Subdivision lands at airport

KINGMAN - It's taken more than two years, but it looks like the Statesboro subdivision will finally move forward as planned.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors voted 2-1 to approve each of four requests made by STGG Holding Co., paving the way for the subdivision to go in east of Highway 66 and north of the Kingman Airport runway. The proposed site is about 2,600 feet away from where the Kingman Airport Authority plans to eventually extend one of its runways.

Discussion focused primarily on the company's proposed minor amendment to the county general plan, which sought to rearrange the subdivision's public park areas, placing them closer to the airport's side of the development. The original amendment was approved by the Board last August, also by a vote of 2-1, with Chairman Pete Byers once again opposed.

Representing the Airport Authority, Scott Brackett used an aerial map to show how close Statesboro would come to the airport and questioned the economic benefits the subdivision would bring the area.

"We bring in $15 million a year right now, the airport does, and it's $33 million in total benefits," Brackett said. "The airport's bound to grow, Pat's one of them that's bringing in larger aircraft that will do this."

"Question is, why jeopardize the growth?" Bracket said.

Phil Sanders, a 30-year Kingman resident who owns his own airplane, also argued for the economic merits of the airport, saying that the potential for growth was "unlimited."

He made his own dire predictions as to what would happen once Statesboro is built.

"You put the subdivision there, people buy it, and the next thing you know they're complaining about noise; and the next thing you know, they shut down the airport," Sanders said. "When a plane crashes into a school yard, or when a plane crashes into a house or a park, we're going to know who to blame - whoever lets that go in there.

"You're going to be to blame. God bless you," he said.

Speaking for the developer, Mark Clark reiterated that the subdivision's original plan amendment already had passed the Board last August. He said this new amendment merely cleared any houses from the side nearest the airport.

"There are also a number of other airports in the state - Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson - that have development closer than what this development will be to the end of the runway," Clark added.

In a replay of the June 2 Board meeting, when the amendment had been continued, Byers stated his prior and continued opposition to the subdivision.

"I'm opposed to this project. I voted against it in the beginning, I'm still opposed to it. It doesn't belong there," the chairman said. "I got beat last time, but I'm still opposed to it," he added.

Once again, Byers made the motion to deny the minor amendment, and once again several seconds of silence passed before District II Supervisor Tom Sockwell made a separate motion, this time, for approval.

"This thing has been going on, like the man said, for two years," Sockwell said.

"I really feel like if this poses an extreme problem to the airport, they should have made some gesture or something to look at acquiring some of this property to satisfy their needs, rather than to ask that the property be downgraded to the point where it could be absolutely useless to its owner."

In the end, all four of STGG Holding's requests was met with 2-1 approval, with Byers opposed to each. One was the minor amendment.

The second was a rezone of the land from A-D (Airport Development) to R-O (single Family Residential/Manufactured Homes Prohibited) and N-P (Neighborhood Park). Another was the subdivision's preliminary plan, and the last was a petition of exception and a zoning use permit for a fire station and water storage tank.