Clarifications to dog park story

This article (“Dog Park Relocation is in the works,” 12/2/15) has numerous inaccuracies and mischaracterizations and my offer to assist in preventing that was ignored. The split zoning is not agricultural/village residential. It is 2/3’s Service Light Industrial and 1/3 Residential-4. I made it clear when I was interviewed that the port will continue to host the Orcas Off-Lease Area beyond the end of the current lease as long as the FAA does not initiate administrative action against the port. This was omitted from the article and I must presume it was done so to enhance the sensationalism of the piece.

I also made it clear that the pea-patch garden, while not an aeronautical use, is technically considered a “Compatible Use,” just like the haying that is done on the lower portion of the property. Agriculture is considered a “Compatible Use” because it is not sensitive to noise, does not concentrate assemblies of people and can serve as a buffer to “Non-Compatible Use.”

Rick Christmas grossly overstates the implications of the upper third of the parcel in question being changed to Service Light Industrial. It would remain encumbered by FAA restrictions which foreclose any possibility of an auto parts store or gas station being sited on the property. There is virtually zero probability of the FAA permitting release (sale) of the property in question. The only case where that would be remotely likely is if the airport was closed or if the Federal government dissolves.

As I have conveyed repeatedly, the concept drawings for the parcel in question represent the most likely future use for the property in question. Based on topography and traffic considerations, those concept drawings show predominantly open space and limited parking and access. The likelihood of any FAA sponsored development on the property in the next 30 years is virtually zero. Just within the last month, the FAA scaled back the scope of the runway rehabilitation which was originally planned for 2014 and is delayed to 2017.

My personal vision for the property is to develop a “rural-feel,” graveled, remote parking area to alleviate congestion in Eastsound. My vision enhances that “rural-feel” with fruit trees in the medians and buffer spaces. I’d like to make it aesthetically pleasing. Incidentally, I can’t do that in Residential-4 or any of the other land-use categories that other residents have advocated for the parcel.

Tony Simpson

Airport Manager