GUEST OPINION BY
Our Boise City elected officials are playing a dangerous game trying to both encourage Boise Airport expansion while at the same time approving massive new subdivision development just south and west of the airport.
The airport expansion includes bringing in F-15 and F-35 fighter jets that are 8 to 16 times louder than existing A-10 jets. Both Air Force and Boise Airport-funded studies have determined this will result in the reclassification of between 419 and 1100 existing homes surrounding the airport as “Not Suitable For Residential Use.”
Yet the Mayor and City Council recently approved the first new subdivision south the airport, despite the fact that location south and west of the airport will be subjected to significant noise levels due to the arrival of the new jets. The City’s allow force potential homebuyers to sign “Avigation Easements” which are really “release of liability” forms that include the following wording:
“As a requirement of a land use application…. The unobstructed use of all types of aircraft…at any height or altitude…, to cause noise, vibrations, fumes deposits of dust, fuel particles… fear, interference with sleep or communication, and any other effect… from all types of aircraft, whether now in existence or hereinafter developed to include jet…existing and future Boise Airport operations… rights shall not terminate in the event of changes in flight volume, noise, traffic patterns, runway lengths or locations, or aircraft characteristics…may cause noise as well as danger from aircraft accidents… and that airplane operations will not necessarily include takeoff and or arrival procedures which could have the effect of lessening noise or dangers to subject property… grantor, his successors and assigns, does hereby fully waive damages which he may now have or which he may have in the future.” (The official easement form is on the Boise Airport website.) Bottom line: the “easement” stays with the property forever. IF you don’t grant the easement it makes no difference–they will still fly over your house, but not pay for the privilege.
The levels of noise from F-35s could potentially cause the reclassification of some of these new homes as “Not Suitable For Residential Use.” Is this really a solution for new unsuspecting homebuyers?
It is incumbent on the real estate agent community to inform potential customers of the risks involved in buying property subject to these Avigation Easements. Homebuyers should think very carefully before considering such an area, unless they are fully informed of the risks involved. Living in a “Not Suitable For Residential Use” zone is not a bargain at any price.
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