Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wallingford Planning and Zoning Commission approves new aircraft hangar at Meriden Markham Municipal Airport (KMMK)

WALLINGFORD — The Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday approved a 3,844-square-foot aircraft hangar to be built on Wallingford property at the Meriden Markham Municipal Airport.

Jonathan Gavin, who owns United Concrete in Yalesville, received approval to construct the hangar, which he said will be used to store aircraft he flies for business.

The commission voted 4-0 to approve a special permit modification to a previously approved application from the city of Meriden. In 2006, the city received approval from Wallingford to construct 41 new aircraft hangars on the Wallingford side of the airport. Not all of those 41 approved hangars have been constructed to date, but Town Planner Kacie Costello said the approval is still valid because the city has “kept up with their extensions.”

Costello said it made sense to approve Gavin’s new hangar as a modification to the previously approved application because that application was approved with certain conditions, including a condition that prohibits more than 50 aircraft from being stored on the Wallingford side at any given time. Town officials wanted the same conditions to apply to the new hangar.

“Since we already have this existing approval, from an administrative standpoint, it made more sense to add onto that, rather than have this one new hangar supersede the old plan because that’s not the intention,” Costello said.

The municipal airport is located along the Meriden-Wallingford line at 213 Evansville Ave. Portions of the airport extend into Wallingford. Gavin’s hangar will be 62 feet x 62 feet and will be located in Wallingford. He said the hangar will only be used to store aircraft and is large enough to store up to two or three aircraft.

Costello said she didn’t have any concerns about the new hangar. The Planning and Zoning Commission did not raise any notable concerns before approving the application. A public hearing was also held prior to the approval. Economic Development Commission member Jim Wolfe, who spoke in support of the application, was the only member of the public who spoke.

Gavin said he first learned to fly at the airport as a teenager. He currently owns one other hangar at the airport located on the Meriden side.

Gavin called the Meriden airport an “unpolished gem.”

“It’s a great place. It’s gotten a little quieter, but it used to be a vibrant place. When I was a kid, I used to go there and they had a restaurant there and there’d always be 20 to 30 guys on a Saturday if it was a nice day. That’s what got me into flying,” Gavin said after the meeting. “I think it’d be great for Meriden and Wallingford if (the airport) would be better utilized for commercial. I can’t see why this airport doesn’t take off. It’s reasonably located near the highways. When I was a kid it seemed like there were a lot more planes. I can’t explain it.”

Gavin expects the new hangar will be built in the next couple months. 

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