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OCR for page 142
142 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Review of Development Proposals Purpose: Airports can participate with local planning agencies in their review of permit zon- ing and subdivision applications to discourage development of noncompatible land uses. Local planning agencies are encouraged to include airport staff review and airport impact assessment as part of the permitting process. If appropriate land use controls are in place through zoning regulations, airports can deny or recommend changes to a development proposal to ensure com- patibility with airport operations. Limitations: Requires local permitting authority or developers to pro-actively engage airport in the development process. Implemented by: Airports and local jurisdictions. Public reaction: Typically, such administrative actions are unknown to the public. Example of Technique for Public Information: Phoenix Development Services Department Preliminary Review Checklist Preliminary Site Plan (204) used by the planning agency to evaluate development proposals 9-32 Phoenix Aviation Department development review flowchart for review of land use proposals in airport environs (205) 9-33 Best Practices in Land Use Management for Noise Compatibility Based upon their effectiveness in managing the use of incompatible lands in the airport envi- rons, as well as the results of surveys and interviews conducted for this analysis, several tech- niques may be identified as best practices. The best practices of land use management are those that preclude incompatible uses before they develop. To assure the best application of each, it is essential that airport staff communicate and collaborate closely with local planning officials that have jurisdiction over the preparation and regulation of each technique. If the incompatible land uses are already present within the areas of significant noise exposure, mitigation actions are war- ranted. The best practices to manage land use include: Acquisition of Noncompatible Property. The acquisition of lands developed in noise-sensitive uses is the surest method to reduce incompatibilities within the areas of significant noise expo- sure, but it is also the most expensive. Property within the 65 DNL contour that has not been developed, but is at high risk to do so, is also a prime target for a comprehensive acquisition pro- gram. In both cases, the purchaser is usually eligible to participate in the federal grant program. Sound Insulation Programs. Sound insulation programs may be best practices in areas where the noise levels are high, the noise-sensitive uses (residences or public-use buildings) are well established, and all available abatement opportunities have been implemented. These programs are expensive and complex to administer, and do not mitigate exterior noise levels, but they do make the interiors of the treated structures compatible with high levels of aircraft noise. Comprehensive Community Planning. The incorporation of considerations of aircraft noise levels into the comprehensive planning process may allow the community to prevent the devel- opment of incompatible uses before they occur. It discourages the provision of infrastructure designed to support residential development in areas where significant potential impacts are now or may become present with development. It also may designate significantly noise impacted areas for future compatible land uses. Comprehensive planning can provide management of the risk to the utility of the airport by stopping incompatibilities before they happen.

OCR for page 142
Land Use Management Techniques for Noise Abatement 143 Noise impact overlay zoning. The zoning of land that is exposed to significant levels of aircraft noise, whether through conventional zoning or through an impact zone, provides a measure of control over its future development. The greater benefit of the overlay zone is its ability to set density controls, subdivision design requirements, and to require easements, disclosure, and waivers of claim on any property developed within a large area, rather than on each individual zoning request. One drawback to the use of zoning is that it is always subject to changes or vari- ances based on current development considerations and economic need of the community. Subdivision code modification. Because they are transparent, subdivision codes are useful to establish a variety of noise mitigating tools. They may control the density of noise-sensitive devel- opment, impose avigation easements, and require disclosure covenants as conditions of approval. Development review. The collaborative review by airport staff and planning or zoning offi- cials of proposed development projects allows the airport to comment early on about the poten- tial for adverse impacts created by incompatible development on noise-sensitive properties. Organized review may place both the developer and the community on notice that if the incom- patible land use is allowed to take place in areas exposed to high noise levels, conflicts between the airport and the public are likely to arise.