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Livermore puts hold on airport development; staff to create new policy

All proposals suspended until Dec. 31
Signage at Livermore Municipal Airport

The Livermore Municipal Airport's development policy has been temporarily suspended amid plans to create new regulations that will better align development procedures with city requirements and industry standards, according to officials.

The Livermore City Council adopted a resolution to suspend the airport's existing development policy during its July 25 regular meeting.

According to city staff, the existing policy has "insufficient language that does not allow for thorough guidance in the consideration of development proposals at the airport."

It was created by previous airport management in response to the original project to attract a fixed base operator to the airport.

Airport staff are now working with a consultant on the creation of a new development policy that aims to improve upon the previous guidelines.

Upon Councilmember Bob Carling's request, City Manager Marianna Marysheva explained during the meeting how the process will go for creating the new policy.

"Staff will take time to draft a comprehensive policy and that policy will go through at least two rounds of review -- one is with the airport commission that is comprised of pilots and non-pilots and there will be an opportunity for the public to weigh in on that policy during commission meetings. The second round of reviews will be with the City Council where the City Council will review the commission's recommendations and staff recommendations as well," she said.

After Marysheva's comments, Mayor Bob Woerner briefly addressed the topic which was listed as item 5.9 on the agenda.

"I'm pleased that 5.9 is on the agenda. I think that's what we need to do to look at the airport and to get the input on it," he said.

Development at the Livermore Airport has been a point of contention for residents living near the facility in recent years largely with respect to a fizzled-out proposal by Oakland-based charter airliner KaiserAir to relocate its corporate offices and develop new air facilities to accommodate its aircraft, including Boeing 737s.

At the time that the proposal was under consideration, residents from Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin banded together in opposition of the expansion, citing concerns about increased noise, safety issues and the possibility of diminished property values.

Back in February, during a Livermore-Pleasanton City Council Liaison Subcommittee meeting, then-Livermore city manager Marc Roberts announced that the project would not be moving forward because the company had not submitted the required documents and their reservation of the parcel at the airport was set to expire.

While the KaiserAir project was at the forefront of the debate at the time, many residents who attended that meeting spoke out against any expansion of airport uses or new development.

As the process to create a new policy gets underway, the City Council's recent action shelves all development proposals for the airport until Dec. 31, with the exception of a parcel under lease development and negotiation adjacent to Kittyhawk Road and Interstate 580, officials said.