The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners on Wednesday postponed a decision on whether to permit a $3-million office building on Van Nuys Airport land, following objections by a homeowner group that it would increase aircraft noise in the neighborhood.
Don Schultz of Van Nuys, president of Ban Airport Noise, complained to the commissioners that plans for the building include permission for tenants or their business guests to temporarily park up to seven light aircraft, or a maximum of four private jets, at the structure. The presence of the parking spaces would encourage more flights, he said.
Schultz, whose group is composed of homeowners near Burbank and Van Nuys airports, spoke as the commissioners were considering requests from the Department of Airports staff to approve an environmental impact report on the project and a 40-year lease with the builders, Fly Away Partners. The company wants to build a three-story, 53,000-square-foot office building on a 2.3-acre site on the northeast corner of Sherman Way and Hayvenhurst Avenue.
Won't Increase Noise
Officials of the Department of Airports argued that the parking spaces, which are to be used only part of the time, wouldl not increase noise with takeoffs and landings. Even without the parking spaces, planes belonging to tenants or visitors could still land at the airport and park at nearby hangars, they said.
Orris W. Durham, deputy general manager of the department, said the plans were already a compromise "in response to the hue and cry from the surrounding community that these projects not be limited to aviation uses."
The department could have leased the land to hangar operators who could have permanently based up to 200 aircraft on the same space, Durham said. But, to accommodate complaints from residents of the neighborhood, officials opted instead for a tenant who wants to build a general office building with a minimum of aircraft facilities, he said.
The Federal Aviation Administration, which has jurisdiction over some land uses at the city-owned airport, will not approve projects that have no "aviation involvement" at all, he said.
2 Commissioners Absent
With only three of the five commissioners attending Wednesday's meeting--the other two were out of the city--the board did not act on the proposal.
Commissioner Sam Greenberg of Van Nuys called for approval of the project. But his motion died for lack of a second from Commissioner Robert Chick of North Hollywood, the only other commissioner present except for the presiding officer, board President Johnnie Cochran. Chick said he thought the issue should be decided with all the commissioners present.
A decision was postponed at least until the next board meeting Oct. 18. Commissioners indicated the issue probably would not be decided until Nov. 6, however, the next meeting that all five commissioners are expected to attend.