By Kathy Feist
Remember when we were youngsters and dreamed that one day there would be airplanes rather than cars parked in garages?
That day may soon arrive for folks in the Belton area.
Arrowhead Airpark LLC has proposed a 159-acre luxury housing development located at 203rd St. and Prospect (east of Holmes) where homeowners could park their single-engine airplane in individual hangars adjoining their homes.
On January 20th, letters were sent out to residents living within 1000 feet of the property, notifying them of an informal meeting held Saturday, January 29th, at Oden’s BBQ in Belton.
“Our vision is to create a beautiful residential airpark, offering aircraft owners luxury and convenience of living with their planes while preserving the peace, beauty and privacy of Missouri’s country living,” the letter read. “While those goals seem incompatible, we feel with proper developments, covenants and flight rules, they actually are not.”
The developers would share those rules and covenants at the meeting and answer questions.
About 40 people crowded Oden’s to hear developer Craig Wilcox, a retired veteran, present his dream plan.
Arrowhead Airpark would consist of 50 homes, each on one- to three-acre lots with private hangars. The property would also consist of 50 hangar aircraft condos (within five buildings) owned by pilots who do not live on the property. The private airstrip, with a 3000-foot runway, would be available to mostly light single-engine aircraft.
To reduce noise during sleeping hours, certain time restrictions would be in place, such as no flying after 9 pm and before 7 am.
Pilots would be allowed only one take off and one landing per flight; no training runs allowed.
Strict landing and take off flight patterns would be implemented to avoid nuisance among surrounding livestock and residents. Instead of aircraft flying a box pattern before landing, the pattern would be straight in and straight out.
Wilcox predicted that the airpark would average three takeoffs a day at first, with possibly seven once at full capacity.
Arrowhead Airpark has received clearance from the FAA and approval from those associated with the nearby military facility used for helicopter practice and the privately owned Robinson Airport.
The developers emphasized that they have not started the rezoning process with Cass County yet. They have a pending contract to buy the property from James Effertz Farms. The offer is most likely conditional upon the viability of rezoning. County procedure requires both neighbor and county commissioner approval, with the commissioner having the final say.
About a dozen neighbors were outspoken in their opposition to the airpark Most were concerned with the potential noise from the aircraft and did not believe Wilcox’ statement that the noise decibel level would be similar to a“motorcycle going down the road.”
“We moved here to get away from the city,” was voiced several times.
Opponents were also concerned with property values. But Wilcox emphasized that one of the benefits of the airpark is that it would increase property values because of the quality of the development and will bring road improvements.
Initial application to the County is expected in early spring, according to Wilcox, when another public meeting will be held.