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2010-01-27 / Front Page

Airport zoning board created

The Kleberg County Commissioners Court and the Kingsville City Commission took simultaneous actions at their respective meetings Monday to create the Kingsville-Kleberg County Joint Airport Zoning Board with a primary goal of protecting Naval Air Station Kingsville against encroachment from incompatible land use surrounding the base.

Creation of a joint airport zoning board was part of the recommendations of the Joint Land Use Study that was adopted by the Kingsville City Commission in April of 2008, Ken Clark, director of Development Services, said in a memo to the city commission.

Monday’s decision by the city and county to establish the JAZB followed a Jan. 13 meeting by the Joint Land Use Implementation Committee, which recommended that the city and county pass resolutions to establish the board.

The board is composed of five members, including two chosen by the city and two chosen by the county. The fifth person, who would serve as chairman of the JAZB, is to be chosen by the other four members.

Initially, members were to be appointed in conjunction with the passage of the resolutions on Monday, however, the county commissioners court did not include that portion on its Monday meeting agenda.

The county is expected to choose its JAZB representatives in February. The city did provide for the immediate appointment of its representatives on the Monday city meeting agenda, but opted instead to delay the appointments in order to get a broader field of candidates for the post.

Over the past 30 years Kingsville has taken steps to protect the naval air-training base from encroachment starting with the adoption and subsequent expansion of the Air Installation Compatibility Use Zone that designates various land and take-off high activity zones.

The latest effort was the Department of Defense funded Joint Land Use Study undertaken by the city and Navy.

Cmdr. Scott Allen, executive officer at NAS Kingsville, reminded county commissioners that the Navy will have no decision making authority with the JAZB and Navy representatives would be available in an advisory capacity only.

The resolution adopted by both governing bodies states that the joint airport zoning board is necessary to coordinate future planning efforts of the City of Kingsville and Kleberg County to avoid airport hazards and to maintain the operation capacity of NAS Kingsville.

The resolution also recognizes the continued operation of NAS Kingsville is important to the economy of the city, county and region and that future operational capacity should be protected for the benefit of the community.

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