Sec. 35.1-43.4. Airport safety overlay district (AS).
(a) Intent. This district is intended to regulate and restrict the height of structures and objects in the vicinity of the airports and the naviable airspace in the City of Lynchburg by creating the appropriate zones and establishing boundaries thereof; providing for changes in the restrictions and boundaries of such zones; defining certain terms used herein; providing for enforcement; imposing penalties; and to satisfy the requirements of the General Assembly of Virginia regarding airport safety zoning.
This section is adopted pursuant to the authority conferred by Chapter 11 of Title 15.1, and specifically to satisfy the requirements of Section 15.1-491.02 of the Code of Virginia 1950, as amended. It is hereby found that an obstruction has the potential for endangering the lives and property of users of the airports and residents in the City of Lynchburg; and that an obstruction may reduce the size of areas available for the landing, takeoff, and maneuvering of aircraft, thus tending to destroy or impair the utility of the airports and the public investment therein. Accordingly, it is declared:
(1) that, in the interest of the public health, safety, and general welfare, it is necessary to prevent the creation or establishment of obstructions that are hazards to air navigation;
(2) that the creation or establishment of an obstruction has the potential for being a public nuisance and may injure the area served by the airports;
(3) that the prevention of these obstructions should be accomplished, to the extent legally possible, without compensation to the property owner.
(b) Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(1) Administrator: the official charged with the enforcement of this section, shall be the superintendent of inspections.
(2) Airport: Lynchburg Regional Airport and/or Falwell Airport.
(3) Airport elevation: the highest point on any usable landing surface expressed in feet above mean sea level.
(4) Approach surface: a surface, whose design standards are referenced in subsection (c) of this section, longitudinally centered on the extended runway centerline, extending outward and upward from the end of the primary surface, and at the same slope as the approach zone height limitation slope set forth in subsection (d) of this section. In plan, the perimeter of the approach surface coincides with the perimeter of the approach zone.
(5) Approach, transitional, horizontal, and conical zones: the airspace zones as set forth in subsection (c) of this section.
(6) Building Permit: a document issued by the City of Lynchburg to permit the construction of any structure as provided for in this section.
(7) Conical surface: a surface, whose design standards are referenced in subsection (c) of this section, extending and sloping horizontally and vertically from the periphery of the horizontal surface.
(8) Hazard to air navigation: an obstruction determined by the Virginia Department of Aviation or the Federal Aviation Administration to have a substantial adverse effect on the safe and efficient utilization of navigable airspace in the Commonwealth.
(9) Height: for the purpose of determining the height limits in all zones set forth in subsection (d) of this section and shown on the zoning map, the datum shall be mean sea level (M.S.L.) elevation unless otherwise specified.
(10) Horizontal surface: a horizontal plane, whose design standards are referenced in subsection (c) of this section, above the established airport elevation, the perimeter of which in plan coincides with the perimeter of the horizontal zone.
(11) Nonconforming use: any preexisting structure or object of natural growth which is inconsistent with the provisions of this section or any amendment to this section.
(12) Obstruction: any structure, or other object, including a mobile object, which exceeds a limiting height, or penetrates any surface or zone floor, set forth in subsection (d) of this section.
(13) Primary surface: a surface, whose design standards are referenced in subsection (c) of this section, longitudinally centered on a runway. The elevation of any point on the primary surface is the same as the elevation of the nearest point on the runway centerline.
(14) Runway: a specified area on an airport prepared for landing and takeoff of aircraft.
(15) Structure: any object, including a mobile object, constructed or installed by any person, including but not limited to buildings, towers, cranes, smokestacks, earth formations, poles and electric lines of overhead transmission routes, and flag poles.
(16) Transitional surfaces: surfaces, whose design standards are referenced in subsection (c) of this section, which extend outward perpendicular to the runway centerline sloping from the sides of the primary and approach surfaces to where they intersect the horizontal and conical surfaces.
(17) Zone: all areas provided for in subsection (c) of this section, generally described in three dimensions by reference to ground elevation, vertical distances from the ground elevation, horizontal distances from the runway centerline and the primary and horizontal surfaces, with the zone floor set at specific vertical limits by the surfaces found in subsection (d) of this section.
(c) Airport safety zones. In order to carry out the provisions of this section, there are hereby established certain zones which include all of the area and airspace of the City of Lynchburg lying equal to and above the approach surfaces, transitional surfaces, horizontal surfaces, and conical surfaces as they apply to the Lynchburg Regional Airport and Falwell Airport. These zones are established as overlay zones, superimposed over the existing base zones, being more specifically zones of airspace that do not affect the uses and activities of the base zones except as provided for in subsection (c) and (d) of this section. An area located in more than one of the following zones is considered to be only in the zone with the most restrictive height limitation. These zones are as follows:
(1) airport zone: a zone that is centered about the runway and primary surface, with the floor set by the horizontal surface.
(2) approach zone: a zone that extends away from the runway ends along the extended runway centerline, with the floor set by the approach surfaces.
(3) transitional zone: a zone that fans away perpendicular to the runway centerline and approach surfaces, with the floor set by the transitional surfaces.
(4) conical zone: a zone that circles around the periphery of and outward from the horizontal surface, with the floor set by the conical surface.
The source and the specific geometric design standards for these zones are to be found in Part 77.25, 77.28, and 77.29, subchapter E (Airspace), of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or in successor federal regulations. The boundaries of such zones are shown on maps filed and maintained in the same manner provided for in Section 35.1-4 of this Code for other zoning maps.
