Airport Authority lists noise calming efforts at planners meeting

A plane flies low over Liberty Station in Point Loma.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) heard project updates from the Airport Authority, AC Water Group 1030 and Dreams for Change during its Sept. 19 meeting at the Point Loma Library.

Airport expansion plans

Dennis Probst, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (SDCRAA) vice president of development, gave a presentation similar to the one he made during the Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting last month. (Read “OBPB discusses street vending ordinance, hears Airport Authority update” at

In response to a resident’s question about the airport’s fuel farm, Probst replied there is a proposal from the airlines to add extra fuel tanks to increase fuel capacity, because over the past two years, there were periods of time when the airport was “literally out of fuel.” He said San Diego has well below the normal amount of fuel tanks on-site in comparison with other airports around the country. An Environmental Impact Report will be released regarding the additional fuel tanks, he said.

Community member and Point Loma aircraft noise activist Casey Schnoor quoted SDCRAA projections, asking: “What about the 15,000 residents and 7,300 homes that are going to be impacted dramatically with the proposed increase in flights? What are you doing about the Peninsula communities in terms of mitigation efforts?”

Probst’s response, summed up as “We’re doing what we can,” did not satisfy Schnoor nor the PCPB. Board memeber David Dick circled back to the question during board comment, asking again for specifics.

Brendan Reed, Airport Authority director of planning and environmental affairs, jumped in to list the following noise mitigation plans:

1. Expand the number of homes able to be insulated every year through the AA’s Quieter Home Program, which began in 2001.

2. Expand the residential units insulating program to include schools and places of worship.

3. Invest in mobile noise monitoring devices to get better data on noise levels.

4. Take the fees from airline curfew violations and invest the money in more noise mitigation in the community. (San Diego is one of only five airports in the United States that has a mandatory curfew, with no scheduled departures between 11:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.)

Reed encouraged the community to get involved in the noise study to help SDCRAA collect more and accurate data.

A disagreement between Schnoor and Probst over how long it would be before the airport reaches capacity (Schnoor estimated six years, Probst claimed 20 years), ended in Probst clarifying that regardless of whether the airport were to make these improvements, it would still see an increase in flights. He said: “They’re coming because folks like you want to fly.”

The refined EIR draft is being recirculated and public comments are due by Monday, Nov. 4 to: SDCRAA, Attention Ted Anasis, P.O. Box 82776, S.D. CA 92138-2776 or by e-mail to, attention Ted Anasis. If the draft is approved, it will be brought to the SDCRAA board in January 2020 for certification. Once the draft is certified, construction will begin in 2021, with the first 19 gates estimated to be finished in 2024.

A public workshop about the Airport Authority’s Part 150 Noise Study is set for 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Airport Noise Authority Office, 2722 Truxtan Road in Liberty Station. For more information about the AA’s Part 150 Noise Study, visit or for more on the Airport Development Plan, visit To be added to the Airport Development Plan e-mail list, contact Rebecca Gilbert at

Water Group work on Shelter Island

Vic Salazar, community liaison for AC Water Group 1030, informed PCPB of a pipeline project taking place on Shelter Island. The company is replacing 9,451 feet of pipeline; installing 2,002 feet of new 12-inch parallel water main; and replacing associated water services, fire hydrants, curb ramps and traffic control devices.

The project began on Sept. 3 with potholing, and pipeline placed along Anchor Drive, Canon and part of Shelter Island Drive. Overall, the project is estimated to take 300 working days, ending in January 2021. Construction will take place 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. No weekend work. Salazar added that if night work is necessary, it will be done in coordination with the Shelter Island hotels and restaurants.

Salazar told the board he is taking the project very personally as he lives in the area and walks Shelter Island every morning: “This is my hood. I want to be able to walk with my head up and not have anything thrown at me! I’m going above and beyond.”

A question from PCPB treasurer Korla Eaquinta prompted Salazar to confirm that AC Water Group 1030 would be working in connection with San Diego Gas & Electric so they won’t have to re-tear up the streets after the pipeline project is complete.

Salazar also confirmed there would be one lane open at all times, so at no point will the San Diego Yacht Club or Shelter Island be inaccessible.

Project details can be read at Questions may be directed to the Public Works Department at or (619) 533-4207.

Vehicle living at Dreams for Change

Teresa Smith, founder of the nonprofit Dreams for Change project, discussed the safe parking and related services offered to those living in their vehicles. Dreams for Change has offered its services since 2010 with two parking sites — New Life Church, 766 28th St., 92102 and Imperial Site, 5605 Imperial Ave., 92113.

Where Dreams for Change was previously not allowing RVs, trailers or motor homes, the site on Imperial is now taking those vehicles — six at a time. RVs and motor homes are permitted to remain on-site during the day, unlike other vehicles, because of the struggle to find legal parking for larger vehicles and the excess pollution they cause. However, the owners of the RVs must leave the site.

To be eligible for safe parking, an individual or family must be sober at the time of enrollment, willing to move toward permanent housing, and not be a registered sex offender. Currently, their safe parking is at capacity, so newcomers must call to be put on a wait-list. However, Smith said they never turn away families.

For more details, visit or contact Smith at or (619) 497-0236.

In other PCPB news ...

• Candidate slates: “Chair Bob Goldyn announced that during a closed City Council session on Sept. 10, the Council agreed to proceed with settlement of a civil rights action case filed against the PCPB and the City by board member Don Sevrens for an alleged violation of his First Amendment rights. Proposed settlement includes the agreement to close the complaint of alleged violations filed against Sevrens in May, regarding alleged use and promotion of slates.

The following week, on Sept. 17, City Council met in open session and approved resolution to suspend the application and enforcement of Article V, Section 3, of the bylaws shell of Council Policy 600-24, which states that slates are not allowed. This suspension will apply to Community Planning Groups citywide. Sevrens, who has remained on the PCPB during the litigation, along with chair Goldyn said they are “looking forward to putting the matter behind them and moving forward.”

• La Playa Piers: Treasurer Eaquinta shared an article from The San Diego Union- Tribune that reported Port of San Diego commissioners decided to preserve four piers along La Playa Trail, allowing them to remain in their existing public-private state. The decision, made at a board meeting discussing potential revisions to the Port Master Plan Update, followed a sea of opposition from Point Loma residents who advocated for the historic value of the piers after learning that they were in jeopardy.

However, the Port commissioners’ newfound resolve lays the foundation for another battle with the California Coastal Commission. The higher-ranking agency determined in 1981 that the piers must be fully accessible to the public or removed.

— Peninsula Community Planning Board next meets 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 at Point Loma Library, 3701 Voltaire St.


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