After receiving numerous inquiries this week, I checked in with local officials to find out some more information regarding a controversial item on the Feb. 6 Zoning Board of Review meeting agenda.
Applicant, Green Light Farm, LLC, is seeking a Special Use Permit to construct a 2,000' x 30' private airstrip and a 40' x 50' hangar with a single family residence on Assessor's Plat 330, Lot 30 on Town Farm Road, which currently contains a gravel pit.
The applicant has completed the process of converting the gravel pit into a private gravel airstrip - a project that did not require a specific permit. He continues to convert the surrounding property into farm fields for produce and pumpkins to eventually be sold at a roadside stand and plans to construct his own home and an airplane hangar in the center of the property.The airstrip resides 133 feet from the nearest property line and 550 feet from the nearest residence.
The size of the airstrip only accommodates small aircraft, such as the two personal planes that the applicant owns and plans to keep in the hangar; a 1931 Waco Biplane (23-foot wingspan, approx. 200 horse power engine) and a Cessna 172 (36-foot wingspan, 160 horse power engine). No airplane fuel will be kept on-site and the applicant will not be permitted to rent out the property or his aircraft to other pilots/passengers or give flying lessons.
According to Zoning Enforcement Officer Jacob Peabody, if the Special Use Permit application is approved, certain stipulations may apply, such as limitations regarding the size and number of planes allowed on the property at any given time.
Before a final ruling is made on the application, the applicant will be required to schedule a specific date and time for a site walk-through and plane landing, allowing Zoning Board members and neighbors to experience the event firsthand.
Peabody said the the Zoning Office as well as the applicant have been in communication with the RI Airport Corporation and that an inspection and safety plan would need to be completed by RI Airport Corp. representatives before the airstrip and hangar could be considered operational.
To view the complete plans for the property, see the attached document.