B.C. town proposes homes with a place to park your plane

Residential development at the Princeton. B.C. airport could put town on the aviation map

Imagine waking up in the morning, enjoying the views of the Cascade Mountains while you sip your first coffee, and then getting ready for a day on the job.

You collect your phone and your briefcase, kiss the kids, and then hop in your plane and take off for work.

That could be the reality following an initiative to promote the development of residential homes attached to personal hangers at the Princeton airport.

“It would be just like taking your car out of the garage only you don’t have to deal with traffic,” said Gary Schatz, economic development co-ordinator.

Monday night council voted its approval to have staff investigate the plan’s feasibility.

“We would probably be the only town to offer that in BC,” said Schatz. “I know of one in Alberta.”

According to councillor Kim Maynard, who is a member of the Princeton Airport committee, the idea is not exactly new.

“It’s been a number of years we’ve been discussing this. It keeps popping up.”

Mayor Frank Armitage agreed. “That it’s finally reaching this point is wonderful.”

According to Schatz, the Princeton Airport has numerous features that make it an ideal place to build and market homes with runway access.

The facility has better-than-average navigation systems that allow planes to land at night and in poor weather, a long and recently repaved runway, as well as deer fencing. It is naturally supported by good elevation and approaches.

Schatz said he’s already given a tour of the airport to one pilot who is considering relocating.

“I loosely ran the idea by her and she loved it, and thought a lot of other people would as well.”

CAO Cheryl Martens said the approximate 30-acres surrounding the airport are already properly zoned with airpark residential being a permitted use.

“If you are looking at one house per acre, that’s thirty homes.”

Schatz said he would expect, should the idea take off, the houses-with-hangers “would be higher-end homes.”

A direction for the plan has yet to be charted. Schatz said it might involve striking a deal with a developer to build the residential lots as a community, or parcelling and promoting the sale of individual lots.

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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