I have read with interest the various articles regarding the possible expansion of the runway at Bob Adams Field, and the inconsistencies between the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan, the airport planning documents, and the most recent airport capital improvement projections, which include a parallel runway and lengthening of the existing runway.
The West of Steamboat Plan projects up to 2,600 residential dwelling units in the area covered by the plan. A ballpark analysis will show that this would be an economic activity of $600 million or more.
The requirements of an airport expansion would have a profound impact on the practicality of this plan. FAA participation would require land use restrictions on all property within the Flight Pattern Zone of the airport.
Under current propeller-driven usage, this could mean that about 45 percent of the property in the West of Steamboat Plan would at least be discouraged from residential development by recorded deed restrictions placed on any development that did occur.
Expansion of the airport to accommodate jet activity would increase this to an even greater percentage.
In other words, our plans for the airport are incompatible with the West of Steamboat Plan and may well be a major reason that we have not seen any developer step forward with a project that would implement that plan.
It is imperative that our planning documents, and the thinking they represent, be compatible with one another and reflect a realistic appraisal of the relative value to the community of the Hayden airport, which is a major economic generator, and Bob Adams Field, which mainly benefits a very minor part of the community.
Robert L. Hall