Wright-Patterson offers guidelines on building, development around base
Springfield News-Sun April 28, 2022
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (Tribune News Service) — Leaders of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base unveiled updated guidelines Wednesday on residential and commercial development around the 7,600-plus-acre base, asking that the guidelines be adopted into area municipal codes.
The idea is to make sure public safety and the base's missions — particularly its flying missions — are simultaneously protected.
"As we develop things that are potentially incompatible (with those flying missions), we put both people and missions at risk," said Col. Patrick Miller, commander of the 88th Air Base Wing, the host unit at Wright-Patterson.
The core flying mission permanently stationed at the sprawling base is the 445th Airlift Wing, whose C-17 cargo planes will have an estimated 417 arrivals and departures to and from Wright-Patt in 2022, according to a new federal study, called the "Air Installation Compatible Use Zones Study" or "AICUZ."
But air traffic at Wright-Patterson goes beyond that. The base hosts airplanes involved in training and seeking shelter from weather challenges elsewhere. In all, the base is expected to host more than 11,100 flight operations this year.
That has implications for local construction. Cell towers, wind turbine farms, even vegetation can be problematic, as can sources of reflected light or anything that produces dust, smoke and steam.
While the base is big, it's also divided. Area A (about 5,228 acres) and Area B (about 2,399 acres) are split by Ohio 444.
There are also noise considerations. In areas where noise levels exceed 75 decibels, residential development is discouraged. As well, the building of homes, churches and schools is discouraged in areas where aviation accidents are possible.
All of this information, including detailed maps, was presented in a public meeting at the base's Twin Base Golf Club Wednesday evening. But it's also available online at https://www.wpafb.af.mil/AICUZ/.
And civilian officials are invited to contact Wright-Patterson installation planners at 88CEG.CENPL.InstallationPlanning@us.af.mil. Base public affairs personnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new AICUZ was released in concert with the Wright-Patterson Council of Governments' recent decision to hire a consultant to help them navigate these issues.
Council members voted earlier this month to hire Matrix Design Group, based in Crofton, Md.
The council received a federal grant of about $350,000 to develop a compatibility use plan for shepherding development around the base, located in Greene County's northwestern corner — and close to several quickly growing communities, including Fairborn, Beavercreek, Huber Heights and others.
Matrix will complete that plan for the council.
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