The Greensboro Planning Department doesn’t give up easily.
Planning Director Sue Schwartz and Planning Manager Steve Galanti presented the department’s plan for changes to the Airport Overlay Districts at the March 4 City Council work session.
Piedmont Triad Airport Authority General Counsel Bill Cooke and Fox Rothschild attorney Tom Terrell presented the Airport Authority’s plan.
The City Council didn’t even consider the proposal from the Planning Department but asked if the Airport Authority’s plan could be approved immediately or if additional public hearings were needed, since the Planning Department had only presented its own plan at the public hearings.
City Attorney Chuck Watts suggested that the best course of action would be to hold public hearings on the Airport Authority’s proposal.
As a result, the Planning Department has scheduled virtual public hearings for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 13 and 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 15. To participate people are asked to email Steve Galanti (https://www.greensboro-nc.gov/Home/Components/News/News/15697/36) no later than noon on the day of the meeting.
Most of the information in the announcement of the meeting is about the Planning Department’s proposal listed as Option A, not the Airport Authority’s proposal listed as Option B.
Public hearings on the Planning Department’s proposal have already been held. The entire purpose of the additional public hearings is to give the public an opportunity to weigh in on the Airport Authority’s proposal, Option B, the one that the City Council has indicated it intends to pass as soon as legally possible. At the City Council meeting, not a single councilmember spoke in favor of the Planning Department’s Option A. Most of the discussion was about whether additional public hearings were required before passing the Airport Authority’s Option B.
The difference in Option A and Option B is in notification and building standards. The Planning Department proposed that for property in Airport Overlay District B, which is further away from the airport and therefore is less subject to noise from airplanes flying overhead, Realtors be required to notify potential buyers that the property was in the Airport Overlay District and that new structures be built to mitigate the sound.
However, in Airport Overlay District A, closer to the airport and more subject to noise from airplanes flying overhead, the Planning Department’s proposal, Option A, is that there be no required notification or noise mitigation construction standards.
The Airport Authority plan, Option B, calls for the same notification and noise mitigation standards be applied to both Airport Overlay Districts.
The city councilmembers questioned why the Planning Department would not require notification and noise mitigation standards in the area closer to the airport and representatives of the Planning Department gave no answer that satisfied a single member of the City Council.
At the request of District 1 City Councilmember Sharon Hightower, what had been referred to as Airport Overlay District 1 is now referred to Airport Overlay District A and Airport Overlay District 2 is now Airport Overlay District B, which does add another layer of confusion.