By Don Iler • News Editor • 

Planning commission approves airfield

In a unanimous vote Thursday evening, the planning commission approved a conditional use permit allowing Lombrozo to take off and land his light sport aircraft, which has a top speed of 100 mph. 

Lombrozo is not allowed to land any other airplane, allow anyone else to land a plane or take more than 20 flights a month at the site. He said he would mainly be flying on weekends.

Several neighbors raised concerns.

Most were under the impression he flies an ultralight, as indicated in some of the planning documents, and wondered if it was safe. Lombrozo produced pictures and descriptions helping allay concerns on that score.

Several expressed unease about how much noise the plane makes and how that might affect cattle.

Lombrozo said the plane peaks at 95 decibels on takeoff, and imitated the intensity of that noise during the meeting. He also expressed willingness to notify neighbors of takeoffs so they could monitor their livestock for reaction.

The conditions bar Lombrozo from paving the strip or passing his usage rights along to any future buyer.

Planning commissioners did not agree with arguments the noise would disturb livestock.

Commissioner John Abrams said he had never seen horses disturbed by ultralights. Commissioner Michael Sherwood said his neighbors had horses that paid no attention to frequent helicopter wine flights near his residence.

Commissioner Daryl Garrettson said Lombrozo had shown a willingness to work with his neighbors. He said the use should not diminish farming in the valley.

Opponents have 15 days to appeal the planning commission’s decision to the board of county commissioners. 

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