Mathews High School may need to relocate after YARS Joint Land Use Study
Vienna Township Trustees met with the Trumbull County Planning Commission to discuss a 2019 Joint Land Use Study conducted on the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS).
Vienna Trustee, Phil Pegg tells 21 News now that this study is approved, the next step is to have it rolled out to the community.
"There are multiple, multiple different areas in the study," Pegg said. "Everything from agricultural to the relocation of our high school."
Pegg mentioned the potential to relocate Mathews High School due to its current location being just outside of what the study considers 'danger zones.' Pegg says an option is to relocate it to Baker Elementary School.
21 News reached out to Mathews Local Schools Superintendent, Russell McQuaide who tells us he agrees that the school needs to be moved, but is lacking the resources to do so.
"We would like to move it, but we've not received any funding or support from the federal government, which owns the air reserve station to help us undertake such an endeavor. We would be grateful for any help the federal government can give us," McQuaide said. "I don't think anybody else is as affected as Mathews High School is."
"Sound intrusion that is pretty as you can imagine pretty intensive as we have C-130s and even larger planes flying directly over our high school," McQuaide said.
McQuaide asked the board and county planning commission how to go about asking for funding.
"We're actually going to ask the State of Ohio as well because they have a military affairs liaison with Governor DeWine's office but we really need some help," Pegg said.
Part of the executive summary discusses "vertical obstructions." This part of the study comprised of a set of imaginary surfaces based on heights at different distances around a runway.
The imaginary surfaces are 3D geospatial areas that include the approach and departure airspace corridors and safety buffers.
"The height of buildings and structures is a major concern for flight operations and training due to the potential for a structure to extend into navigable airspace and impede safe flight operations," the report read.
Key recommendations listed on the report include amending zoning regulations and procedures for imaginary surface heights and slopes, as well as developing a a three-dimensional imaginary surfaces model to assess the compatibility of proposed development heights around the area.
Pegg explained that the study is about benefits between the air station and the local community and to try to stop encroachment on the airbase such as encroachment by lighting and buildings.
According to an executive summary found on YARS's website, some of the key recommendations for lighting are as follows:
- Coordinate mutually beneficial products between YARS, Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and the FAA to ensure projects do not impact each other's operations.
- Require use of solar project siting tools to prove avoidance of adverse impacts on military and other aircraft operations.
- Assess future ambient lighting impacts on night flying operations.
- Implement best lighting practices in local zoning ordinances
Pegg tells us YARS has installed new LED lights compliant, funded by the trustees, with the study and these lights will now be the standard for the township.
To read the whole executive summary, click here.
Pegg tells 21 News the final step in the process is to have the community accept the study. Pegg doesn't have an exact time frame of when this will happen, but hopes the community accepts it sometime in 2023.