Agendas and Minutes

Airport Committee (View All)

Regular Meeting

Agenda
Tuesday, February 06, 2007

ASHLAND AIRPORT COMMISSION

FEBRUARY 6, 2007

 

MINUTES

 

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:              RICHARD HENDRICKSON, PAUL WESTERMAN, BOB SKINNER, TOM BRADLEY, RUSS SILBIGER, LINCOLN ZEVE, BILL SKILLMAN, GOA LOBAUGH

STAFF:            DAWN LAMB

MEMBERS ABSENT:  ALAN DEBOER

Visitors:  Kyle Hopkins, Glen Ward, Kirby Mills, Burl Brim and Joanne Krippaehne

1.                   CALL TO ORDER:                  9:30 AM

2.                   APPROVAL OF MINUTES:    January 9, 2007, minutes approved as written.

3.                   Public Forum:

 

4.       OLD BUSINESS:

A.                 Burl Brim Development

Burl Brim addressed the commission on the recent proposals he has submitted to the commission.  The parking lot to fulfill the planning requirement proposed last meeting is still a contention.  He is unagreeable with the 90 day eviction clause to remove the parking lot if a bonafide offer to build on that footprint is received.  If someone is going to build there is one remaining lot on the end of the row and there would still be a need for parking.  This lot would meet the planning requirements for the end lot as wellas Brim’s lot.  Since the lots have been available in the current state for nearly ten years and no one has built, this could be a delayed decision for quite a long time.  Brim also felt that by reducing the parking lot to half the size creates a hardship for his business.  He needs area to be able to park some of his larger equipment near the maintenance hangar.  There will also be training for short haul and fire training.  Brim feels strongly about having customer parking adjacent to the building. 

 

Skinner said that the concern for the original 22 spaces being added to a parking lot off the taxiway would be the increase of vehicles on a taxiway and the increasing conflicts between the vehicles and aircraft.  The inclusion of parking was not the problem as long as the employees and people using the parking lot were aircraft savvy.  Skinner would like to encourage any non-essential drivers to park at the FBO office parking lot. 

 

Zeve commented that the area is a prime development area for the airport and one of the few that is build ready.  If Brim wants to build the parking lot, he is willing to pay for the entire footprint as at the going lease rate.  In the future there are plans for more parking and the missing piece is the trigger for making the parking lot a reality.  There needs to be a clear plan for what and when the parking area will need to be constructed.  The logical timing would be with the addition of commercial development to the north of the Sky Research hangar.  To save the available building sites the commission felt the 90 day removal clause was a safety net to continue development.

 

Bradley felt that in all practicality, the planning process would be much longer than 90 days and would give Brim more time to work with the potential developer.  There may be a way to work a refundable deposit for the parking lot.  Brim estimates that the costs will be about $40,000 for the parking lot and he would want to build it to City standards.  Brim would want to own the parking lot and would want to be under the higher lease rate.  The lease would amortorize for 25 years then revert to the city.  This would make the cost pencil out for Brim. 

 

Hendrickson still feels strongly about the need to protect the taxiway from the vehicle incursions.  The idea of traffic increasing on the taxiway does not fit well with him.  He is very apprehensive about agreeing to the parking lot.  Brim’s employees have been very gracious and conscientious to the aircraft on the taxiway.  They have been great neighbors.  Kirby Mills addressed the commission about changes on the sizes of the hangars and on the parking area.  Zeve thought about the time when the Skinner parking between the maintenance hangar and the Sky Research hangar will no longer be available.  If that happens prior to the building of any commercial parking lots then he sees a good reason to build the parking lot. As long as it is understood that it is temporary and could be temporary for a long time, it could be a needed necessity.  The temporary could last for years at the rate of development at the airport.  Bradley restated that the continuing goal is to keep the vehicular access and the aircraft patterns separated.  The master plan calls out for a change to the Airport Road to redirect it to the planned parking lot. 

 

Brim talked to Jim Olson about the dirt area next to the new T-hangars and the area behind his existing hangar.  Brim would like to excavate the area behind the hangar to add some additional parking.  Olson said if Brim can excavate the dirt to the taxiway standard it would be helpful to the City.  Brim will pave the area next to the T-hangars and will ensure that the cars are kept 39 feet from the taxiway centerline.  Skillman was agreeable to this idea.

