An aviation-focused residential development took one step closer to being clear for lift off in Sherman Monday night.


City Council unanimously approved a full-scale overhaul of the city’s airport rules and regulations that includes new language that would allow for through-the-fence operations at Sherman Municipal Airport.


The changes in the regulation come as a private developer has expressed interest in building Silver Falcon Estates: a residential development focus on aviators and flight aficionados.


"This is the next step in the years-long process at this point to update our airport rules and regulations," said Nate Strauch, community and support services manager. "This will put us more in line with TxDOT’s (Texas Department of Transportation) format on how those rules and regulations are written and how they are laid out.


"Once the council considers the full through the fence agreement this should expedite things on the TxDOT side of things."


In early 2019, developers approached the city with plans to build a residential development alongside the municipal airport that could cater to pilots. Silver Falcon Estates would feature condos and other residential developments that included attached space and hangars for small aircraft, with the hopes of having access to the runways at Sherman Municipal.


However, this type of agreement had never been considered by the city and the rules and regulations did not directly reference this type of development.


Under the new rules, through-the-fence operations are not allowed for adjacent properties without prior coordination with TxDOT. Strauch noted that any agreements would need to go through and be approved by TxDOT before any operations began.


Rather than simply add the section on these operations, the city instead elected to full rewrite and reformat the rules. Strauch said this was designed to put the rules in a format that was commonly used by TxDOT. By doing this, Strauch said the city hopes to make the city’s rules more straightforward and expedite any agreements that may take place at the airport.


"This is really just priming of the pump with Silver Falcon in case we get to the point that we are ready to take this to the council," he said.


Despite the recent economic downturn, Strauch said the project is still moving forward. Currently, negotiations on terms are still taking place between the city and developers.


Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.