Questions & Answers on airpark living

Many of you interested in living on a residential airpark and even some of you who have already bought on a fly-in community have questions. These issues are extremely varied but all are important.

While not everyone is interested in every question raised all issues are of interest to some folks. As I speak at various functions around the country, I hear about the issues and try to answer them at the time.

Recently I started printing these questions in General Aviation News together with my response. I plan to provide these question and answer articles on this blog now as a means of spreading the information further. And, of course, I’m also hoping you will join in the general discussion from your personal perspective.

Here’s the first of the articles:

Question: One of our airpark property owners has his property for sale and the lookers aren’t particularly airplane people, from what I’ve learned. Is this going to be a problem and if so, what do we do about it?

Answer: The sale of residential airpark property to people who don’t fly can certainly become a problem for the association. Even if the deed restrictions point out that the property is part of a fly-in community, non aviation people buying in often ignore the rules about runway access, complain about airplane noise, and ultimately, some refuse to pay the homeowner association assessments to maintain and upgrade the runway and taxiway facilities.

There have been a number of lawsuits over this issue and to our knowledge, most have been decided in favor of the airpark operations. Unfortunately, even when the fly-in community wins the lawsuit, the legal fees and court costs can be considerable.

Having rules and regulations forbidding an individual from selling to a non-aviation oriented person probably wouldn’t stand a legal challenge. It seems like that’s discrimination against the prospective buyer as well as hindering a property owner from the free exercise of his property rights.

So, with few really good solutions I suggest:

  • Make sure the CC&Rs clearly spell out the requirements for property owners to be part of any airpark homeowners association and be required to pay their share of dues and assessments approved by the association under its existing rules.
  • Encourage property owners to search for aviation oriented buyers when they decide to sell.
  • Enforce the CC&Rs in all aspects and be sure they are done so in an equal and impartial manner
  • If it comes down to a disagreement, make sure you have good legal counsel. This isn’t an area where you want to try getting by without legal advice.

Do have issues that you’d like me to address? E-mail your question. Please don’t call with a question. I can only take them by e-mail. Be sure to include your e-mail and phone number in case I need clarification on your question.