 

Bradley was confident a substitution clause in the lease could be useful to help with the parking lot.  Zeve agreed that when the new parking lot is constructed this parking lot could be reconsidered for its usefulness. The need for parking is one that will be brought up with each new proposed development.  If the commission can be agreeable to this addition as temporary there may be other developers who are saved a lot of hassle.  Could a compromise to handle the traffic incursions be met to support this development.  Brim understood the concern the commission had regarding the increase of the incursions.  Zeve is supportive of the addition for Brim.  Hendrickson felt he could support the new parking if the eight new spots were created behind the hangar and over by the new hangars and the proposed parking lot is cut in half.  Lobaugh asked if there was anyway to do an access road down from the Airport Road.  The slope is too steep to make it a viable road connection. 

 

Krippaehne asked for one other item to be addressed.  There is a new building code which requires the distance from a radiant heat source at the ceiling level be equal to the distance from the floor to the top of the wing of an aircraft.  To accommodate the helicopter the height of the hangar would need to be 24 feet.  The problem with this is that the existing Airport Overlay Zone from the planning department does not allow a structure to be over 20 feet high which is four feet short of meeting the building code requirement.  There will need to be another variance and this is something to be addressed during the variance drafting. 

 

Action: 

Bradley motioned to enter into lease negotiations to build the proposed hangar and parking lot subject to aircraft and traffic mitigation plan and substitution clause triggered by traffic conflicts.  Seconded by Hendrickson and vote passed unanimously. 

 

Bradley motioned for the commission acknowledging support of the 4 foot addition to the 20 foot high hangar to meet the building code.  Seconded by Hendrickson and the vote passed unanimously. 

 

B.                 Lindler Development Update

References are being called on from other airports that have worked with Lindler.  Lindler was contacted by email to see if he had any information he wanted included in today’s meeting.  Directions and clear communication will help to ensure that the project is completed smoothly and equitably.  To keep the development moving, it may be wise to consider limiting the development area.  For a developer, the cost is up front to install all the infrastructure needed to develop the marketable portions of the development.  The Commission is familiar with the cost and the excavation that will be necessary to put in the taxiway to accommodate the hangars. 

 

Action:

Bradley motioned for a subcommittee be formed to study look at the potential of hangar development with Alan DeBoer as acting chair.  While the commission supported the idea, the funding is not available for the City to complete their own development.  We are currently paying down debt service for the T-hangars that were constructed.   There could be some marketing put together to advertise the areas available for other developers.   Hendrickson seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

 

C.                 Strategic Plan Assignments

Item will be removed from agenda until further actions are assigned.

 

4.     NEW BUSINESS: 

A.                 Review of Call Procedure for Hangar Waiting List

The Commissioners discussed options to help Skinner staff expedite the procedure for contacting potential hangar occupants.  Below is the current policy from Skinner staff:

 

Our current procedure for the hangar waiting list is that there is a $50 deposit to be put on the waiting list.  If at any time the person decides to be removed from the list, $35 is refunded to them.  When a person gets a hangar, $45 of the deposit is applied toward the first month's rent.  Each person on the waiting list gets 2 refusals before they are moved to the bottom of the list.  People are called according to either the date they paid their deposit, or the date of their second refusal.

  

Currently, there are 8 people on the "Either" waiting list (meaning they will consider both open and closed hangars) and 27 people on the "Closed Only" waiting list.  I believe at this time that only one person on the "Either" list would even consider taking any kind of hangar.  As for the "Closed Only" waiting list, there are 13 people who have refused hangars multiple times in the past 3 years and I don't think they will take a hangar in the near future.  Some of these people have been on the waiting list for over 10 years.  Each time I have an available hangar, I have to call each person on the list, in order.  Some of these people ask me why I'm calling them because they simply don't recall being on the waiting list.  I ask each time I call them whether they would like to continue to be on the waiting list, or if they would like a refund of their money.  Most respond by stating that they'll stay on the list "just in case" their situation changes.  Filling a hangar can

 take weeks because I have to wait to hear back from some people I leave messages for.  I call each person twice if I don't reach them, and give them 48 hours to return my call.  While I'm waiting to hear from them, I cannot call anyone below them on the list in the off chance they decide to take the hangar.

