Members of the Board of Directors of AirFair have recently participated in the discussions regarding caps on John Wayne Airport – “the Settlement Agreement” – due to be publicly released later this month.
Several large developments, one already under way and two or three others in the planning stages, will be adding many new residents to the area surrounding the airport.
All these new residents, who presumably will choose to fly in and out of JWA when they travel, will almost certainly threaten the passenger caps we worked so hard to put in place.
Who is benefitting by these projects? As a citizen of Newport Beach or Costa Mesa, will these developments improve your life? The AirFair Board of Directors feels that unrelenting growth in the area surrounding the airport is as hazardous to our communities as the growth of John Wayne Airport itself.
In addition to air traffic, the developments will assuredly add car traffic. At a recent Costa Mesa City Council meeting City Councilwoman Wendy Leece single handedly attempted to stave off more traffic and congestion in the area around John Wayne Airport (Daily Pilot 5/7/14):
In a 4-1 vote the Costa Mesa City Council approved the development of a new 240 unit multi use apartment complex ½ mile from JWA. As Ms. Leece pointed out, “It’s unrealistic to think that the impact from the residents of the 240 units is not going to impact our parks and streets.”
The developer says the units are aimed at the childless single professional. Do they have to sign a lease to that effect? 240 units could translate to 480 people (or more) and if each is a driver/car owner that might mean plus or minus 400 cars added to the already congested airport area.
The proposed development is immediately adjacent to the jam-packed 55 freeway. Unless all the residents are traveling south (maybe also in the lease?), further congestion on that freeway is a guarantee.
Already approved and in the works for the area adjacent to the Airport on the opposite (west) side – in the Jamboree Road corridor – is “Uptown Newport,” a 1,244 unit multi use development which promises a great deal more traffic congestion around the airport.
Melinda Seely, President AirFair
AirFair Board of Directors