REGIONAL NEWS: Denver airport warns of development ‘creep’ as Aurora gives blessing to new houses nearby

City, developer say single-family homes are outside of the airport’s prohibitive noise contour

Cranes work on constructing new gates that are being added at Concourse A as part of Denver International Airport’s Gate Expansion Project Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020 in Denver. DIA is adding 39 new gates across all three concourses that will be operational by the spring of 2021.
/ Michael Ciaglo, Special to the Denver Post

By John Aguilar | The Denver Post

Aurora has given a green light to the construction of potentially hundreds of houses half a mile from Denver International Airport’s next planned runway, highlighting growing concerns over what an explosion of new neighborhoods near the airport may mean for future homeowners.

Officials from the airport recently lobbied the Aurora City Council over the next phase of High Point at DIA, a 1,152-acre mixed-use community just southwest of the airport, pleading with the city not to open the door to homes being built so close to the airfield.

“The property in question will be subject both to overflights and to single-event noise exposure from current airport operations, and will experience significantly increased noise impacts once the master-planned future runway south of Peña Boulevard is built,” Rachel Marion, DIA’s director of government affairs, told the council in December. “This level of noise exposure is not good for residents, and it is not good for airport operations.”

Marion reminded Aurora’s elected leaders that noise and safety concerns 25 years ago led to the relocation of Stapleton International Airport far from where people live.

But in recent years, developments on once-vacant land surrounding DIA have sprouted in Commerce City to the west and in Aurora and Denver to the south — with many more in the planning stages — giving airport officials the uneasy sense that the rapidly growing metro area is fast encroaching on DIA.


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