Officials from DIA recently lobbied the city of Aurora to plead with them not to allow homes so close to the airport. Aurora promptly ignored their request! What happened with this development? Why is this new development a game changer? What is the impact on property owners & what should you do?
What happened with the airport development in Aurora?
It is no surprise that as Denver has gotten more expensive, less desirable properties are now in the development que. Aurora has recently given a green light to the construction of potentially hundreds of houses half a mile from Denver International Airport’s next planned runway, highlighting growing concerns over what an explosion of new neighborhoods near the airport may mean for future homeowners.
“The property in question will be subject both to overflights and to single-event noise exposure from current airport operations, and will experience significantly increased noise impacts once the master-planned future runway south of Peña Boulevard is built,” Rachel Marion, DIA’s director of government affairs, told the council in December. “This level of noise exposure is not good for residents, and it is not good for airport operations.”
Why is Aurora’s development decision so important?
Aurora is bucking a trend that Denver county set years ago to prohibit residential detached homes in close proximity to the airport. Recall the airport was moved from Stapleton in metro Denver to its current location to minimize noise impacts. Pandora’s box has been opened with the city of Aurora allowing detached single-family homes in areas that will have extreme noise impacts as the airport continues to grow. There are already future developments in similar high impact noise areas being eyed for development.
What the about future property owners?
I doubt in the marketing brochure of the homes they show a picture of the new runway with a plane flying low over the houses. Many homeowners do not know about DIA’s future plans and they are sure to get a surprise very soon.
The developer noted: “Ultimately, he said, it will be up to prospective homeowners to go into the purchasing process with eyes wide open. At some point, we have to give credit to people that they are smart enough to know they are buying a home close to DIA,” Klein said.
What should you do?
The obvious answer is to avoid this area as it will only be a headache for property owners. Property values will be severely limited due to the huge impacts from runway noise and over the long term will likely decline as the next runway is built and the true impacts are realized.
Aurora is creating an interesting precedent for developers that is sure to lead to headaches down the line for property owners and future city council members as noise complaints skyrocket. Many prospective purchasers understand that there will be some noise being in close proximity to the airport but they are likely not aware of how severe these impacts will be once the new runway is in place and planes are directly over the property at lower altitudes. Developing this close to one of the largest airports in the country is not a smart idea as ultimately property owners will be holding the bag as the noise becomes unbearable.
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Written by Glen Weinberg, COO/ VP Fairview Commercial Lending. Glen has been published as an expert in hard money lending, real estate valuation, financing, and various other real estate topics in Bloomberg, Businessweek ,the Colorado Real Estate Journal, National Association of Realtors Magazine, The Real Deal real estate news, the CO Biz Magazine, The Denver Post, The Scotsman mortgage broker guide, Mortgage Professional America and various other national publications.
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