November 25, 2014
Final Reports
San Mateo Courts - Civil Grand Jury 1998 Final Report: Noise Disclosure at County Airports
Background | Findings | Recommendations
Background:

Our public use airports are part of our national transportation system. The three airports located in San Mateo County, Half Moon Bay Airport, San Carlos Airport, and San Francisco International Airport provide valuable air service for people and cargo for both commercial and general aviation. They are key elements of the economic vitality of the County and the region.

The land surrounding the three airports in San Mateo County has been under development for a number of years. As this development continues, there is a growing public concern regarding aircraft noise and overflight. An example of such concern is the noise issues associated with aircraft operations at San Carlos Airport.

The San Mateo County 1997 Grand Jury addressed the issue of aircraft noise at San Carlos Airport by recommending the creation of an airport citizens advisory committee. At the direction of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, such a committee was created. The San Carlos Airport Citizens Advisory Committee held its first meeting on December 8, 1997. The Committee is fulfilling the purpose intended in the 1997 Grand Jury recommendation by providing a community forum to address noise issues related to aircraft operations at the airport.

It has been brought to the attention of the San Mateo County 1998 Grand Jury that several new residential and commercial developments are under construction or planned near the San Carlos Airport, and that these developments were not referred to airport management or to other appropriate agencies for review and comment. Therefore, no requests from a government agency have been made for public disclosure of the proximity of those developments to the San Carlos Airport and of the potential impact of noise related to aircraft operations.

Findings:

A residential condominium comprising 46 units and a 150-unit apartment building are under construction in Redwood City. The projects, in close proximity to one another, are approximately 1.5 miles southeast of the San Carlos airport. The San Carlos Airport Pilots’ Association is working with the project sponsors to assure that a proper disclosure statement regarding the proximity of the airport is made.

At the eastern end of Redwood Shores housing continues to be constructed and, in the same location, an office complex is planned. A mixed-use development is under construction at Bay Meadows in San Mateo.

Each city, in San Mateo County, and the County of San Mateo has the responsibility of reviewing proposed development within their jurisdictions.

California real estate law does not specifically require the disclosure of the impact of a nearby airport on real property that is to be sold or developed.

There is no current provision in place requiring developers to disclose the proximity of the property to an airport and the potential impact of aircraft operations on future purchasers or occupants of the project.

It is appropriate that there should be formal disclosure provided to prospective purchasers or occupants of new residential developments or other developments designed for human occupation. This procedure would reduce future citizens’ protests and possible legal action against the County concerning aircraft operations at airports located within San Mateo County.

Recommendations:
Recommendation 20: The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors should direct the County Planning Director to establish a special review procedure for any building project application that includes dwelling units and/or buildings for human occupation, within five miles of the property boundary of any airport within San Mateo County. The review procedure should include referring the project to the management of the relevant airport and to other appropriate agencies for review and comment.
Recommendation 21: The City Councils of the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, and South San Francisco should direct their Planning Agencies to establish a special review procedure for any building project application that includes dwelling units and/or buildings for human occupation, within five miles of the property boundary of any airport within San Mateo County. The review procedure should include referring the project to the management of the relevant airport and to other appropriate agencies for review and comment.
Recommendation 22: The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors or the City Councils of the cities mentioned in Recommendation 2 should direct their planning entities to require the project sponsor of any development that includes dwelling units and/or buildings for human occupation to record a Fair Disclosure Statement that identifies the project’s proximity to the airport and describes the potential impacts of airport and aircraft operations that may affect the occupants of the site.
Recommendation 23: The San Mateo County 1999 Grand Jury should monitor the implementation of the above recommendations.

 

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