Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hangar plans develop at Camarillo Airport (KCMA), Ventura County, California

A developer has been lined up for a $9 million project at Camarillo Airport that will include the building of 100,000-square-feet of much-needed hangar and office space.

On Wednesday, the Camarillo City Council received the update about the hangar space along with information about a major runway reconstruction project from Tom McNamee, director of airports for Ventura County. He said the airport has over 150 pilots on a five- to seven-year wait list for hangar space, so the county is constructing about 45 hangars in the northeast corner of the airport.

The 650-acre airport is operated by the county in partnership with the city and is home to more than 600 general aviation aircraft, and there are about 150,000 and 200,000 takeoff and landings per year.

McNamee said the $14 million reconstruction of the runway, which has not had a major rehabilitation in about 21 years, is expected in the next couple of years.

"This is our next major project after we get started with our hangars. This one is interesting because it's a bit difficult with the safety areas we have to maintain. We essentially have to shut down the airport," said McNamee.

He said the plan for runway reconstruction calls for the shut down of the airport for three months during one year, and the Oxnard airport will be shut down for the same period of time the following year as it also undergoes reconstruction.

"We're staggering the projects. The tenants in Camarillo can move up to Oxnard the best way we can accommodate them and then the following year, those tenants can move to Camarillo," McNamee said. "It's a big project for us, but we're doing everything we can to minimize that impact to our tenants."

Also in his update, McNamee said 35 acres of cars being stored at the Camarillo Airport will start being moved in the next couple months to make way for airport construction.

Hyundai and Kia were storing the cars at the airport because they ran out of space on land leased near the Port of Hueneme.

The cars moved from the airport will be consolidated to locations closer to the port until they can be shipped to dealers.

"Originally, the cars were going to stay a few months. It's now been over a year. We generate about $170,000 a month in revenue for storing these cars. It's allowed us to actually save money and pay for that hangar project we want to do without having to get a loan. It's been great for us that way, but they're starting to be phased out," said McNamee.

He told the council that Camarillo Airport generates about two-thirds of the $300 million in airport revenue. Also, 2,500 jobs are created from both the Camarillo and Oxnard airports run by the county.

He said about $100 million has been invested in the airport in the last 15 years, with more than $40 million in grant money used for maintaining runways and installing LED lighting.

In other action at Wednesday's meeting, the council gave initial approval to change its sign ordinance to allow eight temporary freestanding noncommercial signs permitted on each residential, commercial or industrial property beginning 90 days before an election.

Previously, the city allowed one temporary freestanding campaign sign for each political candidate or issue on each property.

The city based the change on a Supreme Court decision made last year stating that cities "may not give preferential treatment in providing opportunities for posting noncommercial messages on signs based on the sign's content."

"The Supreme Court said we can't call them campaign signs anymore, so we can't say one per candidate or issue anymore. That's now illegal, thanks to our Supreme Court. They thought they were expanding speech, but it makes it more difficult to regulate when you have that. We didn't want unlimited amounts of any kind of sign, so we felt it necessary to place some limits on it," said Don Davis, assistant city attorney.

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