Safety issues cannot be mitigated...
May 17, 2018 | 587 views | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Out of sight, out of mind ... this appears to be the sentiment of the decision-makers in San Juan County regarding the proposed Sky Ranch airport in Spanish Valley. Yet, nothing could be farther from the truth for the residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed airport.

The old ranch airstrip that accommodated maybe one or two planes per year for the past 50 years is being transformed into a huge runway and housing development that could see hundreds of takeoffs and landings each year. The safety issues surrounding an airport are well known. Eighty percent of all plane crashes are within approximately five minutes of takeoff or landing. There are hundreds of residents that live within this zone already. This number will grow to thousands of residents when Spanish Valley is more fully developed. This safety issue will not resolve itself over time. Ever.

Is this airport going to benefit anyone but the developer and some private pilots? Is a new airport that caters to rich pilots that want to fly directly into their driveways worth risking the lives and homes of nearby residents? Can these safety risks be mitigated by a nicely worded homeowners association agreement?

Of course not.

I hope San Juan County Commissioners will take into account the safety and well-being of the current and future residents of Spanish Valley, rather than caving to the whims of a developer that wants to do a unique sort of development. Let’s continue to develop Spanish Valley as a place where families want to live and thrive and that provides residents with a much-sought-after quiet and rural quality of life.

The Sky Ranch airport may be a fine idea for an area that is not densely populated. But Spanish Valley doesn’t fit that description these days.

If Sky Ranch is such a great idea, why is there so much opposition? (More than 160 Spanish Valley residents have added signatures on a petition opposing the development of Sky Ranch.)

—Beverly O’Neill

Spanish Valley


Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.