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PILOT GROUP HAILS W. JORDAN FOR REJECTING APPLICATIONS TO BUILD HOMES NEAR AIRPORT

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West Jordan is receiving national attention and praise from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for "its unusual foresight in city planning."

The City Council has continually rejected rezoning applications from housing developers to build close to the Salt Lake City Airport #2. Most recently, West Jordan voted down a rezoning application of 155 acres at 7000 South and 4800 West.The airport is between 6200 and 7800 South just west of 4800 West.

"The city is concerned about housing development around airports," said Penny Atkinson, assistant city manager. "Building homes near an airport inevitably leads to complaints about noise and pollution. While West Jordan is growing at an explosive rate and there is a demand for more land for housing, the mayor and City Council do not believe building next to a busy airport is a wise answer to development."

Commercial development next to airports does not present the same kinds of problems as housing, said Atkinson.

In a letter to Mayor Max Hogan, the regional vice president of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association commended West Jordan officials for "exhibiting foresight in maintaining the economic vitality of this valuable airport."

The AOPA is the nation's largest organization of pilots. It has a membership of 320,000 in the United States and 2,000 in Utah. Members make up 96 percent of the total U.S. civil air fleet.

Dunn cited 3,820 jobs and $240 million in economic benefit resulting from general aviation activity in Utah. "By maintaining zoning laws, you will help ensure the airport will serve the community for years to come."

Residential encroachment has closed at least 135 U.S. public landing areas in the past five years.

Kevin D. Murphy, AOPA spokesman, said that the kind of foresight demonstrated by West Jordan officials is rare in these days of rapid development.

"A community with a front door to an airport - like West Jordan - benefits economically. But the problem most growing cities have is that they don't see far enough into the future to prevent residential encroachment and its accompanying problems. When friction arises between homeowners and the airport, the airport is usually the one to go. We applaud West Jordan for their courage in making a tough development decision."