01/14/08 — Height rules set around Wayne airports

View Archive

Height rules set around Wayne airports

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on January 14, 2008 2:36 PM

Given the opportunity to take a step toward ensuring both public safety and the future viability of the county's three airports, the Wayne County Planning Board has voted to recommend the adoption of new height restrictions.

Affected would be the Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport, the Mount Olive Airport and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

The proposal is to establish an airport height overlay zone prohibiting structures taller than 500 feet around the airfields.

Such a zone was put in place around the Goldsboro-Wayne Airport last year, and said county Planning Director Connie Price, this new ordinance wouldn't change that.

It extends out two miles.

A similar radius would be established around the Mount Olive Airport, while around Seymour it would be seven miles.

More restrictive zoning, however, already exists closer to the base.

Extending out about two miles on the south side, and four to five miles on the east and west sides, the existing zoning allows nothing to be built over 35 feet tall. The north end of the base is in Goldsboro, which has its own more restrictive zoning regulations.

Again, Price emphasized, this would not change that.

The proposed zoning has the support of both the Mount Olive Town Council and Seymour Johnson officials, and is not expected to interfere with development inside the county.

"I think it's good in that it will let people who want to build something tall know ahead of time where there could be problems. But in most cases, the height it allows is not a big deal," he said. "What it would prohibit would be tall towers like T.V. towers. Somebody trying to put up a house or even a regular cell tower (usually about 200 feet) would still be able to.

"About 99 percent of the things that are going to be built are going to be less than that anyway."

In fact, he continued, because it further protects the base, and with Goldsboro-Wayne and Mount Olive airports both undergoing improvements to increase their air traffic, such protections will likely help economic development.

"That's the way we're looking at it," Price said. "We just want to make sure that when these planes are up in the air, they don't run into something."