County passes airport ordinance update, hears resident concern

Published 6:23 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The runway extension at the LaGrange-Callaway Airport is nearing completion, and updates to local ordinances have been passed to ensure safe structure heights in the extended approach and departure zones. 

However, one citizen came forward on Tuesday to speak on some of the issues that he has said he has seen over the course of the project.

“This process has been going on for many years,” said John Arrington, who owns property on West Point Road. “That is what this ordinance offers. It offers us for the first time for citizens and property owners to know exactly what we have left in terms of airspace and easement, and also to get some sense of the restrictions imposed on the remainder of the property that we have.”

Arrington and other property owners near the expansion are currently in ongoing litigation against the county concerning the project. The update to the ordinance was an agreement to meet the requests of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation.

“It is similar to our FEMA flood maps that when they are updated, we have to update our ordinance to also reflect that we are updating that,” Senior Building Official Jay Anderson said. 

“This is similar in that we have had an ordinance in place since 1979 for the airport, but because of the runway extension we are required to update it by FAA and DOT. They have updated two definitions in there.”

Commissioner Lewis Davis asked what would happen if the county did not pass the FAA mandated update, and Anderson said that if the update was not approved, the county could potentially be left to pay the FAA’s portion of the $6.2 million project. The FAA covered 90 percent of the cost of the project.

Cadenhead asked if the ordinance update’s primary purpose was to extend the zone by 900 feet to accommodate the runway extension. Anderson confirmed that it was. 

Davis asked how the extension had impacted building heights in the area, and Anderson said it impacted properties in the departure and arrival zones, which can be found on the county’s GIS system. 

He also said that any existing structures will be grandfathered into the new ordinance, and the update would primarily impact new construction. 

County Attorney Jerry Willis clarified that the vote was only to accept the updated ordinance, and Arrington’s requests were not included in the vote.

The LaGrange City Council voted to approve the updates to the ordinance during its Jan. 22 meeting.

Other items covered in the meeting included:

4The Troup County Board of Commissioners voted to allow Troup County Parks & Recreation to participate in the 2020 DHR Grant Application. Administrator Lynn Howard said that the funding amount is based on the number of people served by the Troup Transit program.

4The commission voted to allow a manufactured home placement on the 1100 block of Shoemaker Road.

4The commission approved a special use permit for a short-term rental property on North Whitewater Trail. During a previous discussion of the property, the owner said that he sometimes rents the home through Airbnb and sometimes rents the home for longer periods of time. 

The Troup County Board of Commissioners will meet again on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Avenue.