November 12, 2004
A Scottsdale developer’s long-running effort to win approval for homes under the main Williams Gateway Airport flight path is set to go before a skeptical Mesa City Council on Monday.
This is the second year LKY Development has tried to amend the city’s general plan, and city staff is again opposed. The general plan designates the land for a business park because of its location three miles from the airport.
"The only thing that’s changed from last time is we were able to prove the flights of passenger and cargo planes, which are exactly the kind of planes Mayor (Keno) Hawker is trying to attract, they will go to the north of us," LKY Development vice president Bill Ring said.
This fall the state’s top air traffic controller, Warren Meehan, backed the developer’s contention that the largest planes would probably parallel U.S. 60 as they leave the airport, adding that the majority of users would be smaller planes.
Councilwoman Janie Thom, who represents southeast Mesa, said she doesn’t like the "cluster" houses a builder is planning for the eastern side of the property, and that allowing any homes would create problems, particularly on the west side near the airport.
"If there’s residential in the plan there’s just no way we could support it," she said.
Vice Mayor Claudia Walters said she would vote against the plan, and Kyle Jones said he likely will as well. Rex Griswold said he’s undecided. Hawker couldn’t be reached for comment but has pushed for a buffer of industrial land to protect the airport and spur development.
Only Councilman Tom Rawles said he’ll probably side with the developers.
The developer has had neighborhood support, but Gary Heidemann, president of the adjacent Mesquite Canyon homeowners association, said sentiment on his board has become more mixed as school overcrowding and other issues are discussed.