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Wed, Nov 03, 2004

Board of Airport Commissioners Advances VNY Master Plan Process

Better Plan For Land Use?

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) Monday voted to send the Department of City Planning a new alternative for the Van Nuys Airport (VNY) Master Plan.

The BOAC called for immediate action on Alternative J, which identifies land use designations to govern future development of the airport and a dedicated area for propeller aircraft.

"I am pleased that the Board of Airport Commissioners voted today to move forward with the Van Nuys Airport Master Plan," said Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn. "Van Nuys Airport is the largest general aviation airport in the country, which is why it is important that we adopt a master plan to guide the future development of the airport that will balance the needs of all stakeholders who do business with and live in the communities surrounding the airport."

The BOAC first approved a recommended alternative for the VNY Master Plan in February 2000 that identified Runway, Aviation, Airport Commercial and Airport Light Industrial areas. Following a series of public hearings and at the recommendation of the Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council, the alternative was modified to include specific acreage dedicated for use by propeller aircraft.

"Today marks an important step forward in the Van Nuys Airport Master Plan process," said BOAC President Cheryl K. Petersen. "Our goal is to achieve a long-term plan that will provide for the orderly development of on-airport land uses, enhance the environment and increase Van Nuys Airport's compatibility with the surrounding community."

Los Angeles City Councilmember Tony Cardenas, whose district includes the airport, strongly endorsed Alternative J. "Good compromises are rare in project developments of this magnitude," said Cardenas. "Alternative J is the best plan because, even though no one got everything they wanted, each side realized that a fair compromise was more important than winning."

The BOAC also requested that City Planning staff analyze a provision of the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Leasing Policy that reserves a minimum of 50 acres for the current and future storage and support of propeller aircraft at VNY.

"I am very pleased by the BOAC's action today, said VNY Citizens Advisory Council Chair Coby King. "The community, as represented by the Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council, strongly supports moving forward with a new master plan based on Alternative J. I look forward to working with LAWA staff, Councilmember Cardenas and the Planning Department to bring to fruition a new master plan that best balances the needs of the aviation community and local residents."

The Department of City Planning will next prepare an analysis of Alternative J in comparison with other alternatives and submit a final recommendation to the City Planning Commission.

Following review and approval by the City Planning Commission, the Final Environmental Impact Report, VNY Master Plan and associated documents will be transmitted to the City Council and Mayor for final adoption.

Once approved, the VNY Master Plan will be incorporated into the City's General Plan as an amendment. Airport officials estimate the Master Plan approval process could take up to 10 months to complete.

Ranked as the world's busiest general aviation airfield, VNY is one of four airports owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a self-supporting department of the City of Los Angeles.

FMI: www.lawa.org/vny/default.cfm

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