Dozens Turned Out, Room Was At Capacity, Developer Says
Dozens of people, many of them pilots, were not allowed to
attend a public meeting Wednesday in which a developer was
discussing plans to close a local airport and re-purposing the
The meeting was to be held at a Rabobank branch in Grover Beach,
CA. The developer from Los Osos, CA says he would like to close the
Oceano County airport (L52) and re-purpose it for commercial and
residential property. The developer, Jeff Edwards, says he wants to
create a "Town Center" in Oceano, as well as create jobs.
The county Board of Supervisors, however, has been clear that
they have "no interest in selling the airport." Chairman Frank
Mecham said as much at the March 2 board meeting. Airport manager
Richard Howell said at a news conference Wednesday "we're not
interested in leasing it, either."
The San Louis Obispo Tribune reports that Edwards set up the
meeting, hand-picking a small group of pilots and others to attend.
An attorney gave a broad overview of the process for closing a GA
But dozens of other pilots gathered outside the bank where the
meeting was being held. The Grover Beach police were notified that
the meeting was not being held properly.
While the city had no involvement in the meeting, the police
told the crowd they could not allow the room to exceed its rated
capacity. But they also advised Edwards that he should find a
larger venue should he decide to hold another one. He reportedly
has five additional meetings planned.
AOPA Vice President for Airport Advocacy Bill Dunn flew from
Fredrick, MD to California to attend the meeting. “I can
assure you that we'll be at these meetings and we’ll oppose
you all the way,” he told Edwards. Dunn asked the people who
were able to get in to the meeting if any of them wanted to see the
No one raised their hand.