford proposes to erect a 108-foot sign at Roscoe and

Orion in Van Nuys. Because of its unusual height and proximity to the

traffic pattern, the ALUC should review and make a finding. Don't hold

your breath, however; it won't happen.

The state attorney general should consider sanctions on the LA Board

of Supervisors until it follows the law. Additionally, the board should

confer with and take instructions from the ALUC in Orange and Riverside

counties which have successful and active programs. Should LA's laxness

lead to an unfortunate accident, there could be a liability issue.

* DON DUFFORD is an investor who owns several properties in Burbank.

Reach him at 766-4890.

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