Houses Creep Closer To Busy GA Field

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Airports and housing developments don't mix, but try telling that to the community of Greenwood Village, near Centennial Airport in Colorado. The community recently approved a 387-lot subdivision less than 1.5 miles from the north end of the airport's main runway. Centennial is the closest airport to downtown Denver and the second-busiest GA field in the U.S. In 1998, the airport released land-use zoning guidelines that urged local governments to prohibit new homes in areas less than 1.5 miles from the runway ends. Now, Centennial officials are worried that other tax-hungry jurisdictions will do the same and noise complaints will put the airport out of business. But it's not like the new residents of Greenwood Village haven't been warned. Anyone buying a house in the new development is told about the airport and must sign a document saying they understand that airplanes will be flying overhead. The houses also have extra noise-proofing. The land in question used to be part of Arapahoe County and it denied a similar application a few years ago. Greenwood Village annexed the land a year ago and promptly permitted the development. Colorado Counties Inc. spokesman Larry Kallenberger said these types of issues are inevitable, given the circumstances. "You have competing interests here with a second-busiest general aviation airport bordering on the fastest-growing county [Douglas] in the country, next to another one of the fastest-growing counties in the country," he said.