Friday, July 26, 2013

Half Moon Bay Airport (KHAF) updates safety, layout plan: Manager says ‘slow growth’ in store

Photo courtesy San Mateo County
Half Moon Bay Airport managers expect slow growth in the foreseeable future.

The Half Moon Bay Airport is in the midst of updating two plans related to its operation and land use, the latter of which hasn’t been revamped in nearly two decades.

The airport layout plan should be finalized later this summer in compliance with a Federal Aviation Administration requirement for grant funding that mandates such plans be updated every three years. It involves the maintenance of airport infrastructure, such as runways and buildings. Airport manager Gretchen Kelly says the long-term plan for the airport is “slow growth.”

“We’re going to paint the terminal building, update the sign and keep the pavement painted, but we don’t need a whole lot out there other than what we already have,” Kelly said.

She added that a proposal to build a parallel taxiway was nixed because it was deemed unnecessary.

The airport compatibility plan is a more complex matter. It involves determining the use of the land around the airport, including drawing safety zones that limit what kinds of buildings, if any, can exist on certain pieces of land. The plan is midway through completion and should be finalized by early 2014, Kelly says.

Sandy Wong is the executive director of the City/County Association of Governments, which is advising the airport on drawing up the latest compatibility plan. She says a couple key differences from the 1996 compatibility plan include the decibel allowance, which will increase from 55 to 60 decibels, and the safety zones.

Wong says that this plan will not impact existing uses for this land, but cites that a lot of the Princeton area is included in one particular safety zone. That zone prohibits residential use except for low density and infill housing, schools, hospitals and several other potential uses.

Kelly believes that whatever changes are made to safety zones will have little impact on neighbors.

“Most of the safety zones are on airport property,” she said. “Those safety areas increased a little, but remain on airport property, (so) there will be no significant impacts to our neighbors.”

San Mateo County planner Summer Burlison says she is unsure yet how the compatibility plan may affect the Princeton planning effort, but it will certainly be taken into consideration.

“Once there is an updated plan, we will definitely need to consider what the adopted plan is to make sure any of our local policies are consistent with the compatibility plan of the airport,” she said.

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