More on the Port of Shelton
Monday, 12 September 2011 07:14
Is it possible that all the hoopla being presented by the Port of Shelton regarding the rezone of 160 acres south of the airport is to delay the process while management lobbies for legislation that will essentially scuttle the entire development?
In his most recent editorial Commissioner Hupp seems confused as to why his repeated assumptions are not being interpreted as fact. So let’s take another look at Mr. Hupp’s concerns.
Noise issues: Certified noise analysts hired by the city have proven ambient airport noise levels at the 160 acres in question fall well beneath annoyance levels. Future noise related lawsuits filed against the Port: Here, Mr. Hupp ignores the existence of available legal mechanisms designed specifically to protect airports from noise related lawsuits brought by residents of new developments in perpetuity.
Relocate the development: Suggesting the developer abandon his request to rezone the 160 acres in question and build on adjacent land is much like asking the airport to move the runway just a couple of degrees to the north. Mr. Hupp is well aware that the layout of commercial/industrial/residential areas is critical to the success of a project of this magnitude; traffic patterns, aesthetics, topography, and a host of other components are inherently interdependent.
Port is bound by “Contractural obligations” to the FAA: Mr. Hupp states that the port is “contractually obligated to the FAA” to protect the airport, which implies the existence of a legal document containing specific language relative to the issue at hand. But the contractual obligation to which Mr. Hupp refers is more general, as stated in FAA Airport Compliance Manual, 5190.6B. Exactly what constitutes a “threat” to the airport is far too subjective and open to interpretation to serve as
lynchpin of any opposition argument against the rezone.
In addition, legal action brought by the port has already resulted in the City of Shelton being declared out of compliance by the Growth Management Board, placing the city out of contention for a much needed 20 year loan to improve infrastructure; it has also cost the taxpayers of Mason County hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
If the port is successful in its lobbying efforts, not only will it have torpedoed economic growth in Mason County well into the future, but perhaps other counties, as well.
Tom Davis, Shelton