The Joint Airport Zoning Board reviewed suggestions and modifications to the draft airport zoning ordinance from the city of Denison and the Texas Department of Transportation, on Friday. The ordinance will help set guidelines for future development around the North Texas Regional Airport - Perrin Field for decades to come.

The Joint Airport Zoning Board reviewed suggestions and modifications to the draft airport zoning ordinance from the city of Denison and the Texas Department of Transportation, on Friday. The ordinance will help set guidelines for future development around the North Texas Regional Airport - Perrin Field for decades to come.


In the most recent set of revisions, the Board added in suggestions and terminology definitions that were provided by the city of Denison and TxDOT. The definitions added were designed to clarify common terms throughout the ordinance and vague sections.


The Board came to debate in the meeting over responsible jurisdiction and the role of Airport Director Mike Shahan in granting approval for permits and variances. The definition of Ordinance Coordinator — added because of a suggestion by TxDOT — states that "it is not intended by this ordinance that the Airport Director be given any authority to make determinations or enforce this ordinance." Yet, previous sections of the ordinance set the director as the representative of the airport, in regards to zoning concerns. Questions were raised concerning whether citizens would bring zoning permits to the airport director or to a local authority.


"People naturally are going to go to what entity they are a part of," said Lee Olmstead, representing Grayson County.


The issue arose when the topic came up because the Board was asked who held jurisdiction for permits in areas that are not incorporated and fall within the county. Olmsford said areas that are not within a city would not need to apply for zoning permits, and thus might not be informed about the regulations on development around the airport. With expected growth in Grayson County, areas that may not be a part of a city currently could eventually be annexed, putting them within the jurisdiction of a city.


"There needs to be a line of communication," said Jason Sofey.


Olmstead argued that the airport director must make determinations as he recommends petitions for permits that fall within a city’s and the airport’s jurisdiction. Olmstead suggested that the issue could be clarified by changing the wording to ‘final jurisdiction’.


"You are the first mark on the checklist," said Olmstead to Shahan.


The board debated a second portion of the draft regarding appeals for denied permits and variances. The draft states that a "No Hazard Determination letter from the FAA must accompany the appeal before it can be considered by the responsible jurisdiction." Olmstead asked if this would apply for appeals that have nothing to do with the FAA. He argued that the use of the word ‘any’ was too broad within the ordinance.


Sofey argued that a letter from the FAA would provide strong support for appeals. Ken Brawley, representing Denison, argued that the ordinance, as written, would move liability away from the municipalities and onto the FAA.


The board elected to table the issue until it can consult officials with TxDOT. The board is expected to meet again on April 30.