CRESTVIEW — Okaloosa County Airports officials wonder whether it's time to re-evaluate zoning restrictions at Bob Sikes Crestview Airport to prevent residential encroachment.
County Growth Management Director Elliot Kampert said zoning in place since 2005 has been effective in preventing the sort of encroachment that prohibits growth at Destin Airport.
Speaking at the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce Airport Committee Aug. 22 meeting, Kampert compared current zoning to that of 1990, which allowed rural low-density residential development across most of Crestview's airport.
Some neighborhoods edged too close to the airport, and now fall inside its 5,000-foot surrounding "area of influence,” Kampert said.
Given the county's desire to attract more "airport compatible" development to Bob Sikes, Kampert said it might be time to revisit the zoning to assure it is restrictive enough.
Currently, most of the airport is zoned I-2, or "Airport Industrial Park." Some small residential neighborhoods north, south and west of the airport built under the previous zoning code are now zoned AC, or "Airport Compatibility."
"Is now the time to take another look at this (zoning map) and fine tune it to better reflect the feelings of the Crestview City Council and the county, to make the best use of that airport?" Kampert said.
Kampert invited interested committee members to contact his office to serve on a review body that would consider the current map and make recommendations for revisions.
Preventing residential encroachment must be a priority, he said.
"People move next to airports and then complain about noise all the time," he said. "We want to make sure that any use that goes in there is at least compatible to an airport."
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.