Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis:
At issue is a decision by the City of Shelton to rezone 160 acres south of the airport from commercial industrial to neighborhood residential. Port resistance to the rezone centers on the fear that new residential development adjacent to the airport threatens the future of that facility. More clearly: Port Commissioners Jay Hupp, Tom Wallitner and Director, John Dobson argue that residents of the new development will find airplane noise so intolerable they will band together and force closure of the airport. To this I say, bull-feathers! There are scores of examples where small airports and adjacent neighborhoods coexist peacefully. And it follows that new residential developments can only increase public demand for additional airport amenities.
The protracted and expensive legal action brought by the Port is based on an unfounded premise bordering on paranoia. In reality, Port management has spent the better part of three years trying to sabotage what is essentially a major economic recovery opportunity for Mason County. This is a classic case of the few dictating to the many for the benefit of none.
Port resistance is made even more egregious when you consider the Shelton Hills Project will bring many permanent jobs, commercial opportunities and even a new city park to our community, as the developer builds out the entire 700 acre site. It is ironic that a municipality created to attract economic growth to Mason County should be the primary roadblock to precisely that objective.
The Port needs to stop fighting against our recovery and allow the rezone process to move forward. Mr. Hupp, Mr. Walitner and Mr. Dobson should get with the program or step aside and let clearer heads steer the future of our county.