Airport building moratorium

A map of the areas that would be affected by the city’s proposed planning and zoning changes near the Idaho Falls Regional Airport. The city is writing a new city code that will meet Federal Aviation Administration guidelines for public safety and welfare on lands near airports.

The city of Idaho Falls will host a public meeting Tuesday to discuss a development moratorium on the west side which would affect all new building permits in areas near the Idaho Falls Regional Airport that fall in takeoff and landing paths.

The city's Community Development Services Department announced last month its plans to institute a moratorium, which is meant to give the city time to write a new city code that will meet Federal Aviation Administration guidelines for public safety and welfare on lands near airports.

The City Council approved the moratorium Jan. 31. Per city code, the moratorium can last no longer than six months.

The Tuesday meeting — held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ethel Boyes Elementary School, 1875 Brentwood Drive — will be the first of several public meetings to discuss the moratorium, a city news release said. 

The meeting will feature displays that show which areas fall within the moratorium parameters. The city sent letters via mail to affected homes and businesses last month. 

There also will be an explanation of development near the airport over the years and why the moratorium is necessary. 

Rick Cloutier, who took over as airport director last year, brought the FAA guidelines to the city’s attention, saying that the FAA has been cracking down on airports recently for violating those guidelines, Brad Cramer, Community Development Services Director, told the Post Register on Jan. 22.

Violation of the FAA rules could result in losing FAA funding, which could cost the airport millions of dollars.

City officials decided it was time to issue a moratorium because the city recently received building applications within the flight path areas.

A second public meeting, meant for stakeholders with interest in land north of the main airport runway and east of the Snake River, will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 21 at Ethel Boyes Elementary.

Reporter Ryan Suppe can be reached at 208-542-6762. Follow him on Twitter: @salsuppe.

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