Barnstable Municipal Airport Seeking Zoning Change for Surrounding Businesses

HYANNIS – Concerned about current zoning regulations for surrounding properties, Barnstable Municipal Airport officials are proposing an Airport Overlay District.

The new zoning designation would place additional restrictions on nearby properties to ensure flight safety and maximize business opportunities.

“That would help us with the ability to protect the airport areas with encroachment by building heights that are too high near the airport and things that are too bright and the things that have glare such as solar panels,” said Bud Breault, the airport manager.

Surrounding properties currently are zoned business, industrial and highway business district.

Breault said the highway business designation does not work for the airport.

“If we could rid of the highway business zoning around the airport that would help smooth things out and make it easier for us trying to lease properties to other businesses in town,” Breault said.

Airport representative currently attend all site plan review meetings and look at everything happening with the zoning board of appeals growth management.

“We’re always trying to look for businesses that may be encroaching on the airport,” Breault said. “If we had the overlay zoning district then people would have to go through a process automatically to ensure that those buildings don’t exceed certain heights or they don’t exceed lighting limits and that kind of thing.”

The Federal Aviation Administration currently has a requirement that any construction with 5 miles of an airport is supposed to submit an application for an airspace review with the FAA and the state aeronautics divsion and MassDOT.

“Most businesses aren’t doing it and a 5 mile radius around the airport is really ridiculous from a practical point of point,” Breault said. “So we don’t really try to enforce that but there is a law there that does require an airspace review.”

Breault also believes the overlay district could also lead to increased revenues from property it owns around the facility, including the Capetown Plaza, which houses Kmart, on Route 132.

The current lease agreement with the property expires in 2024.

“We have begun working with the developer that manages that property and we are working with the Cape Cod Commission and the Town Council and other to determine where we are going to go with that property,” Breault said. “Either when the lease expires or if we can make some sort of arrangement with the current lease holders maybe we can put it out to bid earlier than that.”

Breault said the airport is looking at all options for that property.

Airport representatives will report back to Town Council in about four months on the progress on plans for the Kmart plaza and any proposed changes to zoning regulations.


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