Cleveland airport would limit structures

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Apr. 24--PDF: Assurances Airport Sponsors

PDF: Model Zoning Ordinance Airport

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- If Cleveland wants to use federal money to build its new airport, Bradley County must rezone the area to add height restrictions on nearby structures, state officials said today.

Brian Caldwell, chief planner for the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Aeronautics Division, told a group of county officials that the height restrictions are required under Federal Aviation Administration rules. The rezoning would affect any structures taller than 50 feet above the ground or surrounding terrain, he said.

"The ultimate concern is safety, both for citizens and the flying public," he said.

County Commissioner Howard Thompson said his chief concern was homes built on the ridge line around the airport. The site is in the Tasso community in unincorporated Bradley County.

Mr. Caldwell said homes probably would not be affected, but structures such as water and cell phone towers might not be permitted. He said the county may adopt a model ordinance already in use in other parts of the state.

Amy Moore, County Commission legislative assistant, said she anticipates concerns about giving up local control to the federal government.

Cleveland Airport Authority Chairwoman Lynn DeVault said many federal rules can affect local governments and residents. She pointed to federal rules for landowners around interstate highways.

"This is not unique to Bradley County or to airports," Ms. DeVault said.

Commissioner Mel Griffith asked if the county could write its own ordinance.

Mr. Caldwell said yes, but cautioned that other locations have tried it and given up. All the FAA rules must be covered, he said, and they already are in the model ordinance.

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