The community of Sterling will get a new neighborhood next month. But the added traffic the new homes could create won't be restricted to the road system.
Scooter's Air Park will open Aug. 1 on the north end of Scout Loop Road for pilots who want to keep their planes at their homes. The community features 41 lots of approximately one to two acres each that will be adjacent to a 2,500-foot long, 100-foot wide runway.
Forty of the lots will have taxiways directly to the airstrip, and the only other access to the strip will be restricted to Central Emergency Services and Kenai Peninsula Borough authorities.
Each lot has septic systems and well water and will sell for $35,000 to $64,000. Ken Lan-caster, of Lancaster Enterprises, has had the lots listed since January this year.
"We've had about 50-plus calls and about a dozen serious ones," Lancaster said. "There are always tire kickers. It looks like we're going to be working on paperwork on Saturday with two different parties."
Developers hope pilots will want to take advantage of the community's proximity to the airfield and absence of parking or tie-down fees.
"When you've got it available like that, you'll use your plane more often," said owner and developer Hugh Chumley about the subdivision's airstrip.
He said he expected some people from Anchorage to be interested in the properties but said he thought most buyers would come from the Kenai Peninsula.
Chumley stopped short of saying they were catering to upscale clientele, but said there will be strict rules governing how homes and accompanying hangars are built. People who purchase property in the subdivision will become members of a nonprofit homeowner's association Chumley set up to oversee covenants regarding property regulations.
"The homeowner's association is more designed for the airstrip for insurance purposes," said Randy Chumley, Hugh Chumley's son and the first resident of the community.
The rules prohibit metal hangars and commercial buildings and don't allow commercial operations from homes. They specify that above-ground fuel tanks be covered on three sides and that hangars be made from similar materials as the homes.
"The people that would invest in a lot like this for a home wouldn't want that," the senior Chumley said. "It's a community. We wouldn't want to impact with flights coming in and out all the time."
Randy's home has an attached heated hangar that also serves as a two-car garage. Hugh owned the property with his wife, Lynda, and said Randy and brother Ray were the inspiration to make an airstrip community from the land.
"I've been interested in living in an air park for some time," Randy said.
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