Pasco City Council Votes to Adopt New Airport Zoning Codes

By Geoff Folsom, JJuly, 15, 2013, Tri-City Herald

The Pasco City Council voted 6-0 Monday night to repeal its old Tri-Cities Airport zoning restrictions and adopt new ones — the first major update to the master plan in more than 40 years.

The city worked closely on the update with the Port of Pasco, which owns the airport, said city community and economic development director Rick White. The plan largely had remained unchanged since being adopted in 1972.

“It kind of brings us out of the ’70s and into the 2010s,” White said. “Quite a bit has happened both in terms of federal and state standards, and technology, in terms of mapping.”

The new master plan will restrict construction of buildings, such as schools, senior centers and hospitals that draw large concentrations of people within the airport’s flight paths. White said buildings already in place are grandfathered in.

The regulations also restrict the height of buildings in the area, as well as certain uses that could be impacted by the loud noise the jets make when taking off and landing.

The plan also takes into account development around and under a proposed 1,200-foot extension of runway 12, White said.

White said the Port of Pasco already owns much of the land in the area around the airport.

“We don’t have (buildings) that are too high,” he said. “The Port of Pasco has done a good job purchasing property.”

After the council sent the plan back to staff several times for review, Councilman Al Yenney said it came away with one of the better airport zoning agreements in the area.

“I think anybody who has watched the airport zoning, it shows the ability of two major public groups to come together and come up with something that is good for all,” he said.

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