Survey Results

Dear fellow users; I wish to thank all of you who responded to the survey; while it did not address all the issues in the foreseeable future, it did give us an idea of the users desires to aid us in making appropriate responses and representations to developmental agencies. Also, the next ISAS meeting is on September 4th; 3:00 pm (previously stated at 2:00 pm in error) at Gabels hangar. The agenda will review the survey and make suggestions to the letter of representation, attached. Please attend if you can!

1. The property west of the airport is currently under “80-acre exclusive farm use” status. For development to occur, the State legislature must change the current land use zoning. Local planners indicate the most likely scenario will be status quo, unless there is sponsorship and passage of a bill to change the zoning through the State Legislature, which has recently been attempted. Do you favor or do you oppose change to the existing 80-acre zoning.

Strongly Favor 2%,       Mildly Favor5%,       Neutral 5%,       Mildly Oppose 10%,       Strongly Oppose 71%

2. Some individuals have expressed interest in developing the property west of the airport into an assisted living center administered by Capitol Manner, as well as condos, and a golf course. Are you in favor or do you oppose development west of the airport?

Strongly Favor 0%,       Mildly Favor 2%,       Neutral 6%,       Mildly Oppose 8%,       Strongly Oppose 89%

3. Looking 20 years to the future, the Oregon Department of Aviation is considering a purchase of approximately 42 acres west of the airport, for potential airport growth, including taxiway, hangar sites, tie down area, and aviation related businesses. The purchase might require a variance to existing zoning, which could potentially allow a release from “80-acre exclusive farm use” for the remaining property. Are you in favor or do you oppose the Department of Aviation acquiring the 42 acres west of the airport?

Strongly Favor 27%,       Mildly Favor 29%,       Neutral 10%,       Mildly Oppose 10%,       Strongly Oppose 23%

4. Should eventual land use and zoning be changed to allow development west of the airport, do you favor or oppose ISAS becoming proactive in recommending to regulatory agencies that only aviation related development be considered?

Strongly Favor 79%,       Mildly Favor 3%,       Neutral 8%,       Mildly Oppose 6%,       Strongly Oppose 2%

5. Do you favor or oppose efforts to make Independence State Airport a Class II commercial airport in the future? (Class II would allow lengthening of the runway to accommodate larger corporate aircraft.)

Strongly Favor 8%,       Mildly Favor 15%,       Neutral 21%,       Mildly Oppose 21%,       Strongly Oppose 34%

Based on the survey results; ISAS will draft the following letter, subject to user approval, to be forwarded on 9/16/03:

Mike Denko – City of Independence Planning Department
Mark Fancy – Mid Willamette Valley Council of Governments
Darren Griffen – State Department of Aviation
Jim Allen – Director of Planning, Polk County
1000 Friends of Oregon
Capitol Manner


The users of Independence State Airport have recently responded to a survey (attached) and would like to offer the following as a statement of collective policy.

The vast majority of users are greatly opposed to any changes to the existing 80 acre exclusive farm use restriction, that could allow development to encroach our airport. Encroachment has been the historical player in the demise of many of our nations small airports. The area to the west of the airport allows a buffer zone for noise and potential forced landings. Left in its current farm use status it insures users rights of enjoyment and precludes zoning conflicts.

There have been some individuals, falsely claiming to represent the airport users, who have had contact with planning agencies proposing development of an assisted living center and other development west of the airport. The overwhelming majority of airport users are greatly opposed to any development west of the airport, especially an assisted living facility. Aviation activity in close proximity to an assisted living facility would have many negative compatibility issues.

There is no clear consensus to the issue of the Department of Aviation acquiring the proposed 43 acres west of the airport. It appears that if there were assurances that the proposed acquisition would not release the remaining acreage from the exclusive farm use status, any opposition could be mitigated. It is the position of the users that prior to any airport expansion by acquisition of the mentioned acreage, assurances of zoning status of the remaining land west of the proposed expansion would be sought.

The vast majority of respondents support ISAS representing their position on any land use proposals and changes, also the vast majority strongly support ISAS becoming involved in any land use or zoning proposals in the earliest possible stages, therefore it is requested that ISAS be contacted whenever any planning or zoning could have an impact on the airport.

Lastly, the consensus of the users regarding airport expansion leans in the direction of mildly oppose. The survey respondents as well as users with whom I have had discussions indicate that airport expansion to a Class II airport would be met with resistance. Looking twenty years in the future, the need is not established with Salem being in close proximity. Also, the added congestion and noise would erode the user friendliness of the airport, and the noise would eventually become an issue with the surrounding residents and businesses.


Gary D. Brown
Chairman - ISAS

Updated 08-19-03