03/27/05 — Bill would enable jet-noise zones

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Bill would enable jet-noise zones

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on March 27, 2005 2:04 AM

A bill that would allow cities and counties to create jet-noise zones through existing local ordinances is being considered in the General Assembly.

The bill, introduced by state Sen. John Kerr last week, would add a new subsection to local laws currently on the books.

Under the measure, a local government could require that a home seller inform a potential buyer if a structure is in a jet-noise zone. The seller would also have to explain to the buyer how the noise affected the property.

In addition, the bill gives local governments the power to require the use of certain materials in new buildings within the jet-noise zone to insulate inhabitants from the noise.

State officials have been urging legislation that would protect the mission of military bases in the state. The federal government is planning to shut down some bases around the U.S. to save money.

The Wayne County Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance earlier this month restricting population density and establishing a noise zone around Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

The county ordinance will affect about 26 square miles of land. New homes won't be allowed in areas with noise levels that average more than 75 decibels, although other construction will be permitted.

Kerr said his bill was another way to show the state's support for its military bases.

The federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission is expected to announce its decisions about which bases will be closed in November.

"I had a request from the Seymour Johnson Support Council to propose this bill," Kerr said. "The committee is working so hard for Seymour Johnson Air Force Base."

Although there haven't been any complaints made to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base about jet noise, Kerr said the bill would "downgrade the basis for any future complaints."

Kerr said the proposed changes were still being discussed, and the bill would continue to undergo some revisions.