After unsuccessfully lobbying the county to open a public airstrip at the former Crows Landing Naval Air Station, Jon Maring decided to build a private on his family’s land instead.
On Tuesday, May 7, Stanislaus County supervisors gave him that right, voting 3-1 to allow the Marings to operate an airport on 97 acres of their farmland off of Cox Road. Supervisor Terry Withrow abstained because his wife is a member of the Maring family.
Supervisor Bill O’Brien gave the lone “no” vote, taking issue with the land housing the airstrip remaining under a Williamson Act contract, which would allow the Marings to receive tax relief for keeping the land in agricultural production. County staff said the airport met Williamson Act requirements because it mostly would be used for agricultural purposes.
The project, which will stand about a mile southeast of the town of Grayson between Frank Cox Road and Condit Avenue, will include three hangars, totaling 7,300-square feet, and a 2,800-foot runway.
Project applicant Jon Maring said by phone Monday that private airports are “pretty common” in the area.
The airport will allow Maring’s business, DelMar Farms, to get aerial views of its farming operations between rural Tracy and Fresno County, according to the county staff report. It also will be used for flying clients to see DelMar’s nearby packing facility and for personal travel.
While some attendees at an April 4 planning commission meeting had expressed concern about potential noise issues, county associate planner Joshua Mann told the board Tuesday that the county had conducted a noise assessment and decibel levels were well below those considered a problem by the state. County staff also indicated the airstrip meets county requirements for airports, including its placement away from houses, barns and other structures.
The county planning commission recommended 7-0 in favor of the board of supervisors approving the project.
The Marings plan to make up to 10 flights from the airport each week, and no more than four airplanes would be housed on site, according to the staff report.
Jon Maring told supervisors that he had recently bought a fuel truck for fueling. Though he said he planned to install lights, he said he expected that less than 5 percent of the flights at the airstrip would happen at night.
• Contact Jonathan Partridge at 892-6187, ext. 26, or firstname.lastname@example.org.