Planners look at protection zone |

Planners look at protection zone

by Christy Chalmers

A new zone that would restrict growth around Minden-Tahoe Airport is set for debate Tuesday afternoon by Douglas County planners.

The planning commission will consider a master plan amendment and other policies that would create an airport protection zone covering a one-mile radius that would reach the Johnson Lane area, Highway 395 and just north of Minden.

The airport advisory committee recommended forming a protective zone in November 1999, partly due to concerns of the Federal Aviation Administration, which would like assurance the airport will be surrounded by compatible land uses.

That boils down to keeping houses at bay, something a protective zoning designation would help accomplish.

“What it does is it puts people on notice that hey, there’s an airport here, and you live within one mile of it,” said Airport Manager Jim Braswell. “They (airport users) want to be a good neighbor. The idea is to try to do the planning now and make people aware.”

Previous land use plans concerning the airport have suggested imposition of a protective zone, but the county currently doesn’t have a corresponding zoning classification. If the proposed amendments are approved, the actual changes implementing the protective zone will be done later in the year.

Braswell noted that most of the land uses in the master plan are compatible with the airport. They include agriculture, forest and range, community facility and industrial uses, but there is a residential area northeast of the airport that could be affected.

The property has been identified as a receiving area, which means development rights from other areas could be exercised there. The master plan says up to 1,000 houses could eventually be built in the receiving area, with some falling within the proposed airport zone, but a county report says the development could also be designed so houses stay out of the zone.

The planning commission will make a recommendation on the proposed zone and other changes. Final approval is up to the county commission.


What: Douglas County Planning Commission

When: Tuesday, 1 p.m. at the old courthouse, 1616 Eighth St., Minden.