Chamberlin Neighborhood & Burlington International Airport: Resolution, Letters, & Plans

The City of South Burlington, through its City Council, City Hall administration, and residents, has been in an ongoing conversation regarding the announced FAA Home Buyout Program announced in September 2016. The program identified 39 homes in the Chamberlin Neighborhood as eligible for participating in selling to the FAA, due to increased airport noise. Additionally, a noise abatement and home insulation program has been discussed in the City.

While this is an ongoing discussion, there have been some recent actions that have been taken:

Correspondence with the FAA
In December at the direction of the City Council, City Manager Kevin Dorn sent a letter to the New England Regional Administrator of the FAA. In it, he requested the FAA to provide resources to run the approved FAA noise model at Burlington International Airport, using Air Force F-35 data.

Last week, the FAA Administrator responded, referring the City to utilize information from a Department of Defense Environmental Impact Statement published in 2012. She also addressed other points raised regarding noise contours and “a seat at the table” during decisions regarding noise at BIA.

City Council Resolution
At the City Council Meeting on January 23, the City Council adopted “South Burlington City Council Resolution in Response to 2016 BIA Land and Re-Use Plan.” This resolution constitutes the City Council’s comments on “DRAFT Noise Land Inventory and Re-Use Plan Update/Burlington International Airport (BTV/FAA AIP No. 3-09-000-094-2012/December 2016.

Within the resolution, 17 separate items are included. There are requests of the FAA and Burlington International Airport, as well as communication needs to be managed by the South Burlington City Manager, and further actions to be taken by City Council. Read the resolution.

Supplemental Information Supporting Council Resolution 
On Monday, January 30, the City Council approved supplemental information supporting the above resolution. It includes correspondence, news articles, and the Chamberlin-Airport Planning project concepts. A cover letter from Chairwoman Helen Riehle states that the supplemental comments with supporting documentation provide two bases for objection with regard to the BTV AIP-109 Grant Request—specifically “Consistency with Local Plans,” and “Public Hearings.” The letter with supplemental information was sent to Gene Richards, BIA Director of Aviation and Mary Walsh, New England Region Airports Division Manager, FAA.

Meetings with the Chamberlin Neighborhood
There have been several meetings with residents in the Chamberlin neighborhood, at the request of the neighbors or the City. These meetings have brought forth critical questions to be answered, concerns, and the need for continued communication. Knowing this, the City Council has requested several pathways for communication with BIA, to help the City be informed in order to help residents become informed.

Feedback on Second Draft of 2016 BIA Re-Use Plan/Noise Compatibility Plan
The City of South Burlington Planning Commission sent a letter to Burlington Mayor Weinberger and Airport Director Gene Richards sharing their feedback on the draft BIA Re-Use Plan/Noise Compatibility Plan released last month. It appears that there are many shared goals, including the important need for careful and comprehensive planning for the physical, social, and economic health of the Airport, neighborhood, and region. The Planning Commission stated, ” We consider this intermediary draft Re-Use Plan to be an important step towards reaching shared goals and look forward to the opportunity to review a revised draft that addresses {our} feedback.”

The letter is divided into three sections:

  1. Key City topics/issues related to the draft Re-Use Plan
  2. Follow-up to the City’s letter on the first draft Re-Use Plan and BIA’s response
  3. Detailed feedback on the December 2016 Draft Re-Use Plan

The conversation will continue. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for February 6 at City Hall.



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