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Stevensville Backs Away from “Overly Broad” Restrictions Near Airport, New Draft Available

Stevensville airport
Photo courtesy of Google Street View

Property owners in Stevensville became very concerned a few weeks ago when the town proposed a new ordinance that would have limited the height of trees in a two-mile area around the airport to just five feet without a permit. The ordinance also limited the way that people could use their land. Mayor Gene Mim Mack admits the language was too broad.

“In putting out the first draft, the town used the broadest language possible to describe the area and possible regulations within that area as a review,” said Mim Mack. “That, of course, stimulated substantial public input at our first public hearing and also some calls to the county commissioners, and others, about the broadness of the ordinance.”

Mim Mack says the original draft wasn’t vetted well enough, and that the town has gone back to the drawing board to decrease the number of residents effected to just about 25, and to make sure the restrictions are not egregious. He also says the new proposal will be even less restrictive than the laws many near the airport are currently living with.

“We’ve restricted the area of regulation to a very specific area of three thousand feet at the end of either runway,” Mim Mack said. “In that zone, we still require a permit if, in fact, you want to plant a tree that is expected to grow in excess of 30 feet or if you’re building a structure that is in excess of 30 feet. Under 30 feet there is no permit requirement.”

The new proposal is available on the town’s website and a public hearing will occur this Thursday, June 12,  at the Stevensville Town Hall at Six o’clock p.m.

Mayor Mim Mack

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