Air park showdown set for Tuesday
AGUA DULCE – The fight that’s been brewing for years over a private air park in this dusty little town is set for a showdown. At stake is development of the Agua Dulce Air Park, a nearly 50-year-old airstrip used largely by pilots of single-engine planes. Some say noise and activity from the facility is disturbing their rural town. They argue that it’ll only get worse if more development occurs there. Others look to the air park as a welcomed neighbor. They say it should be able to grow in these parts like any other business. To McCord, the other side is trying to control a business, something he said they don’t have the right to do. His opinion is a popular one in town, but it has cost him some friends, too. Some neighbors who have known him for 15 years won’t talk to him now, he said. Complaints made two years ago against the air park have prompted Tuesday’s hearing. It first came under the county’s Regional Planning Commission who reviewed its old permit and made modifications to it. Now supervisors will review the commission’s recommendations that include up to 55 personal storage hangars, a 20-room hotel, a helicopter landing area, 250,000 square feet of tie-down area and a public maintenance hangar at the air park. Supervisors could decide to do nothing about the permit, revoke it or make modifications. Flights began taking off from the air park in the late 1950s, a time when Agua Dulce was largely rolling hills, tumbleweeds and a small handful of ranches. Over time it became a popular haven for actors working on westerns filmed against its rugged landscape. Also drawn to the unincorporated area were equestrians lured by the large open fields where they can freely roam for hours on horseback. Today, 3,000 to 3,500 residents live there, according to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich’s office. Five-year resident Park Overall is concerned that development of the air park will run down the quaint small town. However, she supports the facility as it stands today. “This community could be the Bel-Air of Southern California, but they aren’t going to let it be,” said Overall. “This is a horse community with incredible resources, and you want to turn this into some shoddy airport town.” Still, she admits that she’s grown weary of all the fighting. She’s tired of the in-your-face arguments about it and the defacing of their signs posted around town. On Tuesday this long-standing feud could end. And while it seems to have divided these parts in two, others say the issue over the air park hasn’t affected them much at all. Twenty-year resident Trish Brewer said it’s largely a small minority of residents who have become deeply involved with it. “Most people have feelings about it, but it’s not a huge, huge issue for them,” Brewer said. [email protected] (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Battles over the 110-acre property have gone on for years and at times it has seemed that there isn’t enough room in town for both sides. On Tuesday, the standoff may come to an end. A hearing about future development at the air park will be held at 9:30 a.m. by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Supporters and opponents have organized early-morning bus rides to take their camps to the meeting in downtown Los Angeles. “It needs to end. They (the supervisors) are supposed to be the last word,” said resident Dave McCord. “Let’s hear the last word and end this.” A sign in support of the air park stands in the 76-year-old’s front yard. He said it has been egged and run over since he put it there a few days ago, but he cleaned it off and stuck it back in the ground.