We all know the line, “good fences make good neighbors,” but what if your neighbors are flying over the fence as they take-off and land their aircraft on a private runway… on their side of the fence? In North Hero, neighbors are clashing over the construction and permitting of a half-built grass runway to be used by small, recreational aircraft. The pilots and their attorney have been working with local and state officials to form a proposal that lays out how many flights a day the pilots can operate from the airstrip, how much fuel should be kept on site, a provision to allow emergency use of the runway in the event of a crisis, and other conditions that are aimed to ensure the pilots remain considerate of their neighbors when using the site.
However, as with many of the homes situated on Lake Champlain, residents (seasonal and year-round alike) invest in the area for its natural beauty and serenity. Homeowners are understandably concerned with how the added noise and presence of the airstrip will affect their own property value – an issue Chittenden County residents are familiar with given the context of the heated battle over the incoming F-35 jets at Burlington International Airport in South Burlington.
The current status is that the runway owners have until February 7 to complete their application with the Vermont Transportation Board. North Hero Select Board Chair Eileen Mitchell is quoted to have written that the town “has no zoning bylaws or ordinances prohibiting” the landing area. Read the full article in Seven Days HERE!
-Alec Murphy, LipVT