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Sunnyside approves new airport moratorium

It may be as late as next February before land owners around the city's airport know what they'll be able to do with their property.

That's the result of action taken last night, Wednesday, during a special meeting of the Sunnyside City Council

Council originally imposed a six-month moratorium last September on applications for zoning changes on properties in the vicinity of the airport to give the city time to come up with zoning in keeping with a lay-out plan. That moratorium was extended twice since then before expiring this week.

Like the moratorium and the two extensions before it, the new moratorium impacts more than 130 properties, including land owned by residents as well as businesses such as Canam and Bleyhl.

The new moratorium takes effect starting today and expires Feb. 6, 2010. Council can terminate the moratorium earlier if it approves a comprehensive plan for properties near the airport before Feb. 6.

Council will hold a public hearing to gather comment on the moratorium during its Aug. 24 meeting.

According to City Planner Jamey Ayling, Sunnyside's current comprehensive plan allows for residential uses on lands near the airport. The city is proposing to change that so properties within 1,000 feet of the airport runway cannot build residential developments.

In related news, an executive session to discuss potential litigation was held prior to passage of the moratorium last night. The executive session was originally scheduled for after the moratorium agenda item.

Mayor pro tem Jim Restucci said the executive session was moved up because it was related to the new moratorium approved last night.

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