As an airport in Great Barrington, Massachusetts seeks a special permit to expand, some residents are speaking out against the environmental impact of the project.
The town’s select board heard public comment Monday on Berkshire Aviation Enterprises’ pursuit of the special permit to expand the privately owned, single runway Walter J. Koladza Airport.
Chair Steve Bannon says the airport is currently nonconforming to zoning laws because it was created before they existed.
“Well because it’s a special permit, there are six criteria they must meet," he told WAMC. "Things like economic advantages to the town, et cetera. And for them, it means that every time they want to work there, they wouldn’t have to get special permits or go before the zoning board of appeals. They could do what normal airports would be able to do in the course of a day.”
Some residents have spoken out against the project, concerned it might harm the town’s water supply, as the airport is near Great Barrington’s underground aquifer.
At its next meeting on September 14th, the select board will begin asking its own questions about the expansion.