|City and County Show Support for JLUS|
May 17, 2012 - Both Spokane County and the City of Spokane showed support for the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) today, as Spokane Mayor David Condon, and Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart signed the City's JLUS ordinances at Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI). Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard was also present, having already signed the County's JLUS ordinance.
The JLUS was funded by the Department of Defense, and is a land-use agreement between Fairchild Air Force Base and its surrounding communities that protects the base from development that could encroach upon the base and its air space, thus limiting its flying and training missions.
"Spokane County worked collaboratively with GSI, Fairchild, Spokane International Airport and the cities of Medical Lake, Airway Heights and Spokane to draft land use regulations that will protect Fairchild's present and future missions," Commissioner Richard said. "It is imperative that all jurisdictions stand together with courage and conviction to adopt these regulations for our nation's security and to protect this region's largest employer."
Implementing the JLUS differentiates our community from others around the nation that are also vying for the new tankers.
The JLUS helps establish usable airspace by preventing high density developments that could affect the base's flying mission. Implementing the JLUS is the first step toward supporting and protecting Fairchild.
"Fairchild has been part of our community and our economy for 70 years," Mayor Condon said. "We must continue to make a concerted effort to ensure that the base will also be a significant part of our future."
GSI has supported Fairchild since 1940, when the War Department used funds raised by Spokane County, the City of Spokane and the Spokane Chamber of Commerce (now GSI) to establish an air depot on the land that is now Fairchild Air Force Base. Local jurisdictions and organizations worked together back then, and continue to work together in implementing the JLUS.
"The Spokane City Council voted unanimously to support the recommendations contained in the Joint Land Use Study because we understand how vital the base is to Spokane and our region," Council President Stuckart said. "We are encouraging our other local government partners to join us in this effort."
The Air Force released its criteria this week for the basing of the new KC-46A tankers. Among the criteria are proximity to refueling receiver demand, airfield and airspace availability, fuels considerations and the potential to establish an association, according to the Air Force. Fairchild is currently home to a classic association between the 92nd Air Refueling Wing and 141st Washington Air National Guard.
"The KC-46A will cause one of the greatest competitions that we've seen in a long time," said Rich Hadley, President and CEO of GSI.