  

What I propose to remedy this situation is to make the $50 deposit non-refundable and good for only two refusals.  Once the person has refused a hangar twice, they lose their deposit and have to pay $50 again to be put at the bottom of the list.  The only time there is a refund given is when the person rents a hangar, and then it is applied to the first month's rent.  This would save a lot of time and perhaps keep only those serious about wanting a hangar on the list.  It would also make accounting easier for both Skinner Aviation and the City of Ashland, as we would not be passing money back and forth when the funds are received and again when they are refunded to people.  Currently, Skinner Aviation keeps only $5 of the deposit, and often times the accounting time is worth much more than that.  We also propose that the hangar waiting list portion of the monthly report be removed and Skinner Aviation will maintain the waiting list.  Skinner keeps the $50 deposit when it

 is received, and the City receives their $45 portion of that deposit when a hangar is rented.

  

Please discuss this with the Airport Commission and let me know what your decision is.  I will then send a letter to each person on the waiting list advising them of the changes to the policy.  Please call me should you have any questions.

 

Discussion:

Lobaugh suggested that after two refusals for an open hangar, they be removed from the list and that the fee for being on the list be increased to $100 to $200 that is credited to their first month’s rent.  Zeve agreed that people that have been on the list for years and keep refusing a hangar are taking advantage.  The cost to contact them, and then to wait for their response back which could take days is unfair to someone who truly is ready and wants the hangar.  The process is taking too much time for the Skinner staff and costing money in long distance calls and costing rent income while it remains open.  Zeve suggested putting out announcements on the website or by email.  Lobaugh felt that somehow the responsibility should be on the person on the list.  Skillman commented that turnover for the hangars are sometimes slow.  The maintenance is on Skinner and if a reasonable attempt is made and a reasonable amount of time has passed you move onto the next person.  If not available when called then there shouldn’t be hard feelings when the opportunity is missed.  Skinner feels that ten days is long time for contacting ten people.  There is typically a thirty day notice that someone is planning to vacate.  A notice could be sent out at that time or posted on the website.  The people could then contact back to Skinner Aviation that they are interested and if they are the senior person on the list out of all the respondents, they get the hangar.  Then a phone call could also be made, but after that point a reasonable attempt has been made twice.  Hendrickson said that people who have been on the list for years and years need to either remove themselves or take a hangar. 

 

            Action: 

Hendrickson motioned to adopt the policy presented by Skinner Aviation for the person on the waiting list to receive two calls before they are removed from the list; if they voluntarily remove themselves from the list, they receive a refund.  Lobaugh wanted to be sure people already on the list had a chance to either stay on the list but have to pay the new rate.  Renee McCoy’s time is worth lots and this is a revenue generator when it is done expediently.  Silbiger amended the motion to increase the reservation fee from $50 to $100 with no grandfather clause.  This will clean up the list to reflect people serious about being in a hangar.  One email is considered a call and two emails with no response is the same as two calls.  Then the person is removed from the list.  Keep the open hangar and the closed hangars on separate lists and make sure the website is updated.  The commission also asked for the new policy to be written out on the reservation form.  Seconded by Lobaugh.  Skinner will write up policy and have it reviewed by the Commission.  Vote passed unanimously. 

 

B.                 Draft E-1 Planning Requirement – Draft Variance

Need for subcommittee set up date.  Lamb has been scouring the internet to find other examples of airport overlays to use for comparison.  Lamb would like to have a set of guidelines for the committee.

 

5.                 AIRPORT MANAGER REPORT/FBO REPORT/AIRPORT ASSOCIATION:

A.                 Status of Airport, Financial Report, Review of Safety Reports

The weather has been inclement and the activity has been slow.  There was a robbery at the FBO office that has been resolved. 

 

B.                 Maintenance Updates – Tree trimming will be going out to bid in the next month.

 

6.     OTHER:

1.  Glen Ward, adjacent property owner, asked for the commission to establish more control over the helicopter operations at the airport.  The FBO office has been aware of most activity and does discourage flights from taking place in front of Ward’s house.  The operations have been getting close to his fence and he calls the FBO office for help.  Skinner will continue to have some due diligence in keeping the flights away from Ward’s property.   As a public airport, the FAA will not prohibit helicopters from operating and the office does turn in pilots who are operating unsafely.  They will continue to work with Ward to keep situations to a minimum.

 

2.  Hendrickson wanted to be sure if the Oak Knoll Golf Course is turned into low income housing as it has been discussed in the paper, then they must be aware they are in the noise overlay zone.  A letter could be drafted from Commission to the Housing commission stating the concern.

 

7.     NEXT MEETING DATE:  March 6th, 2007, 9:30 AM

 

ADJOURN:  Meeting adjourned at 11:30 AM

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