Shooting range, runway have no place in residential area

Posted: Friday, September 03, 2004

I have lived in my current location for 15 years. My modest abode is approximately one road mile from the Kenai Spur Highway at Mile 28. While life has not always been idyllic, it has been a fairly quiet neighborhood and neighborly relations have been acceptably cordial. Apart from outright criminal behavior, which eventually was remedied, there have been two egregious exceptions to this rule. The first was a plan to insert a runway capable of handling heavy cargo aircraft into the neighborhood. This is not entirely dead but appears to be sinking under its own weight. Ironically, the FAA has helped us in this matter. The second is the insertion of a firearms training academy into our midst. It seems that the same person and-or people have fostered both developments.

There is no zoning authority in Nikiski. We depend on common sense to regulate land use. It's the same as an uncontrolled intersection; just because there are no road signs, is it a good idea to blow through a four-way intersection without slowing or looking? Is it a good idea to fly heavy cargo aircraft over people's houses on takeoff? Is it a good idea to subject people to the sound of gunfire 16 hours a day? Not if you want to be a good neighbor.

This is not a NIMBY issue. There is plenty of land that is not surrounded by residential property. To properly isolate such noxious, injurious and hazardous land uses as Front Sight and McGahan Industrial Air Park requires more than a 16th of a piece in the middle of subdivisions. Common sense would dictate that these enterprises should not proceed in their current locations.

Phil Blythe, Nikiski

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