(d) Airport safety zone height limitations.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, in any zone created by this section no structure shall be erected, altered, or maintained to a height so as to penetrate any portion of any referenced surface, also known as the floor, of any zone provided for in subsection (c) of this section.
(2) The height restrictions, or floors, for the individual zones shall be those planes delineated as surfaces in Part 77.25, 77.28, and 77.29, Subchapter E (Airspace), of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or in successor federal regulations.
(3) For any proposed construction or activity that may penetrate any referenced surface, certification of the elevation shall be submitted to the administrator by a Virginia registered engineer or surveyor.
(4) Any such proposed structure or activity within the airport safety zone shall meet the standards and requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration or the Virginia Department of Aviation. The Inspections Division shall refer the plans for such a proposed structure to the applicable agency for a report as to the possible interference with flight operations, if the certificate of elevation indicates that the structure will exceed the standards listed in this section. The inspections division shall obtain certification from the Virginia Department of Aviation that the proposed obstruction will or will not be considered a hazard to air navigation by that agency.
(e) Nonconforming uses.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (e)(2) and (f)(2) of this section, the regulations prescribed by this section shall not require the removal, lowering or other change or alteration of any structure or vegetation not conforming to the regulations as of the effective date of this section, or otherwise interfere with the continuance of a nonconforming use. Nothing contained in this section shall require any change in the construction, alteration, or intended use of any structure, the construction or alteration of which was begun prior to the effective date of this section, and is diligently prosecuted.
(2) Notwithstanding the provision of subsection (e)(1), the owner of any existing nonconforming structure or vegetation is hereby required to permit the installation, operation, and maintenance thereon of whatever markers and lights deemed necessary by the Federal Aviation Administration or the Virginia Department of Aviation. These markers and lights shall be installed, operated, and maintained at the expense of the airport owners, and not the owner of the nonconforming obstruction.
(f) Building Permits.
(1) Except as provided in subsections (f)(1), (f)(2), and (f)(3) of this section, no structure shall be erected or otherwise established in any zone created by this section unless a building permit therefore shall have been applied for and granted. Each application for a building permit shall indicate the purpose for which desired and with sufficient geometric specificity to determine whether the resulting structure would conform to the regulations prescribed in this section.
(2) No building permit shall be granted that would allow the establishment or creation of an obstruction or allow a nonconforming use or structure to become a greater hazard to air navigation than it was on the effective date of this section or any amendments thereto other than with relief as provided for in this section.
(3) Whenever the administrator determines that a nonconforming structure has been abandoned for two (2) or more years, or greater than fifty percent of the value of the structure has been destroyed, physically deteriorated, or decayed, no building permit shall be granted that would enable such structure to be rebuilt, reconstructed, or otherwise refurbished so as to exceed the applicable height limit or otherwise deviate from the zoning regulations contained in this section, except with the relief as provided for in section 35.1-27, subsection (h), nonconforming uses.
(4) Any person desiring to erect or increase the height or size of any structure not in accordance with the regulations prescribed in this section may apply for a variance from such regulations to the board of zoning appeals. Such application shall be properly advertised and be reviewed and considered in a public hearing. Prior to being considered by the board of zoning appeals, the application for variance shall be accompanied by a recommendation from the Virginia Department of Aviation. Such variances shall only be allowed where it is duly found that a literal application or enforcement of the regulations will result in unnecessary hardship and relief granted will not be contrary to the public interest, will not create a hazard to air navigation, will do substantial justice, and will be in accordance with the spirit of this section.
(5) Any building permit granted may be made conditional to require the owner and/or operator of the structure and land to install, operate, and maintain, at the owner's expense, such markings and lights as may be deemed necessary by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Virginia Department of Aviation, or the administrator.
(6) The owner of any proposed obstruction is hereby required to post a bond, in such an amount as may be deemed appropriate by the administrator, to cover the expense of removal of such obstruction as stipulated in subsection (f)(3). This bond shall carry with the ownership of the land or structure.
(7) When any structure erected after the enactment of this section exceeds the height listed in the building permit, the owner/operator shall be legally and financially responsible for removing such obstruction.
(g) Enforcement. The administrator shall administer and enforce the regulations prescribed in this section, unless otherwise stated, and shall carry out and effectuate this section, including the action of injunction, prosecution and other available means through the General Circuit Court of Lynchburg.
(h) Penalties. Each violation of this section or of any regulation, order, or ruling promulgated under this section shall constitute a misdemeanor and be punishable by a fine of no more than one thousand dollars ($1000), as provided in the Zoning Ordinance. Each day on which a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.
(i) Conflicting regulations. Where there exists a conflict between any of the regulations or limitations prescribed in this section and any other regulations applicable to the same subject, where the conflict is with respect to the height of obstructions, the more stringent limitation or requirement shall govern.
(j) Severability. Should any portion or provision of this section be held by any court to be unconstitutional or invalid, that decision shall not affect the validity of the section as a whole, or any part of the section other than the part held to be unconstitutional or invalid.
(k) Adoption. Be it resolved that this section has been properly drawn, legally advertised, and presented through a public hearing before the governing body of the City of Lynchburg on December 13, 1994. Be it further resolved that the effective date of this section is December 13, 1994, and that the section from that date forward carries the full weight of law within the City of Lynchburg until and unless altered otherwise by the governing body. (Ord. No. O-94-312, 12-13-94)
Last updated date: 10/23/2006 4:15:21 PM