New land-use rules clear path for Bruce Willis’ airport
KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) — Central Idaho officials have changed land-use rules, clearing the way for actor Bruce Willis to finishing building a private airport.
Camas County commissioners unanimously approved an amendment to the county zoning ordinance making private airports of unrestricted size and operation on AG-80-zoned agricultural land legal, the Idaho Mountain Express reported .
Under the amendment, private airports registered with the Federal Aviation Administration are automatically allowed without any county permits.
It immediately took effect after it was passed Monday.
The move came after Willis’ attorney had threatened to take legal action.
Willis began construction on his Soldier Field Airport last year, but the work was halted in September 2016 after surrounding residents pointed out that private airports were banned in AG-80.
The airport is located about 12 miles (19 kilometers) east of Fairfield.
After delays in the airport’s construction over previous rules, Willis’ lawyer Gary Slette pointed out to Cama County’s lawyer Matt Pember that there are seven existing private airports in the county aside from Willis’ upcoming airport.
Seeing that the county did not enforce zoning county rules with the existing airports, Pember said in an email to the Idaho Mountain Express that Slette and others had threatened to send a demand letter if the county did not enforce its ordinance and target the airports.
Slette did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the paper.
The airport will house about 20 aircrafts and oversee 500 monthly landings, according to a document submitted to the FAA and Larry Bauman, the former engineer on the project.
The hope is to eventually turn go from a private airport to a public one, Bauman said.
Information from: Idaho Mountain Express, http://www.mtexpress.com