values. Then, for some unknown reason, their articles strive to negate
their admissions about the effect of airport expansion on home values
with long commentaries on how great home values are today.
There is no question that homes in Burbank and across the nation have
been selling like hot cakes, and for stellar prices. However, today's
property values are not the issue. The issue is what affect will a
substantially larger airport, with accompanying noise and air pollution,
have on home values. It is important to understand the real estate
pitfalls of having an expanded airport.
It is interesting that Mr. Rogers, who has a reputation of being an
investigative reporter, and Mr. Soderstrom, a second-generation Burbank
Realtor, ignore studies on the impact airport expansion has on home
In conjunction with the planned conversion of the El Toro Marine Base
to a commercial airport, Randall Bell, a certified real estate appraiser
and instructor for the Appraisal Institute, provided the results of his
professional analysis to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Bell's
report encompassed LAX, John Wayne and the Ontario airports. His study
indicates a loss in home values up to 27%.
The state of Washington commissioned a socioeconomic study at
Seattle's Sea-Tac International Airport for their expansion and the
Federal Aviation Administration's own study -- titled "The Effects of
Airport Noise On Housing Values" -- also reference a decline in home
values as high as 19%. The new Indianapolis Airport expansion has caused
home values to depreciate as much as 25%.
In order to avoid further litigation, the Indianapolis Airport is
working in a financial settlement with home owners. These reports are
readily available to anyone. In the case of Rogers and Soderstrom, it
appears to be easier to accuse concerned residents of using scare tactics
than it is to go through the tedium of reading the reports.
The results of the studies are compelling. Airport expansion reduces
home values. This is why meaningful protections and limitations are
needed. This is why a mandatory curfew from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and a
mandatory cap on flights are needed before any construction begins on a
new terminal. These protections will help maintain the equity and
investments of our homes.