Michigan Aeronautics spotlights airparks in Fall 2014 newsletter

The Michigan Aeronautics Commission publishes a quarterly newsletter for “Users of Michigan’s Air Transportation System”. In the Fall 2014 edition, “Residential Airparks: Camelot or Chernobyl?” was published on page 3. While the headline is a tad sensationalistic, the content of the story includes many well thought-out suggestions for those looking to join the airpark lifestyle. In fact, the concerns author Randy Coller spells out are good food for thought when moving into ANY community, not just airparks. The story also includes a list of residential airparks in Michigan. It is well worth a read.

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Falcon Ridge Airpark lots going to auction

YAKIMA, Wash. – A real estate auction isn’t always a good thing, unless it is. Too often we read of foreclosure auctions in the press. Well, the Falcon Ridge Airpark auction isn’t one them.

Back to that in a minute.

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Silverbird wins conditional use permit rehearing

CHENEY, Wash. – Denny Reed’s Silverbird airpark development won a recent rehearing on its Conditional Use Permit dating back to 2010. Neighbors oppose development of the 151-acre parcel which includes 10-20 acre lots with “high-end custom homes and landscaping; with each tract owner having the right to use the private airstrip.” The Prosser Hill Coalition has until August 4 to appeal the hearing examiner’s 92-page decision.

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Wanted: Photos and stories of the airpark lifestyle

The August issues of General Aviation News (our sister publication) will focus on living the residential airpark lifestyle. For those of you who are living the dream, do you have some great photos of your airpark or airpark home that you’d like to share? Any tips for those searching for an airpark home? What about a story or memory that sums up why airpark living is a perfect fit? For those of you searching for a home, which are your favorite airparks? What are the amenities that excite you?

Send your comments and photos to General Aviation News Editor Janice Wood. You can also add your comments below. Thanks!

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WSJ writes about ‘Living in Luxury Airparks’

Wall Street Journal reporter Nancy Keates put together a story – Living in Luxury Airparks – for the Real Estate section of Friday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal.

From the story:

“Ask anyone why they live in an air park and the responses are always the same. Residents love airplanes and want to be around airports. When your plane is in your hangar, it’s easy to take it out for weekends instead of spending time driving to and from an airport. Air-park residents brag about short trips to beaches that would be a 10-hour drive from their homes, and nightly jaunts to restaurants hundreds of miles away. People even commute to work by planes and helicopters, taxing into their private hangars at the end of the day.”

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Texas airpark wins appeal in court battle

The Dallas Morning News recently reported that Collin County-based Air Park Estates, at Air Park-Dallas Airport (F69) shut down an attempt to turn the airpark over to a real estate developer. From the story:

“Justice Michael O’Neil, writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, ruled Wednesday that Carrollton city officials, with the help of [Henry] Billingsley and his business associates, passed an unconstitutional ordinance in 2008 in an elaborate attempt to improperly evict homeowners of Air Park Estates in order to develop the land.”

Billingsley, over several years, bought up Air Park Estates property as they came up for sale, and once he owned the majority, conspired with city officials “improperly evict homeowners.”

“The community, developed in a once extremely rural part of Collin County, now is in the middle of one of the fastest-growing high-income neighborhoods in North Texas.”

What airport today doesn’t face this challenge?

The case is expected to be appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, but this particular battle goes to Air Park Estates.

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Letter: Enjoy the ‘changing of the seasons’ at Palmetto Air Plantation

By Barbara Amato

Airparks are here to stay. My husband and I moved to Palmetto Air Plantation in Manning, South Carolina two years ago from West Palm Beach, Florida and just love it.  We have a hanger home with three bedrooms and four bathrooms plus a loft with fireplace.

The hanger is large enough for our cars and two other planes.  This airpark is very affordable and just a beautiful place to live and play.  The area is half way between Charleston and Columbia with serious shopping just a short drive away. Manning is small town living just off Interstate 95 and very accessible.

We have enjoyed seeing the changing of the seasons at Palmetto Air Plantation. Something we didn’t experience for more than 30 years.

Anyone out there seeking a reasonable climate in which to live should check out Palmetto Air Plantation. We welcome and invite you to call and check us out. Happy Flying everyone.


Your flying friend

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Letter: An Affordable Airpark Lifestyle

By Marty Harris, Florida

As a new pilot living near Burlington, VT (circa 1978) and later in Northern Illinois, I was envious of my fellow pilots living on airparks, pulling their planes out of the hangar and flying wherever and whenever they chose! I especially liked the rustic nature of Shelburne Airpark (VT) with the pole barn hangars and country atmosphere. Later I would scan the GA News and that yellow rag at the FBOs for real information about affordable airparks. I hoped one day that dream would be possible for me but was sure the “entry” fee would be too high to become a reality, especially when I saw the “high-end” airparks like Spruce Creek near Daytona and Casa de Aero North of Chicago with strict covenants excluding most blue collar flyers like me.

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